Naming a New Ally

What do you call a new kind of animal?

As each tribe encountered the horse, they coined a name for it.
A number of tribes used names that likened it to the dog.

He put us in mind of a stag that had lost his horns, and we did not know what name to give him.
But as he was a slave to man, like the dog, which carried our things, he was named the Big Dog.

—Saukamaupee (Piegan), 1787

Assiniboine: thongatch-shonga or sho-a-thin-ga (“big dog”)

A’aninin (Gros Ventre): it-shuma-shunga (“red dog”)

Lakota (Sioux): Sunkakhan (“holy dog” or “mystery dog”)

Siksika (Blackfoot): ponoka-mita (“elk dog”)

Cree: mistatim (“big dog”)