"Stinker Pot Pie" by Justin Butts

"You have to be careful when giving special names.

The name of my farm dog is Bando, but, if he gets into trouble, or does something really clever, I call him Stinker. I call him Stinker because when my cousin gave me the dog, he said, “I’ve got to warn you, he’s a real stinker.”

Kayla’s dog is named Pressley. But I needed a good name for her, for when she gets into trouble. So I call her Stinkerbelle.

When my mom brought over her hyperactive nine pound frenetic rescue dog, Tibbydough, only one named seemed to fit: Stinker Pot Pie.

When I yelled, “Get over here, Stinker Pot Pie!” at TibbyDough, my five-year-old daughter squealed with laughter. Of all the times I have heard her laugh, and she is always laughing, I have never heard her laugh so hard. I said it again, in opera baritone: “Stinker Pot Pie, get off of that table!” She erupted with laughter.

She laughed so hard she doubled over, and slapped her thigh, and finally, through her giggles, said, “Daddy, you called him a Stinker Pot Pie!”

Here is the problem with giving special names to dogs: they don’t recognize linguistic nuance. They only catch the first syllable or two of what you tell them. Now, whether I yell Stinker, Stinkerbelle, or Stinker Pot Pie, all of them straighten up and coming running.

So, Kayla asked me to get everyone together in the car, so we could go on a family outing. If you have a rambunctious family of people and animals, you know what a struggle it can be to get everyone together to leave. I took our daughter outside and said, “Get in the car please, Stinker Pot Pie!”

She squealed with laughter and said, “I’m not a Stinker Pot Pie, you’re a Stinker Pot Pie!”

“No, you’re a Stinker Pot Pie!”

“No, YOU'RE a Stinker Pot Pie!”

All of the dogs thought we were yelling at them and came running. They sat down in a well-behaved line in front of our little girl.

Kayla came out with the bags and said, “Hey! Great job getting everyone together! Let’s go!”

Yes, it’s all part of my grand design."
Justin Butts is a Rockport farmer, business owner and blogger.

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