2008/09/29– J Cross’ Currahee

Last night I was visited by some friends (Carlye and Craig from Cross Check Catahoulas). They left a new little friend at my house, a littermate to their own little girl “J Cross’ Ammunition”.

J Cross’ Currahee–a.k.a. “Ranger”.

I thank Tori Earls and Justin Starnes at J Cross Catahoulas for allowing Ranger to come join my family.

I will be adding a page for Ranger like what I have for Beau in the upcoming weeks. For now, though, I will let you know why I named the little guy what I did.

I wanted to remember some of the dogs in his pedigree. Tom Cat, a type of fighter jet; Rambler, a synonym to Ranger; War Cloud, a reference to the breed’s American Indian heritage.

Dad’s father served in the 101st Airborne during WWII (The Battle of Bastogne). Their motto is “Currahee”, a Cherokee word meaning (roughly) “Stand Alone,” something very important to paratroopers behind enemy lines. It was what the Screaming Eagles cried as they jumped out of airplanes and into battle. [Note: it wasn’t necessarily the 101st that is the Airborne Rangers, but I’m taking a little bit of license since “Currahee” is a long name for a puppy.]

Later in his life Grandpa fought a number of tough battles including one of being hit by a semi that blew a stop sign. Being the tough guy he was, he pulled through with his sense of humor intact.

“Currahee” was how my dad ended the eulogy to my grandfather as Dad gave his final salute. Grandpa passed away in 2006 after several rounds with various types of cancer.

Using a Native American name also honors my mother’s father, who had his own Native American heritage, most likely Ottawa. Granted, he wasn’t Cherokee but I think he’d be okay with me using an Indian word from another language to honor him as well. He served in the Pacific Theater of WWII as a cook while on a battleship. Grandpa passed away in 2001 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Both of these men instilled in me values and abilities that made me who and what I am today. Both men loved their working dogs as well, so I felt it proper to honor both of their lives with a living memorial.

Of course, I live and work in a Park, so “Ranger” fits very well that way as well.