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Tag: naming

Most popular, strangest pet names

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.

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What’s in a name?

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 clichéd, 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