So, um, I have a dog now.
After the vet's, where she got a hefty sum of vaccinations and preventatives, we went by Petsmart and bought a few supplies. She likes fuzzies rather than squeakies, apparently, so I got her a fuzzy monkey, and a rubber ball to chew and chase. Plus the usual supplies. Now she's snoring beside me on the couch, with her paws in a tangle.
You may be wondering what I'm calling her. The question was pretty much settled when I found her. When my father was young, a friend of the family, Captain Bennett, had a pit bull. When she had a litter, my father got one of the puppies. He named her Cigarette. Much later, he had another pit bull, and he named her Cigarette, too. I knew that Cigarette when I was a kid: she was an absolute mushpot who weighed twice what a pit was supposed to weigh but thought she was a lapdog. I have a lot of fond memories of that dog. (She also brought home Watson, an Irish setter who was being neglected by a neighbor. We fed him for months, and when the neighbors moved they sold Watson to us for twenty bucks.) So the precedent was set: apparently, when Hines men take on a female pit bull, we name the dog Cigarette. It's what we do.
This is not Cigarette as in "so round, so firm, so fully packed." No, this is a literary reference: in Ouida's (Marie Louise de la Remée) 1867 French Foreign Legion novel UNDER TWO FLAGS, the romantic heroine is a camp follower named Cigarette. I have not yet managed to make it through the book, because it is *really* Victorian, but I've downloaded it from Gutenberg and am giving it another crack. Curiously, while I know the book had a strong appeal for my father, I didn't know much about our pits' namesake; Da died when I was very young, so I wasn't able to ask him about it. So I checked around online, and -- well. This is from the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana:
Ouida's father, who she worshiped, abandoned her, and so Ouida seems to be using Under Two Flags to work out her daddy issues. Everyone in the novel worships Bertie, as Ouida clearly does. Cigarette proves her great love to Bertie just as Ouida wanted to but never could to her own father. In fiction written by amateurs or first-time writers, whether published in fan magazines, vanity presses, or on the Internet as "fan fiction" (stories written by fans featuring characters from their favorite books, television shows, or movies), a common phenomenon is the "Mary Sue" character. A Mary Sue character is an idealized stand‑in for the author, and is tougher, smarter, cooler, nicer, sweeter, more charming, more capable, and more skilled than the established characters, and becomes worshiped by them. Although Mary Sues appeared in 19th century magazine stories written by teenagers, as in stories where a teenaged girl saves a sleeping Indian chief from being mauled by a bear or is raised by Indians and becomes their leader, the traditional modern Mary Sue appears in Star Trek fan fiction, where a new ensign on the starship Enterprise is a better pilot than Captain Kirk, smarter than Spock, and makes both fall in love with her. Cigarette is Ouida's Mary Sue.
...my dog is a Mary Sue.
I think my father just punked me from beyond the grave.
Love you, Da.