Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pet Naming

Nova, the "new dog."
Along with how to name a baby, there are rules about naming a pet.  Following these rules will keep you from saddling your pet with a totally lame name that happens to belong to 16,000 other pets in the world.  Also included in this entry are pictures of my own pets that I've had over the years, as examples of un-lame names. ;)  Is this post just a way to show off my (and my sister's) pets and their awesome names? That's for me to know and for you to... never know for sure.

Althalus (literary)
Don't name your pet based on color or marking patterns.  Just because your dog or cat is white, it doesn't mean his name HAS to be Snowball or Whitey.  A dark colored dog doesn't HAVE to be Hershey or Shadow.  If you must insist on using these sorts of names, at least be creative about it.  Consider Cottonball instead of Snowball, or Onyx instead of Shadow.  Your cat may have "boots" on her feet, but Bootsy is still lame.  So is Patches, Callie (for Calico cats), Spots, or Tiger (for a striped cat).  There are some mediocre choices for this, such as Marmalade or Juice for orange cats, or Calla lily for a Calico, but you're still pushing it with those.
Avalon, because it's a cool name
Norbert, a foster

Nikita, the pre-named

Cliche names are Cliche
It's not clever to name your dog Dioji (D-O-G) even though you may think it is.  Fido is actually more creative and more unique these days - there aren't very many Fidos in the world.  But nevertheless, Fido and Rover aren't okay names either because of the cliche connotation.  A red doberman or a red nosed pitbull should never be named Red Rover.  It's just not cool, and dobermans and pit bulls are cool dogs.  It's simply unfair to give them lame names.  Every third dog seems to be named Bella, and it's REALLY lame to name litter mates (siblings) after famous romantic couples.  Naming a brother and sister Romeo and Juliet, or Bella and Edward? Really?

Roxy, the pre-named
Other cliche names that aren't based on color/markings:
Spanish/Hispanic names for Chihuahuas
"big" names for small dogs - Spike, Thor, Zeus, Bruno.
Jack or Russell for a JRT
Lucky or Chance for a rescue
Pugsly for a Pug
Muttley for a mixed-breed
Tom for a male cat

Annie, the orphan
Small dogs named Sparky
Sam - this one actually crosses a few separate "don't" lines.
Annie is maybe useable if your dog was in fact an orphan (or a stray)
Byron the Bassett Hound
Titan the Great Dane - you're trying to hard
Dana the Great Dane
Suffice to say that if you've heard it before, expecially more than once, it may be wise to take it off the table.

Malaney - an uncommon person name
Do not use a common PERSON name!  Sarah, Elizabeth, Henry, Bella, Sam.. as someone who grew up with a cross-over name, I can personally tell you how annoying it is to introduce yourself in school and hear "oh, that's my dog's name!"  So yeah, maybe I was named after a dog or something, but that doesn't make it okay, especially if you have kids or intend to have them while the pet is alive.  Instead, try to pick a name that you won't encounter while shopping at Target.  Every year the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the top 100 baby names of the previous year.  Look at it.  Learn it.  If the name you're considering for your darling pet is in the top 100 or top 200 - move on to a different name.  Below that the names aren't THAT common and you can get away with it, but ideally I'd avoid the top 500, or even the top 1000 all together.  It's just polite.

Sarek, the "pointy eared fre
DO put thought and considering into your pet's name.  It's okay to pick something based on appearance, just not something overdone and cliche.  If your pet has pointed ears, Vulcan or Spock is probably okay, but picking a different Vulcan is a better idea (consider Sarek, T'Pel, Tuvok, Vorik, etc).  If your pet reminds you of a cartoon character, a city, a character in a book, then go for it.
Delta, the airplane

Here are some options to consider:
** Your favorite vacation spot
** A car that you DON'T have in your possession
** A good memory you have
** Gemstones
** Literary characters
** Surnames of characters from television shows or movies
** Something suggestive of where you got the pet, like if you found it on a certain road.
** An object that your pet reminds you of - like a Potato!

And to end this very important blog entry, I have a few more pets that didn't fit up top.  I'm not even going to try and cleverly fit them into the most, so just consider the gratuitous "cuteness overload" that you knew was coming.

Potato, because he's the couch variety
Pippin, the small furry Hobbit

Ren, because it's an awesome name

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