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Name a lake after your dog

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A couple in Sitka, Alaska want to name a lake after their dog who perished in the mudslide that formed it. They applied to the US Board of Geographic Names in the hopes that the 1-acre body of water will forever be known as Luna Lake after their 11-year-old Border Collie. This could never take the pain out of losing them, but they would like to pay tribute to the dog who brought so much joy and love into their lives.

Long before Kevin Knox and Maggie Gallin met, Knox adopted the then 9-month-old Luna. It has been a great source of comfort after the deaths of his father in 2006 and wife Beth Peterman in 2009.


After comforting Knox through a few difficult years and being the center of his family, Luna brought Gallin into his life. Knox needed a dog sitter, and Gallin applied. They started dating a year after they met and were married not long after.

In 2013, the family of three was camping in a U.S. Forest Service cabin when a noise as loud as a jet engine drew Knox’s attention to the slope as it began to descend on them. He yelled for his wife to run, and she did it along with the dog. Luna was on their heels the last time they saw her, but when the slide was over they couldn’t find it. They searched for hours alone and later with a trained search and rescue dog, but she was never found.

State regulatory protocols discourage naming geographic features after pets, but the people who make up the Sitka Commission like the idea and are supportive of the proposal. You will need to do some additional research on precedents in other areas to see if this is possible. A final decision will be made in December.

The little lake that was created five years ago when the landslide blocked a creek is still there, and you can’t think of a more apt name for it than Lake Luna.



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