Pepsi Shambo

One of the most touching sights during my 5-week cross-country road trip was this one, a brick honoring the life of someone’s beloved dog:


I just love the name “Pepsi Shambo.” It’s got a nice ring to it. But don’t you wonder why anyone would give a dog that name?

Wondering this myself, I looked up “shambo” just now, and, according to the urban dictionary, I learned that a shambo is “an efficient and fool-proof mechanism for resolving minor disputes, a/k/a rock-paper-scissors.”

I wonder if good old Pepsi Shambo was used in that manner during his or her lifetime. Perhaps, in the midst of a family argument, someone would shout out, “Why don’t we let Pepsi Shambo settle it!” Pepsi Shambo would trot in (or, in its latter years, perhaps he or she would shamble). I can hear it now:

“If Pepsi Shambo barks once, you have to get a job. Twice, you can just move out.”

No, I doubt that anyone who’d name their dog “Pepsi Shambo” would be that lazy, or that mean. On second thought, maybe the conversation went more like this:

“Honey, I know you really, really want to buy that house, but I’ve got an idea. Let’s let Pepsi Shambo decide! One bark means we’ll buy it, two barks means we’ll just wait until you wear me down, and we’ll buy it then.”

No, that sounds all wrong, too. I’ve got it! I think Pepsi Shambo got its name at the dog pound.

“Let’s let this little shambo decide which dog we take home. Hey, wait a minute, maybe we should take it and name it Shambo!” … “But Dad, that’s what we did last time, and we’ve already got a dog named Shambo, remember? Let’s call this one Pepsi Shambo so we can tell them apart.”

But why Pepsi? My guess is that the dog was the exact color of Pepsi Cola, or perhaps it was the owner’s favorite drink. We’ll never know. But in my mind’s eye, I’m picturing a very dark brown dog with a very bubbly personality, solving all the world’s problems. Boy, the world sure could use the help of old Pepsi Shambo right about now.

And I could, too. I’m currently in the midst of a minor crisis, trying to decide on whether or not to move back to upstate New York. I love it here in Tucson, but I miss my family. My spouse prefers the Pacific Northwest, though, so we’ve got a bit of a dilemma. Are any of you named Shambo, by any chance? Bark once for upstate New York, twice for the Pacific Northwest, and three times for staying in Tucson.

In any case, here’s to Pepsi Shambo, faithful dog. May you rest in peace, free from disputes of any kind. And by the way, congratulations, you’re now on the internet!

Photo credit (dachsund):





7 thoughts on “Pepsi Shambo

  1. Hi, Cuz.

    I just got back from a trip to Buffalo and forgot how much I appreciated parts of it. The lake shore is free of industrial plants (and, painfully, all the union-scale jobs they brought to the city) and the west side is full of life-and vastly overpriced houses. The east side, where I was a kid, is still a mix of barely surviving and outright desolate.

    These life choices are tough but I suspect as we age, that call to the un-wild, i.e., to return to our roots, will get louder. I’ll not offer advice as I am pretty conflicted myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Khal. I haven’t been to Buffalo lately, but I’ve heard it’s improved a lot. Maybe we could start a blog called “conflicts ‘r’ us.” Good luck with yours.


      1. Hi Lori! Sorry! I’ve been away, and then away again. The special meaning…. potentially it has to do with the lovely nature of Shiva. Shiva (destroyer) is one of the triad of main deity in Hinduism, others being Brahma (creator) and Vishnu (sustainer). I traveled to India when I was 21 and became a bit enculturated and found myself funneled into a pantheon of my own spiritual path… anyways Krishna Das sings a wonderful “Eddie Vedder” sounding version, with a bit of syncretic sensibility that attracts many from different backgrounds. Perhaps various gurus could better answer your question in authentic 100% traditional way. This is one I enjoy the melody of and its mantra version for Shiva resonates with me, with the very spirit of Celebration and gratitude for all experiences in life.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me also add – I loved this post! ⭐️ Pepsi Shambo is now on the internet, and memorialized, and harmonized, and it’s all very fun how you expressed your thoughts 💭 about possible reasons for this special, faithful dog’s name.

    Nice version of Shiva Shambo on the track located here in case you want to pursue this further:

    Do you think the dog’s fur could be described Pepsi-colored?

    Liked by 1 person

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