Bud's decision to call himself Bud stems from a conversation he had with his mother. She told him that the name Buddy was a dog's name. The story suggests that if he allows himself to be called Buddy he will be no more than a dog. On the other hand, the name Bud is full of possibilities. It is the beginning of something: "A little fist of love waiting to unfold." Bud takes what his mother says to heart. When his mother dies, holding onto the name she gave him is one of the ways that Bud keeps his mother alive and part of his life.