Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 2 of 2

Bob St. PierreAs I reported in the first installment of this blog, my wife and I will pick up our second bird dog this weekend.  The pup will be a 10-week old female German shorthaired pointer from the same bloodlines as my five-year old GSP, “Trammell.”  Trammell is named in honor of my childhood hero, Alan Trammell, who played baseball for the Detroit Tigers during my formative years growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Truth be told, my wife used her veto power to overrule my favored name for this new pup.  Had I the sole vote in the matter, the new GSP would be named “Fidryich.”  You see, Fidrych references Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, the deceased Detroit Tigers pitcher, 1976 American League Rookie of the Year, Yankee killer, and pop culture transcending character.  “The Bird” was known for his quirky personality, which included grooming the mound and talking to the baseball between pitches.  To me, Fidrych’s nickname – The Bird – made it a perfect fit for a bird dog’s name. 

My wife’s veto was used because of the tragic nature of “The Bird’s” life and untimely death.  You see, Fidrych flamed out after a torn rotator cuff injury ended his career after only a few shortened seasons.  Then in 2009, Fidrych died while working underneath his 10-wheeled dump truck.  In the best interest of a happy marriage, her veto ultimately ended this name’s contention.  And in all honesty, I can see her point.  It’s probably bad karma for the new pup to name her after such a tragic character.

So, back to the drawing board I went.  Finalists included:

  • Whitaker (call name Whit) – referencing Trammell’s double play partner with the Detroit Tigers, Lou Whitaker.
  • Yooper (pronounced You Pur) – I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and some would say I’ve never left either.  Ultimately, this name didn’t make the cut because it also happens to be my nickname with some circles of friends.  
  • Bine (pronounced BeNay) – The Ojibwa word for ruffed grouse was a contender for a moment, but ultimately it seems odd for a Pheasants Forever guy to have a dog name referencing a bird other than a pheasant.

So ultimately, I circled back to a name I’d penciled in years ago for bird dog number two:

Yzerman (pronounced I zer man / Call Name Izzy)

Steve Yzerman is my generation’s Gordie Howe.  The retired center and captain of the Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman was to hockey fans from Michigan what Alan Trammell was to Tigers fans during my childhood years of the ‘80s.  Ultimately, the call name of Izzy will be an easy two syllable pronunciation in the field, I’ve never encountered another hunting dog with the name and it personalizes the pup to me while adding on to the story of my Michigan upbringing with Trammell as my bird dog tag team.  

Did we make the same choice you would have made in selecting our second bird dog’s name?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever's Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter.

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