What's in a name?

by Jen Melton February 27, 2020

What's in a name?

When we chose Sam & Nala for our company name, I wanted to honor the two dogs who taught me what’s good in life. Sam & Nala were the first dogs I adopted as a 24 year old. Sam came first and I wasn’t ever the same. She was waiting out her time in a kill shelter in Orange County, California when our eyes first met…to say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. It may have been her ewok ears or even the mischievous look in her eyes, but I was smitten and she came home with me that night. It took me one look to fall in love, but it was a little while longer to sort out everything else she came with: It turned out she had a broken tail (I didn’t even know that was a thing); she was covered in ticks (I have no idea how I didn’t notice that at the shelter, though in my defense there were so many that they created an entire “coat” on her); poor girl had kennel cough; and she hated dogs and loud noises. Through her challenges and constant antics, Samantha taught me about patience, parenting, perseverance and finally, letting go, when she passed away at 14.  

After about six weeks with Samantha, Nala joined our household. Sam showed Nala the ropes and they were quickly best buddies. From the start, Sam was the brains of the operation and Nala was pure, buoyant joy. Nala’s bliss was contagious and she never met a person she didn’t instantly love. That love was almost always reciprocated (with the exception of the neighborhood cat, meow).

Together, Sam & Nala took on the world (or at least the United States) and did not miss a thing. They loved sitting outside on warm evenings in a restaurant patio and taking in conversations while fellow patrons and servers lavished attention on them. The two pups enjoyed walks to their favorite coffee shops and the never-strangers that they saw along the way. They were always up for a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Constant treat connoisseurs, yard rototillers, escape artists and master snugglers, Sam & Nala had life figured out and couldn’t understand why people kept trying to make it so difficult.

Since having Sam & Nala in my life, I have found in my travels especially, that they had the right idea. There isn’t much that can’t be worked out over a beer, a good meal, a tasty treat or coffee. Life is what happens on the way, or in the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”  

Cheers to Sam & Nala!



Jen Melton
Jen Melton



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