May 27, 2009

The Name Game

Jane: The process of naming a new dog can be as emotionally agonizing as choosing just the right name for a baby.

But unlike naming your child, a dog often comes with a ready-made name, particularly if he's a rescue dog. For example, when we adopted our first dog, Bo, he'd already been given his moniker by his original owner (although officially his records spelled it "Beau"). We liked how Bo's name lent itself to all sorts of fun nicknames: "Bo Schemblecker," "Mr. Bojangles," and "B.O." (and, to be honest, plenty of others that had nothing to do with the letter "B").

When we picked out Buddy at age seven months, we learned his registered name was "Benchmark's This Bud's for You." Our "call name" for him, however, quickly became "Bud to the Bone" (think rock song "Bad to the Bone" with a doggie twist), then simply "Buddy." And boy, did Buddy live up to his name. We couldn't have chosen a better one for him.

When we brought Boomer home at ten weeks, we knew we already had a "B" theme going. We'd been sticklers for this tradition, but now we toyed with trying something totally unexpected--like naming our puppy "Mojo." Sounded good for a black Lab that could put out the vibe, yes? So I floated this option past my extended family during a telephone conversation. And that was The Big Mistake.

First my mother thought we were naming our puppy "Dojo."

"What kind of name for a dog is that?" she retorted rather abruptly. One we had never thought of, in all honesty.

When I clarified the misunderstanding, there was this pregnant pause. Then she replied, "Well, you call him whatever you want. I think we'll just stick with 'Dog.'"

The Kiss of Death smacked "Mojo" on the lips. Hence the much more socially acceptable "B" name of "Boomer."

We struggled with maintaining a "B" theme once again as we prepared to bring home our yellow Lab girl. What about Barbie? As in the doll? No way! How about Bambi? Nope, sounds too much like a lap dancer. You like Bonnie? Love it--but it's already taken. Whaddya think of Buffy? Too much like that Vampire Slayer or one of those freckly twins on the old TV sitcom Family Affair, the one with Mr. French.

So it went, name after name. Rich and I obsessively practiced (in private, not public) the sound of different dog names by calling them out to an imaginary dog, sizing up how they rolled off the tongue. Or sounded with Boomer's name.

Meanwhile, I jokingly told my mom we were thinking of naming our girl pup "Doja" (she didn't get the joke).

Then one day, inexplicably, the naming fog cleared and we just knew: This new dog's name would be "Daisy." As in Daisy Mae, Daisy Dickens, Daisy I'm Half Crazy, Driving Miss Daisy. The potential permutations of this sunny, happy name were too ripe to pass up.

And so Daisy it is. And with it, we've realized, we're started a "D" thing for girl dogs.


  1. Some of us already had names when DawgMom got us, the rest of us, she named. Feather is short for Cherokee Feather, Darla was already named, Pappy is short for Mr. Papoose & LizzaBella started out as Izzy (EEWW)

    Feather, Darla, Pappy & LizzaBella ^..^

  2. Daisy is the perfect name for a fresh yellow girl!

  3. I came with my name - but have several nicknames too - Sweetie came with her name Mommy actually tried to change it to Luna - all her papers have Luna on them but it never stuck because everyone thinks she is such a sweetie (its all an act)

    Bean is Bayhill's Vanilla Bean and MJ is named after his father Marshall his registered name is LeBoeuf Bon Temps Boudreaux mommy wanted to call him Boudreaux but it sounded too much like my name


  4. We went on a vacation from Florida to Wisconsin & came home with a yellow lab pup -as a pal for our younger son as his big brother was about to depart to college. The conversation on the long drive home centered on naming the dong. His first name "Shea" was picked by our son as a male version of "Shayla". But it is his middle name London that has the story - we were driving through London, KY at the time and decided the geographic reference would have personal family history meaning recalling the trip.

  5. Whoops!! You all know I meant "dog" in prior post!!

  6. hmmm... emotionally agonizing??? really? were you afraid the other dogs would make fun of her if she didn't have the right name? (I'm returning your tongue in cheek Woofgang:) Daisy is perfect.

  7. I like to name my dogs human names because I think it's funny. So we have Elizabeth and Simon - we can just talk about them and people don't know if we're talking about kids or dogs. My sister's dog's name is Norman, we also have a Marvin and Harold in the family so we pretty much stick with old men names. We already have the name picked out for our next dog and we had Simon's name long before we had Simon. Lizzie's name just came to me one day - I just knew she would be our Elizabeth. (but since I don't feel like Elizabeth would dig up my yard or roll in poop, Lizzie just stuck!)

  8. My newest addition is Tulip. The name came from a lady I met in a hospital waiting room. We somehow began chatting about our dogs. She shared with me that she had a miniature ShihTzu named Tulip. As I have a ShihTzu, I thought that if I ever got another one, that would be a perfect name. It is! She has joined my house in the Spring time- a time of new beginnings; that is a lot of what has been happening in my life, too. Tulip is also a very happy name. My puppy has the bubbly personality her name seems to express. My other dog is Ivy. Her sister (who my sister owns) is named Holly. Can you guess what season we got them? It's amazing how their personalities fit their names.

  9. Kornflake came to us with the perfect name. When I asked the volunteer at the Winona Area Humane Society why she'd chosen that name for him (Kornflake was found out in the country, bone skinny, starving, infected ears ...), she said, "After I saw that name," she couldn't remember where, "I waited forever for it to be my turn to name a dog when the right one came along." She said she knew as soon as she laid eyes on him.

    Kornflake has gone on to become a star. One of the characters in my Dearest Dorothy series ends up with a big red dog he names Kornflake. (Imagine! ;>)) While I was book touring, Kornflake made "REAL Partonville character" guest appearances at a couple libraries. I have a new book releasing next week called Don't Miss Your Life!: An Uncommon Guide to Living with Freedom, Laughter and Grace, and Kornflake LITERALLY chin-typed a line in it while I was in the kitchen. When I returned and saw what he'd done, I decided to leave it there and simply speculate as to the type of prayer he might have written, since prayer is what I'd been writing about when I stopped for a break.


  10. We try to name according to country of origin of breed. But I have to say that with our Dalmatian we were kind of at a loss! (Maggie... from a Rod Stewart phase.)

  11. We just love hearing how pups got their names - we loved reading how yours came about.

    Happy Sunday, the OP Pack

  12. Hey there woofgang,

    I think Daisy is the perfect name for your little girl. The B theme is pretty cool, b is for boy anyhew! Pedro and I got our names from our parents. Mom loved the artist Ziggy Marley so she named me after him (Bob Marley's son). I'm not quite sure why Pedro was named Pedro. But it suits him very well.

    Happy Trails
    Ziggy Marley

  13. Gee, I thought we sent you a comment - but I don't see it. Anyway, we love the name Daisy. You even have daisies on your blog border!

  14. A delightfully sunny, cheery, happy name. Perfect. If only you'd known all along that the perfect name would come to you ... anyhow, now it doesn't matter. It did. And we love it. She has Daisy written all over her. And that makes us happy (and makes our tails wag.)

    Jake and Fergi (we came with our names ... and everyone likes them)



"Daisy, are they clean yet?"

Happiness Is . . .

Happiness Is . . .
a warm puppy named Daisy!