What's in a name?

Let’s face it. You found the bestest friend in the whole wide world. She’s adorable, never talks back, nor eats the last donut in the box, and always greets you with a wiggle and smile! Yes, she’s got fur, bad breath and isn’t afraid to roll in a muddy puddle. You’ve been waiting to bring her home, shopping for the right food, bed and toys. And finally, she’s yours!

But what do you call her? Her name at the shelter is the same name as a popular TV character. On a show you don’t even watch. She has a black patch over her eye, but Patch doesn’t seem like a kind name. She’s mostly white, so you could call her Snow. But how will that sound when you wake up one winter morning and you tell her there’s snow outside? Everyone you know has a dog named Molly, so you can’t name her that. 

When I got my first dog, a golden retriever, I didn’t know what to name her. As a pet sitter, I had cared for dozens, if not a hundred animals by then. I didn’t want to give my girl the same name of a pet I had come to know and love. I wanted her name to be different and unique. 

So how do you decide? You can scour the internet for a list of baby names. Or google the AKC list of top ten pet names for males and females. Purchasing one of dozens of books Like The Best Pet Name Book Ever by Wayne Bryant Eldridge is sure to have some great suggestions. Here’s a few other ideas…

If you are a literary fan, you could name your new found best friend after a favorite character in a book. Like Gatsby, Pippi (Pippi Longstocking) or Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird). Maybe you’re addicted to a movie series like Star Wars in which case Yoda might be a perfect name. Other movie name inspirations are Maverick (Top Gun), Rocky and Scarlett (Gone with the Wind).

If humor is your style, you could name your pet Anderson Pooper. Have a dog with an under bite, how about Vera Fang? Obsessed with shoes? Why not Jimmy Chew? Are cartoons your thing? Then Astro (The Jetsons), Scooby, or Santa’s Little Helper (The Simpsons) are some possible name ideas. Disney fans could consider names like Pluto, Goofy or Pongo. If you love reading the latest gossip on celebrities, maybe Elvis, Pippa, and Taylor strike your fancy.

Car brands are a great source of inspiration. Mercedes, Lexus, or if you have siblings – Aston and Martin. Fashion icons make excellent names – Coco, Tiffany, and Stella come to mind. You could honor historical figures with names like Lincoln, Brutus, and Winston. Or look to the bible for ideas – Caleb, Noah, or Sarah. 

Have a black cat? You could name him Licorice. A gray one you could call Smokey. A chocolate lab? Hershey. If you’re owned by a white pit bull how about naming her Bianca? Great black and white pet names are Oreo, Panda or Domino. Fur babies with red or golden coats could be named Butterscotch, Caramel or Rusty. Got an Irish Wolfhound? You could name him Bear or Moose. A chihuahua is more like your cup of tea? Consider Piglet, Peanut or Nugget. 

I could go on and on. Or maybe I’ve overwhelmed you. Either way, naming your pet can be a lot of fun. As for my first golden, I decided to name her Mika (pronounced with a short i). I narrowed down my choices to Nike, Kylie, and Mika. My preference was Nike, but I let her choose and the only one she responded to was Mika. And it was perfect for her. 

Izzy’s name is actually Isabella. We picked an Italian name because when she was 6 weeks old, we went to Italy for 2 weeks. Upon our return, the very next day we drove out to pick up our little fluff ball. We knew from the start we would call her Izzy and honestly, it fits her. 

Tell me about your fur baby and how you choose his or her name!