Thursday, December 6, 2012

On Naming A Dog

Someone in the dog park once told me that a dog’s name should be two syllables, ending with a vowel, but it shouldn’t contain the “o” sound because that sounds like “no.” Then, he took a look at Lola, my nut-ball standard poodle, bounding around with her tongue hanging out, and said that, for her, that last part probably didn’t matter.

I’d add that it has to be something easy to call: “Lola! Lola! Lola!” as opposed to “Forsythia! Forsythia! Forsythia!” And it’s nice if it’s something you’re not embarrassed to shout out. I am reminded of a cat I once knew, named Shit Face.

As with children, don’t pick something people don’t understand when they hear it.

Don't name them something stupid. They'll know.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/
There just should be something light-hearted about a dog’s name. That’s why familiar, and maybe slightly silly, human names are so popular: Ruby, Molly, Lily, Sally. For boys, Rufus, Reggie, Sam, Dale, Tex, Toby.

Adults, unlike children, have a tendency to try too hard. Sometimes, they do too cute -- I am reminded of two Chihuahua siblings named Poochie and Pooter and also of a dignified Great Dane named Flopsie.  And sometimes, they try for profound/poetic, naming a dog Indigo, for instance, or Midnight. (How do you even call those last two names?)

I have met dogs named after rock stars and after obscure figures in the Bible. I am not generally a big fan of naming dogs like this, though I did once meet a pit-bull puppy named Bukowski, after the writer Charles Bukowski. Nickname: Boo. This fit.

My favorite dog name belonged to a sweet, feathery-coated black retriever: Glory.

... Though, of course, I am pretty partial to Lola.

1 comment:

  1. I had a cat named Ackerman when I was a kid. I was trying to name him Aquaman but it didn't come out right.