Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened
His Rhodesian ridgeback, formerly known as Bronco, is now named Bronx, which he hopes the dog won’t find too confusing.
The quarterback adopted the dog in 2010, the year he signed with the Broncos.
Tebow was traded to New York two months ago after the Broncos signed Peyton Manning.
All of which makes us wonder if there are other canine name changes underway among those fans who name dogs after their hometown quarterbacks.
What’s happening with all the dogs named Peyton in Indianapolis, all the dogs dubbed Tebow in Denver? If you live in Baltimore, should you name your dog Flacco? Or should you opt for something more stable and long term, based on institutional memory as opposed to the flavor of the day?
Posted by jwoestendiek May 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, broncos, bronx, changing, denver, denver broncos, dog, dogs, flacco, football, names, naming, nfl, pets, peyton, peyton manning, quarterbacks, rhodesian ridgeback, tebow, tim tebow, unitas
As you’ve probably noticed at the dog park, certain names seem to go with certain breeds.
Gizmos are usually shih tzus, Fifis poodles, and Rockys Rottweilers. Trooper is likely a Lab or German shepherd, and chances are Bubba’s a coonhound.
Beyond all the obvious instances — dalmatians named Spot, Great Danes named Marmaduke, beagles named Snoopy and collies named Lassie — there’s a tendency to bestow certain names on certain breeds, notes noted baby naming expert Laura Wattenberg.
So much so that she’s made a word cloud game of it. (You can find it, here)
“The names you like, and the kind of dog you like, seem to inform each other,” said Wattenberg, who has spent some time analyzing name-breed data and found some patterns within. “If you love the idea of a dog named Jethro, it says a lot about the breed of dog you’ll want.”
Wattenberg, best known as an authority on baby-naming trends, poured over the websites of animal shelters and breeders to compile a list of 5,000 dog names and photos. She found the type of name chosen was frequently dependent on the breed, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Wattenberg says she’s considering developing an online name-recommendation engine that takes a dog’s breed into account.
While the biggest trend in naming dogs is still the use of human names, giving them “fitting” names, based on perceptions of their breed, remains a strong tradition.
“Human names are rising across the board. But the kind of name you choose probably depends on the breed and your lifestyle,” she says. “The names reflect either our impression of those dogs or the kind of people who choose them.”
Hunting breeds are likely to get “down-home country names,” such as Bubba, Roscoe or Jethro; Corgis are prone to getting preppy names, like Lacey, Colby and Reggie; and Rottweilers often get macho names, like Rocky, Hunter and Duke, she says.
Pet owners also turn to a breed’s country of origin — or at least that most commonly associated with it — to come up with a name. Thus, there are many Chihuahuas called Chi-Chi, Diego and Pablo; poodles named Pierre, Fifi and Pepe; and Siberian huskies dubbed Sasha, Juneau and Yukon.
(Photo: A Rottweiler named Rocky, by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby names, breeds, bubba, chihuahuas, coonhound, corgis, countries, dog, dog names, dogs, fifi, german shepherd, gizmo, human names, huskies, labrador, laura wattenberg, names, naming, origins, pets, poodle, retriever, rocky, rottweiler, shih-tzu, trooper
It’s time again for the most popular — and most unusual — pet names, as determined by Petfinder and its adoptions list of 145,242 dogs and 140,269 cats
For the dogs, Buddy was the number one name, and Max was number two, for the second year in a row.
The rest of the top ten, in order were: Daisy, Jack, Lucy, Molly, Charlie, Sadie, Jake and Lucky.
For cats, the top ten names were Lucy, Molly, Oreo, Kittens, Smokey, Princess, Shadow, Tigger, Angel and Missy.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: buddy, cats, charlie, daisy, dogs, gwyneth poultry, jack, jake, joe the plumber, lucky, lucy, max, molly, names, naming, pet names, petfinder, pets, sadie, woe izmee
Naming a new dog is no simple task. One could go with the name of someone they admire (Stay, Phelps!), a place they once lived (Good boy, Wichita!), or perhaps a predominant trait: Here, Tinkler! Sit, Humpty!
Daniel Wallace, in an article for Garden and Gun magazine, suggests spending some time observing your new pooch. Unlike naming a child — often done before he or she is born — dogs generally have the advantage of being observed before they get their moniker.
Wallace’s basset hound, for example, was clearly a “Barney” — a name he suggests be avoided for humans.
“(People) given this name out of the womb … will without a doubt become sad. The name dictates the sadness to follow. Dogs benefit from being dogs in that we have a good idea of what they’ll look like and the general characteristics they possess before we give them their names,” he writes.
For his boxer, he chose “Mugsy.”
“The name Mugsy works because a boxer looks like a boxer, and in that sense it’s easy to imagine what a dog like that might be named,” Wallace wrote. “One could even claim it’s clichÃ©d, but I think the only person who would claim that is the kind of person who would begin a sentence with the words one could. ”
For his mixed breed, Wallace came up with “Rudy.”
“… His big red eyes were so needy, so pitiful, and when he looked at you, it was not love you saw but the last hopeless look of a man falling off a cliff. Maybe you’ll throw me a rope or something? Maybe? No? That’s fine. I didn’t expect you to. He whimpered. He whined. He shivered for no good reason. Women seemed to like Rudy, but it was really just pity.”
The best name is one that fits the dog’s personality, Wallace seems to think — though he admits that personality will evolve as a dog matures.
“Dogs have been hanging out with people for over ten thousand years. They are empty vessels we fill with a reflection of ourselves; or, alternatively, they come ready-made with their own strong personalities, which, insane as they sometimes are, we accept, because they accept ours. Having a dog is possessing a life, and dogs are in fact like children, but better, because they don’t grow up to rob banks or hate you. They love you the same until they die.”
Speaking of names, I’m not sure who came up with Garden and Gun, which struck me as an unlikely combo. When it was first mentioned to me, I pictured folks planting a vegetable patch, then waiting around with shotguns for varmints to infiltrate it. Actually, it’s a far more civilized publication, headquartered in Charleston, S.C. (which is named after King Charles II of England).
(Photo couresty of cafepress.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: appearance, barney, daniel wallace, dog, dog names, dogs, garden and gun, mugsy, names, naming, personality, pets, ruby