|A name sums up a dog's character. That's why it's so important. It's vital for a dog to get it right, because it will define him all his life.|
|— Fiery describing how the ceremony works in The Broken Path, page 15|
At a certain age, the Alpha will decide that it is time for the pup(s) to receive their name(s). The time chosen is normally when the pups have their back teeth grow in. The Alpha will decide a certain prey that must be caught in order for the ceremony to be held correctly (ex. the white rabbit caught by Lucky, Lick, and Fiery). During this night, discipline and tension isn't as strict. The Alpha and Beta appreciate and expect silence during this time.
The Alpha will eventually call for the specific prey they had requested for the ceremony. The prey that was selected to be chosen will be carried out by Omega, and the lowest-ranking patrol dog. Once the prey is brought to the Alpha, they will order the dogs away.
After the dogs leave, the Alpha will command two dogs to step forward. One dog will put their paws on the prey's forelegs, with the other dog placing their paws on its hind legs. The Alpha will put their paw down and crush the prey's head. The Alpha will rip the prey's pelt off while the body is given to the Beta. Once the Alpha is completed with this task, the Beta will toss the carcass aside.
The Moon-Dog begins to shine on the pelt of the deceased prey. Alpha will call the pup(s) forward during this time, ordering them to take their positions on the Moon Pelt. The pup(s) will hop onto the rock and sit down onto the pelt. The Alpha will assure a pup, such as when Alpha reassured Thorn and Beetle during their ceremonies and said these words:
- "The time has come for you to choose the names you will carry until you meet the Earth-Dog. So close your eyes, and turn your faces to the Moon-Dog. Now that she is at her brightest, she will show you who you are."
After their speech, the Alpha will begin to howl. One by one, each dog in the pack will join in. This howl will form as the Great Howl. As the Howl fades away, the Alpha will question the pup(s) their chosen names. At this time, the pup must open their eyes and say their new name. Some dogs will get inspiration at that moment (ex. Squirm seeing a beetle), and others think long and hard on their names (ex. Nose deciding her name Thorn).
The ceremony then comes to an end.
There has been only one known occasion when a naming ceremony has been held without the Alpha being present, and without rabbit fur.
This has been at Storm's naming ceremony. Lucky suggested it was time, and the only senior member- Moon- agreed. Instead of rabbit fur, other gifts were used. Lucky had done a ritual that he thought was alike a naming ceremony.
The pup then decided on the name Storm, with the naming ceremony coming to a close.
Another occasion is a Wolf Pack's Naming Ceremony, when they don't choose their name, but the other wolves will chant on what name would suit the newly adult wolf. Some wolves argue, and the Alpha would pick the best one they think would suit the wolf.
Also when Dog was named Wolf, it wasn't even a ceremony. He didn't tell Calamity his name, so she started calling him Wolf due to his looks.
Other Naming Ceremonies in the Books
- When Squirm and Nose became Beetle and Thorn, Alpha requested a white rabbit for their ceremony
- When Lick became Storm during her ceremony, approved by Moon and Lucky. More info above in 'Other'
- When Grunt became Fang, The ceremony wasn't proper, and the detail isn't known, though his ears were cropped by his pack.
- When Pup became Dog, these two were Alpha's old name.
- Not a Ceremony, but it's a naming process, Dog to Wolf by Calamity.
- The longpaws called Yap "Lucky", which he makes his own name.
References and Citations
- Revealed in The Broken Path, page 15