When we find out a new life is coming in to the world, when someone close to us falls pregnant, adopts or fosters a baby human, all sorts of names are considered and all manner of baby name books purchased. A first name and a middle name are generally chosen out of those shortlisted based on sentimentality, cuteness and originality while still being normal (most of the time anyway, I mean Shannyn Sossaman did name her son Audio Science).
Recently, a dear friend of mine welcomed a precious little addition to her family.
When I received the text saying that her sister had brought him home earlier that day, my first question was, after the firm assertion that he was adorable of course, ‘what did you name him?’. They hadn’t been able to settle on a name in the first 24 hours of knowing him and in the days following I have excitedly awaited her arrival at work to see if this darling heart has a suitably sweet moniker yet.
As much as I am the daydreamer girl, I don’t have names picked out for my unborn children. Although I always have a first and middle name lined up ready to go for my next pet and if anyone dared to steal my puppy name, I may lose friends over it! Well not actually, but I do take this business very seriously. With all the excitement and effort we put in to naming our children, how much attention is given to the names we attach to our furry (or feathery, scaly, slimy) kids? Here’s a few tips on choosing good names for your pets from someone with no real expertise but who is a self-proclaimed enthusiast.
If I was applying for a job of this nature, my resume would highlight my experience in naming dogs as they have always been the loyal pet of choice for the Sutherland family. The best word of warning I can provide when naming your puppy is do not give it a name that rhymes with ‘no’. When in training, the poor dear will get confused between their name and the word they will quickly learn to associate with being in trouble. If you simply can’t find anything you prefer over your Romeo, Monroe, Toto etc. then perhaps make a conscious decision to replace the word ‘no’ while in the puppy pre-school days.
When Denzel first moved in, he was so handsome (much like unnamed cutie pie above) that we originally were calling him Romeo. However, said in full or even shortened to Ro, that would have been a bad idea. In our family’s pet history, we have also had an Arnold & Gizmo (both maltese x silky terriers) and Denzel’s current live in sister is Brookvale (mini poodle x toy poodle) who is named after the home ground for the Sutho sporting team of choice, Manly Sea Eagles.
Which brings me to my next point, if you’re stuck for ideas then pick a theme and start there. There’s a bit of a trend in my family, Brookvale aside, with choosing Hollywood themed names. For instance our first dog Arnold as in Schwarzenegger and then Gizmo as in The Gremlins, Denzel as in Washington and I helped my sister name her golden lab Willis as in Bruce.
I had Brookvale in mind for a German Shepherd originally but then when I met Mum’s little chocolate poodle, it just suited her so well that I let them have it. She is a little princess who is actually just a tomboy at heart. Car lovers might consider brand names (e.g. Mercedes, Bentley or Royce) and book worms might like to name their new beloved after a favourite author or book character (e.g. Tennessee, Austen, Bronte or Shakespeare). Denzel was first a Romeo and then a Darcy after Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.
You could also buy a baby name book and pick something based on its meaning and closeness to the personality of your new pet.
This post is called pet names and these tips can certainly lend themselves to any animal. If you’re still struggling, perhaps ask a child their opinion. Their imaginations and excitement at the task will often come up with some fabulous ideas. It is important to note however that this can also backfire with my 3-year-old brother once labelling our pet blue bird Dickie Bird.
Still not inspired? Check out this list of some celebrities with their pets to see if it conjures up any ideas. I listed a few of my favourites below.
- Genghis Khan – Martha Stewart’s Chow Chow
- Hank – Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s pet pig
- Peaches – Hugh Jackman’s dog
- Tabitha Jones – Nicole Richie’s cat (she also has two dogs, Foxxy Cleopatra and Honeychild)
- Abracadabra – Katy Perry’s bunny
- Norman – Jen Aniston’s famed canine companion
Make sure you give time to this decision as well as have fun with it and enjoy the endless amounts of love and happiness your new pet is sure to bring. Remember that just because our pets don’t roll their eyes at us, doesn’t mean your beautiful new baby boy Rottweiler is stoked about being called Fluffy or Bubbles! Pick a name that they’ll want to come running to!