In my life, I’ve had one dog, one cat, one turtle, many fish and a half-dozen hamsters. I only named the cat. The dog was older than me, the turtle belonged to a girlfriend and I didn’t grow attached enough to any of the fish. The hamsters weren’t with me for long, as they were part of a Science 7 experiment in the effects of music on hamsters. I had the easy listening hamsters, so they were Simon and Garfunkel.
I was probably about 11 when I named my cat Muggles. Not, of course, after the Harry Potter books (which hadn’t yet been conceived, presumably, in a young Englishwoman’s mind), but after the lead character in The Gammage Cup (some discussion of the name). As a name for a cat, you could do better, you could do worse. I stand by my 11-year=old self.
Now Bree’s seeking feedback on her forthcoming miniature schnauzer puppy. I don’t know much about naming pets, but here’s what I think:
- Avoid common human names. Not only does this confuse similarly-named humans when you’re out and about, but a dog’s not a human, is it?
- Avoid one-syllable names. Dogs apparently can hear their names better when they can include pitch changes.
- Embrace humour. Pets are fun, and their names should be fun too. A little irony can’t hurt.
- Consider naming your pet after a thing, like Spatula or Breadstick.
Of Bree’s suggested names, my favourites are Ludwig and Ajax. Coincidentally, our family dog was a miniature schnauzer. My parents named him General, which suited his haughty manner.