What’s In A Name?

Pets’ names are often curious and have an interesting story behind them. I love to inquire how they got their monikers. Our first family dog, Fluffy, was named by our daughter due to her fascination with the Harry Potter series. The beastly, three headed dog that protected the secret passageways of Hogwarts was ironically named “Fluffy.”  We considered this first, family dog a metrosexual since he loved carrying his “Chewy Vuitton” purse around. Our neighbor down the street fed him a scrambled egg and bacon most mornings. He had his daily route of progressive dining which lead to excessive weight that I got chastised about by our vet. Once, I actually attached a sign to his neck that said “Please don’t feed me” but no one listened and his girth became like a pot bellied pig at 120 pounds. Still, he lived 17, happy years (and was amazingly buoyant in the river).

A recent addition, Skippy, was not named after the peanut butter brand but the dog food we gave Fluffy when he got insulin shots. Our daughter was dismayed when she heard the name and said that it figured. She said, “Of course I’m not there and it gets named after off brand dog food!”

A favorite pet name was one our son gave his pet goldfish. A family friend had won it at the fair but wasn’t interested in keeping it. Our son, however, was. He got his prized pet and immediately named it “Grace cannot name me” so his sister couldn’t have a say. That fairground goldfish lived three, unheard of years. It was a value added pet!

Annie is our elderly chihuahua that we found on the side of a highway. Obviously an orphan, her name came easily. Artemis is half feral and brought home numerous dead “prizes” before she realized she was actually going to be fed and didn’t have to hunt anymore. Thus, she got the name which means “goddess of the hunt.”

We recently had a kitten chase our vehicle a quarter mile in the woods. He was tiny and starving. My son who picked him up (or got picked up by) named him Opossum and we call it Opey for short. That name was the only one after a week that we could all agree on. (It’s hard to not agree on any reference to Andy Griffith anyway.)

Unenforceable, implied laws of pet naming require animals get interesting names. Who’s ever heard of a cat named Sara or a dog named John anyway?

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