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Growing up, my husband Tony and his family always had a dog in their lives. Snowball, Shelly, Katie...

No matter what the dog's name was, Tony's mother Kaye, would always refer to the dog as "Mary".

"Come here Mary" she would say to Shelly. "Where's Mary?" she would ask about Katie.

Mom loves poetry and one of her favorites is a poem that she learned as a little girl while attending the second grade in Cork, Ireland.

For some reason, one that Kaye herself cannot explain even today, she would call the dog, all the dogs, "Mary" and, without hesitation, invoke a verse from the following poem.

Dear Granny dear,

I hope you are well, I have got a lot of things to tell.
Last night I saw the pale blue moon.
It's going to be my birthday soon.

I meant to write you long ago.
I am writing you now to ask you if your knee is still stiff and if you're ill at heart.

I've got a doll all dressed in green.
But, not one like the doll Ive seen in Mrs, Carolls Corner Shop.

When I go past, I always stop and look inside to see it there.
It's got such lovely golden hair, if it were mine, I'd love it so and take care of it you know.

And, do you know what I would do?
I would call it Mary after you....

—Author Unknown

Tony and I always agreed that if we were ever to have a dog of our own, we had no choice but to name her Mary.

Three years ago, we adopted a little mutt from a rescue organization. Her given name was "Ambrosia" but we quickly changed it.

Finally, we have a dog named Mary.

But, of course, we do not call her Mary - we call her "Little Girlie".

—Gabrielle Wilders