As a result of his spinal condition, Howard drags a back paw when he walks, so he goes for a weekly session on a water treadmill, where he can exercise without hurting himself. I was giving him a post-session bath when the next client came in with his dog. The facility doesn't encourage baths because it doesn't want you to inconvenience anyone; consequently, I hurriedly rinsed Howard off with the spray nozzle. (He runs around the big industrial sink and crouches in corners, turning the process into a game of Shoot the Freak.) I placed Howard on the floor and was attempting to dry him when I recognized the next client: Jake Gyllenhaal. He initiated a conversation about Howard's name and we had a brief exchange about how old-man names feel so appropriate for pugs. Later I realized how ironic it was. The breeder's original name for Howard was Jake. What's more, one of the reasons I wanted to change it was because Brokeback Mountain was still fresh in people's memories, and I was concerned others would think we had named him after Gyllenhaal.