Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Doggone Dilemma

          Have you ever noticed that no dogs are actually named Fido, Rover, or Spot? I’ve been studying pet names, okay my whole life, I know, I know, which makes it sound like I need to get a life.
          But I’ve always had lots of pets, and always put a lot of thought into naming them. Sometimes too much thought. And sometimes not enough. For example, many of our pets have been named after foods (Mango, Truffles, Donut, Bon-Bon, Muffin, Beignet, Marshmallow). I guess my affection for confections gets blurred with my affection for animals. There was also Quat, so named because the kids thought it would be funny to say Kumquat ("Come, Quat") to call him. Another food name. But we've also had pets named Bentley, Mischief, Twinkles, J. P., Boomer, Kabuki, Button, and now Mickey and Simon.
          Two of my neighbors have new puppies, one a white Husky named Ghost:
And the other a Klee Kai named Malakai:
This is heavenly news for me, as I love some dogs more than some people. BUT… have you noticed there are particular names that absolutely never get assigned to animals?  It’s as if we know these creatures are too cute to saddle them with a certain serious monikers.
Here are some names you will never hear shouted, in hopes of calling one’s cat or dog. First of all, my own birth name: Joan.  Can you imagine someone at a dog park calling out, “Joan, Joan!” and expecting a bouncy terrier to come running?
But mine is not the only name that seems odd for a dog or cat. Notice that while there are lots of Sams and Sammys for pets, there aren’t many Samuels. Not even a goldfish would be called Samuel.
Eleanor is another name you never hear at the vet’s office. Oh, maybe for a nurse or for the vet herself. But not for a cat, dog, or hamster. I also cannot imagine a pet named Katherine, Karen, Margaret, Janet, Gregory, Ernest, Bradley, Phillip, Kenneth, or Christian. 
Nope, I checked the most popular pet names, and people stick with ones like Bear, Shadow, Daisy, Coco, Lucky, Smoky, Lady, or Duke.  It’s odd how we simply know which names fit and which ones don’t. But, like I say, Fido and Spot have yet to make the list.
Character names in novels are another story—check out some of mine here!

1 comment:

  1. Didn't you have one named Deogee (or D,O,G) depending on how you spelled it? I still love telling the Quat story to friends!