On Monday, February 1, 2016, I embarked upon my epic quest for the year: adopting my dog. I have wanted a pup of my one for quite some time, especially since Barney adopted my parents  on Valentine’s Day Weekend 2014. I have many friends with dogs and Orlando is quite the pawfect paradise with many welcoming restaurants with outdoor spaces. Thanks to the fantastic folks at South Lake Animal League and the loving support of my family and friends, The Lil House of the Nerdy has it’s second resident: Miss Zelda Stardust!

The eternal question of who rescued who?

 I promised myself that when the time came to find myself a fuzzy familiar, I would actively seek out the local animal shelters. The only difficulty I had was finding the perfect dog within a certain radius. Akin to online dating, I had very rigid specifications when it came to finding suitable matches. I wanted to make sure that my pet got along with other animals, especially dogs and cats as in my immediate family, there is one cat and three dogs distributed between my sister’s family and my parents. I love traveling for the holidays, and wouldn’t want to cut family time short because my dog is a lone wolf type of gal. I found Stardust via PetFinder, and fell hard. I wasn’t planning on actually adopted a dog when I put in my application, but after considerable thought, I decided I was ready.

Level One Character Sheet 

  • Adopted Name: Zelda Stardust
  • Class: Rescue Demi-Direwolf
  • Race: Schnauzer/Wheaten Terrier-Mix
  • Alignment: Chaotic Good
  • Age: 2 years, 2 months (DOB 12-16-13)
  • Appearance: Primary coloring is Gray/Blue/Silver and secondary coloring is Brindle with brown eyes and a soft-wire coat.
  • Starting Attributes (ranked strongest to weakest)
    • Dexterity – Kennel Master suggests enrolling Zelda not only in obedience training, but agility courses due to the breeds energy level
    • Intelligence – very trainable to avoid boredom; should obedience and agility training go well, I would love to advance her studies with tricks and therapy dog training.
    • Charisma – NerDoggie gets along well with other dogs, plays well with cats, and loves people.
    • Constitution – She is currently spayed, heart worm negative, and vaccinations up to date.
    • Strength – At 38 pounds and (height), she won’t be the biggest dog in the yard, but she won’t need to be the scrappiest either.
    • Wisdom – A solid training foundation is clear, but additional habits will need to be cultivated due to her past.

Our epic adventure begins!

Stardusts from Across the Galaxy and Universes

As a writer and gamer, I believe there should be meaning behind name selections. When I discovered Stardust, I thought she was perfect, especially when I considered to multiple geeky references associated with such a name. It is way beyond the glittering in the beautiful night sky.

  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (novel; later made into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes)
  • Stardust (WWE Professional Wrestler) – son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, this is currently Cody Rhode’s in-ring persona who famously clashed with Steven Amell (Arrow’s ‘Oliver Queen’) at Summerslam 2015. The current incarnation of Stardust is akin to an eccentric comic book villain who I can’t help but support.
  • Ziggy Stardust” (song) by David Bowie – Bowie had a unique on my generation, not only as a little girl as Jareth, The Goblin King, in Labyrinth but through his music. ZS was one of his most iconic albums. I couldn’t help but hurt a little by his passing in January, so I couldn’t bear to strip away the name, modified to it.
  • Stardust Dragon – I was just head of the popularity of Yu-Gi-OH with respect to my preferences in Japanese anime, but the incarnations of the card fighting game and TV series were wildly popular right behind me. It would be fun to get the actual card.

She’s the Jillian Michaels of the Rescue Yard. Pure Energy.

Histories and Legends of Zelda

Though it hasn’t come out too much in previous posts, there was a time I regularly played the table top game, Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. Some of my best memories with my friends in Gainesville were sitting around the coffee table for hours eating, drinking, and slaying things in the realm of Faerûn. My preferred classes tend to be fighter, ranger, bard, paladin… basically anything that doesn’t require the added pressure of spell casting. Recently, we’ve decided to get the band back together with some new additions, so I’m gearing up to play new to me classes like barbarian, cleric, and druid.

  • Princess Zelda – namesake of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda Universe, Zelda and her secret alter ego “Sheik” are my favorite character to play on Super Smash Brothers. The original Legend of Zelda was the second video game Santa brought us for Christmas when my sister and I got our first Nintendo game console. A little chunk of family trivia, Mom was the one to get the furthest in the game. If memory serves, she was the only one to actually defeat Ganon.
  • Zelda Fitzgerald – wife to great American writer, F. Scott Fitzgerld who dubbed her as “the First American Flapper” and known as one of the muses of The Jazz Age. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite Great American works, and some of Daisy Buchanan’s dialog stems from things Zelda said to her husband. As I studied literature in college and the 1920s is one of my favorite historical periods, I couldn’t resist.
  • Zelda (ゼルダ) – One of the pioneering all-girl Japanese rock bands from the 1980s-1990s. My love for Japan will result in searching for their music. I am curious about their combination of new wave, pop, funk, and punk.

Aside from being one of my favorite video game princesses, Zelda, comes from the Germanic name ‘Griselda,’ meaning “gray battle maid.” Stardust has been profiled as being of Schnauzer heritage, so I felt a Germanic name would be appropriate. (The key was finding one I could pronounce.) My little campaign parter and I are setting out on an epic quest together, so I want a name she can be proud of and I don’t mind shouting as we dash off into battle together. I hope you will join us on out adventures together: Zelda’s next chapters in her new home and mine as a first time pup parent.

Happy Tails Ahoy!

I am still researching her back story, but I’ve managed to trace her back to a high kill shelter in Lafayette, Louisiana. From the paperwork I received from SLAL, I found that her rabies tag was registered in Louisiana and that her name from the time they found her on the streets was Crumpet. I am currently working on contacting the rescue in Heart of Acadiana which saved her from the kill shelter. I want to piece together as much of Zelda’s story as I can. I want understand her habits, fear triggers, and how I can best make her life in Orlando full of happy smiles, snuggly mornings, and fulfilling adventures together.

For the longest time, I let the opinions of others prevent me from acting on this dream, but I promised myself that in 2016, I would live for myself. I have so much love to give and spending time with Zelda really makes my house feel like a home. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have found my spunky little heart. She’s ruff around the edges, but that only makes me love her more because we’re the same. I hope you’ll join us on our misadventures together.