May 27, 2009
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.
Posted by Rich, Jane, Boomer, and Daisy at 8:38 AM