Thursday, June 7, 2012
It’s always fun to hear how people picked the name they gave their pet. For starters, there are plenty of great stories about how a pet got their name. There are numerous tales of the inspiration behind a certain name, and just as many stories of names that fit a pet’s personality or names that just ‘clicked’ when someone saw their pet. Sometimes the name we pick means something to us or stands for something, and other times we just like the sound of it.
Regardless of how a pet got their name, I have yet to hear anyone say they picked the wrong name for their dog or cat and decided to change it later. No matter what name we decide upon, it’s seems as if we just somehow know it’s the right one, and it fits. This reminds me of a story about my own name.
When I was born, my mother named me Julia and put that on my birth certificate. However, a day or so later she changed her mind and decided to call me Julie instead. All through my childhood, I disliked my name. I felt it didn’t ‘fit’ me somehow, but didn’t know why. I wasn’t aware that the name on my birth certificate was different than the one everyone knew me by. I eventually found out, and decided I would rather go by Julia.
Once I decided to be Julia instead of Julie, my name instantly felt like it fit. Now, you might not think one little letter would make a difference, but it did. What I realized was that my mother had known the ‘right’ name all along! Thus, I believe that when it comes to picking the right name for your pet, all you really have to do is trust your first instinct.
The great thing about naming our pets is that we can choose any name that floats our boat, no matter how oddball it might be. No one’s going to stop you. Well…that’s not entirely true. When I was 4, we had a yellow kitten I desperately wanted to name Blackie, but my family nixed that idea. In my young mind, I saw nothing wrong with the name and was very upset. Now that I’m an adult and can choose any pet name I want, I have two black cats – and neither one is named Blackie! Go figure.
If you want to name your Chihuahua ‘Tank’ or your Great Dane ‘Tiny’ it’s perfectly acceptable, not to mention good for a few laughs at the dog park or the vet’s office. Our pets don’t know the difference nor do they care. Pets are oblivious to the nuances of a name. As long as we don’t call them late to their CANIDAE or FELIDAE feedings, they don’t seem to mind what we call them. Whereas a human child might grow up hating their name and eventually change it (like me!), pets just happily accept their name. Most pets learn their name easily and unless it’s a cat we’re talking about, they’ll even come when called.
You can find inspiration for pet names just about anywhere. Some people pick pet names based on their favorite food, drink or hobby; others might choose a pop culture reference or pick a name based on a pet’s physical characteristic such as color or size. You can also search online databases of baby names to see if one seems right for your pet, or read How to Pick the Perfect Name for Your New Pet by yours truly.
I named black cat #1 Mickey because his tiny kitten self squeaked like a mouse. Black cat #2 was christened Rocky because even though this rescue baby was quite sick, I could see he had the spirit of a fighter. I was thinking of Little Orphan Annie when I named my other rescue baby Annabelle.
Now it’s your turn – how did you pick your pet’s name?
Photo by cuatrok77
Read more articles by Julia Williams