It’s A Dog’s Life

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Mary and I have been thinking about dogs’ names. No, we don’t have a dog. It’s an idea we had; more on that in a later blog. What’s in a name I hear you say. A dog by any other name would still smell like a dog. Ah! But would it?

We have been exercising our brains on this complex problem. I don’t want to be grandiose; but this blog may very well become The Kennel Clubs definitive guide to naming dogs.

Where do you start? I think we can immediately discount those stalwart standby’s Rover, Fido, Mutt, Dog, Hey You, Get Down. Now I know a lot of people like descriptive names: Scruffy, Patch, Fluffy, Ginger, Mopsie, Pepper, Rusty, Shadow etc. But I think we can go beyond that. There are of course character descriptions: Lucky, Chewy, Rascal, Messy, Poopy, hang on these are becoming a bit negative.

How about something that describes what we feel about our dog? Bestdogonthebeach, is that a bit of a mouthful? Do you think every dog will come running? Will the other owners get cross? While we are on the subject, we’d better not call it, Coffee, or you’ll get everyone placing orders with you. Mind you it’s always a thought to simplify things and just call the dog, Walkies; is that confusing? I bow to the dog training experts; what do you think? No? Perhaps I’d better avoid, Dindins for the same reason.

I do like the idea of a fancy name. If it’s a female dog, what about: Delilah; why, why, why? Or Dorothea? No? What about Clementine; I am going to avoid mentioning mountains or oranges. If its male what about good solid butch names like: Cornelius, Cedric, Lawrence, Percival or Tristan. Not masculine enough? There’s always, Pondus, that’s a weighty name. You could just shout: Butch. So long as no one takes offence.

If it’s a cute and fluffy little dog, you might want a cute and fluffy little name. For a girl: Betsy, Koko, Lily, Lopsi, Mimi, Moxie, Muffin, Mya, Peaches, Pixie, Pingy, Suki, Qwinki or Twinki. For a boy: Alfie, Beau, Benji, Bubba, Bubzy, Chico, Milo, Yogi, Yiggzy. I can almost hear all the ahh’s, or was that No’s? Don’t blame me, I don’t just make these names up you know; well not all of them. I’m trying to give you a good range to choose from. You know me; or do you? I am nothing if I’m not thorough. Oh, perhaps I’m nothing after all.

There are those who make up names for their children. I’ve always thought that is very inventive and original. So why not do the same for dogs. After all, a name can be anything, a football team, a place, a thing. We were trying this out the other night while watching Masterchef on TV. Spaggi, Saucy, Roux, Crabby (that’s for the irritable dogs), Pumpkin, Truffle, Leek (no, they might get the wrong idea), Choccie, actually best keep off these names or it won’t just be the dog whose drooling.

Then you could always use initials: AK, BB, JJ, B, HB, this is becoming like a list of pencils. Or if you are a linguist, how about foreign names? I love it when in subtitled films they speak for ten minutes then the subtitle says one word like: ‘no.’ Have you noticed that most names have whole sentences as meaning? Which was around was it? Did the name summarise a meaning or did the word come first then someone thought, that’s far too short; let’s lengthen it. The point is that most names have meanings. So, you can have a simple name for your dog and it means a whole sentence. Maybe there is a name that means: ‘Best dog on the beach.’

Anyway, I digress. If you want you can use names from any language; I’ve included quite a few already; here are more: Adonis and Aphrodite, well I could stop there, job done; a couple of Greek gods. You want more? You’re hard to please. Bhasanta; it means shining one, good if your dog has a shining coat, or nose. Cherika; it means the moon, that’s a good one; everyone is always sending cards about loving to the moon and back. Now you can do it with your dog. How about Deun? Are there many saints among your dogs? Kuasa; that means strength and power. Have you got a bit of a rascal as a dog? How about: Qiyana; it means clever, crafty.

I’m sure that this journey in dog naming has caused any dog owners to wish they had waited; now you want to change your dog’s name. All future owners are set up and ready. The non-dog loving readers stopped at the beginning anyway; you didn’t? Well, now you know what all those shouted names mean. I have one last profound thought to leave you with. Whatever you call your dog, they don’t understand anyway. It’s the number of syllables, emphasis and gestures that count. Oops, sorry, you thought your dog understood English. I know because I pass so many people chatting away to their dogs:

“Be nice to the man, he doesn’t want you jumping at his wheelchair.”

After the dog returns to his owner, he looks up at her, probably thinking:

“I don’t know what she’s saying, but if I wag my tale, maybe I’ll get a treat. After all, I’ve been a good boy.”

We’ll all leave Rover to his thoughts as the sun sets in a glorious flaming red hue.

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