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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Dub Thee... Fido

The One and Only Rover
We always owned a dog while I was growing up. There was Duchess, a beautiful dachshund. Carmen, a frou-frou poodle. Molly. Lady Jane. Annie. Perhaps because we always adopted females, we never took one of my father's repeat suggestions. His two favorite names, suggested whenever we acquired a new dog, were Rover and Fido. (I suspect that you're getting some insight into Dad's sense of humor.) While there is now a Rover living with dear ole Pop, there is yet to be a Fido. After I ran across a particularly interesting nugget yesterday, I almost regret that we never let Dad name the dogs.

In Virgil's epic poem Aeneid, the main character Aeneas has a best friend named Achates. He is referred to as Fidus Achates, or "faithful Achates" and is regarded as the most slavishly devoted and doggedly steadfast bosom buddy of all time. The moniker Fidus (with the connotation of an excellent friend) stuck, and is the origin of the canine name of Fido.

So there you go. Fido turns out to be a literary name. Maybe we'll let Dad name another dog.

"Achates." Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (1996): 5. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.
"Achates." Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth (1996) Credo Reference. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.

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