Picking a name for a new pet can be a treat

Sitting in the front yard the other evening, I caught a glimpse of my neighbor’s new puppy. As I watched the young pup in the long green grass, I noticed what looked like a bright pink bandage on its rear leg. I caught the neighbor’s attention and inquired about the dressing on the little dog’s leg. Scooping the youngster under her arm, my neighbor explained the florescent covering was a cast. Apparently, a small child walking past the neighbor’s yard had reached through the picket fence and yanked the dog’s leg so hard it broke the bone.

Fortunately, the bone was healing nicely and the little dog only had a short time left before they would remove the cast. As we discussed the puppy’s predicament, I naturally inquired as to what she had named her new little friend. My neighbor’s eyes lit up and a broad smile enveloped her face as she exclaimed “Blueberry!” I silently chuckled, thinking I should introduce her to a friend of mine who has a dog named Muffin.

Returning to my yard, I sat enjoying the warm evening, reflecting on the different names of pets that I have encountered through the years. I thought about when my mom had acquired a little lhasa apso about the time the Star Wars movie came out. With his smooshed face and long hair, she aptly named him Wookie. Another friend named her boxer puppy Darth, but his happy wiggling demeanor hardly portrayed the dark character from the same movie.

I once knew a German wirehaired pointer named Eric, a noble name given to an aristocratic breed. My uncle had a dog for many years that could outperform the finest of vacuums. The little red heeler named Hoover never let a crumb lie on the floor. And then there was Vinnie, a tiny Yorkshire terrier that had the distinct attitude of a big city crime boss.

Having owned and operated a pet boarding facility for many years, I was introduced to a wide array of animals. The database of clients listing their pets’ names was vast. Molly, Maggie and Max were by far some of the more popular names. On the contrary, there were many unique names that generally portrayed the pet’s personality. Dreyfuss and Oliver were energetic west highland terriers that enjoyed stirring the whole kennel as they made their entrance into the facility. Winston, an American bulldog, would casually stroll down the walkway as if addressing the troops.

There was also a cat named Macgyver that could finagle his way into the most unusual circumstances in the cat room. And Jinx, who managed to find unusual places to hide. I had a tortoiseshell cat many years ago that I named Nutmeg for her beautiful coloring. 

According to the American Kennel Club at akc.org, trendy pet names often coincide with the latest Hollywood releases. Food, drink and pop culture are also current fashionable themes for naming pets. My veterinarian has named her three beautiful whippets after elegant desserts, while another acquaintance named her chocolate Labrador retriever Latte. 

When choosing a name for your new best friend, it often takes a few days to determine the animals’ disposition. My cousin acquired a puppy last spring and has named her Sunshine, as she brought a ray of life into her older dog. The name you choose for your pet should be one you enjoy saying, over and over again, as the young animal adjusts to your surroundings.

Additionally, when contemplating a name for your new pet, realize that you will be living with that name for many years.

Charlé Thibodeau has been a passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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