How Pets Get Their NamesPublished March 17, 2010
Naming a pet is much like naming a child-- It is for me, anyway. I take it super seriously and even created naming criteria: A) The name can't be embarrassing to scream out at the dog park B) It can't be too awkward or goofy that it will scar my pet for life C) It must be unique and capture my pet's personality D) I like people names So, when choosing names for my little bundles of joy, I was very picky. Like our cat, Ralph. When we adopted him from the PSPCA, we left the shelter calling him "Tony". I know, Tony the Tiger? Totally doesn't meet the "unique" requirement, he didn't look like a Tony, and it wasn't a name that captured his essence. So, we figured a new name would come to us once we got him home. And it did. "Tony" moseyed around for a bit and then-- threw up on the floor. He "ralphed". So Tony became Ralph and the name just stuck. Now, Sadie was a different case. When we brought this then petite chocolate lab home, she was just 3-months old. So, we thought ahead. She needed a name which would be "cute" yet authoritative, so when she grew to her full size, the name would still fit the paw. The one loophole in Sadie's naming was my mom was the mastermind behind the naming process. The rest of my family could only vote on her selections. Fine. She came up with some doozies, like Cosmo (that sounded too boyish) Coco (come on...we have to be unique here, people!) Hershey (oh, geez) and Tiffany (what is she, an 80s teen rocker?). That's not to say I don't like these names, but they just didn't seem to mesh with this particular pup. But then, "Sadie" came to her and our ears perked up. That sounded "right". So, we picked Sadie as our winner. The one name, which somehow snuck past my criteria was "Bianca". But, all my sister ever wanted was a dog named Bianca. So, why crush her dreams, right? On first glance, our Wheaten Terrier (or better yet Wheaten Terror) doesn't do the name justice. "Bianca" sounds prissy, pampered, and princess-like. I would expect a "Bianca" to be a fluffy, white fur ball, prancing around the house in a Swarovski crystal collar. But, our Bianca? She's far from girly. Our Bianca is scruffy, has what we like to call "her beard" (the long scruff around her face), rolls in puddles and mud, and has total bed head after a long nap. Still, she is ever-so affectionate, tackles you when you walk through the door, and is a cuddler. These traits seem to work well with the name "Bianca". And it fits. Naming a pet is difficult and we don't always get it right the first time. But, sooner or later, you find a name that's just right. And I'd love to hear your naming stories. How did you name your pets? Do you have criteria? Send an email to email@example.com or leave a comment below!
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