Doggone it … naming a pet should be simple

By on May 27, 2009

by Gwen Allen
There are few things in life that are truly easy, but naming a pet, at least for most people, is definitely one of them.

For instance, you rarely see people buying $20 pet name books to determine their meanings, like they do for babies. And most pet owners don’t scour the Internet looking for a perfect name in fear that the wrong one will cause ridicule and future psychological problems.

Nope, the true beauty in naming a pet is you can choose anything. Be as creative, uncreative or crazy as you want and they will still love you unconditionally.

Sometimes naming a pet is as easy as looking at them. An aggressive dog could most certainly pull off the name Killer, while a cat with white paws is a dead ringer for Socks.

Owner of Happy Tails Pet Spa in St. Charles, John Quillman, said pets that come through his doors have names that are all over the place, but that he has noticed cats with more original names.

“With dogs, there are lots of Max or Mollies, but I have heard cats called Moulder from X-Files, Versace or Tommy Salami, which is my cat’s name,” Quillman said, laughing.

He said one of his favorite pets, named Toby, is a Yorkie whose owner is a cowboy.

“I think it (his name) comes from a country singer,” Quillman said. “But Toby is his little buddy, and it just fits him.”

Dr. Cechner at the Elburn Animal Hospital said in the past 16 years, she has seen many different pets with many different names, but very little consistency.

She has had a cat named Bunny, a female cat named Dave and a male cat named Princess.

“A lot of times the kids name them, but cats names can go one way or another, sometimes masculine, sometimes not,” Cechner said. “Now dogs seem to have a little more masculine names.”

Some of her patients also have offbeat names, like a dog named Dioge. But she said there are still a lot with more traditional names, like Tigger for cats and Bailey, Harley or Buddy for dogs.

Then, for whatever reason, there are pets with two or three names.

“Sometimes when they come in they have multiple names; my own pet is Sam Simone,” Cechner said. “He came as a Simon and my son didn’t like the name and wanted to change it. We said he couldn’t do that to him, so we added Sam.”

Naming a pet should be a fun endeavor, not a chore. An easy choice is picking a feature and naming them after it (i.e. fluffy, scrappy or spot). Creatively look to poetry, your favorite novel, or an icon. An offhand name can be interesting too, but that may take more time to contrive.

Whatever your choice, just be sure that you like it, because you are sure to coo, call or sometimes even scream it for many years to come.