This week we’re discussing quirky or strange pet names.
When I was small, a procession of goldfish came to our house. We usually had them in pairs – a gold one and a black one. The gold one died, so we got another. Then the black one died, so we got another. And then the gold one…well, you get the idea. At the time I wondered if they didn’t like the fact that we named them after us. The lighter colored one was always named Patty, and the darker one was always named Mike (after my brother). Looking back, I have a sneaking suspicion that they might have survived longer if I’d remembered to feed them.
We had a puppy once, for a few hours. We named him Chipper. We didn’t have a dog bed, so we put towels in a box and put my alarm clock in with him so that he wouldn’t miss his mommy. And then my brother Ken’s eyes started watering and he broke out in a rash. He started sneezing and wheezing and my mother started to panic. Chipper went back to his previous owners in a hurry.
Since I was ambivalent about the dog in the first place, I didn’t complain. Apparently my brothers did, because we soon had a parakeet chirping in our kitchen. And I don’t remember who named this creature, but we ended up calling it Suzy. That’s not too strange, except we learned that Suzy was male—and we never bothered to change its name. I didn’t have much to do with Suzy. I cringed whenever it was my turn to feed him and eventually turned over some of my babysitting money to get one of my brothers to take care of my bird chores.
My hubby didn’t seem to mind my aversion to animals. He thought it was funny that a city kid like me taught in a rural farming area like the one he grew up in. But then we had kids, and those kids wanted a pet. Dad and the kids won out, and I had to share my living space with a pair of lovebirds. I don’t think we ever named them – they were just ThoseDangedBirds. They made a lot of noise except when the cage cover was on, so I tended to forget to take it off in the morning. They finally returned to the pet store.
Later on my hubby again overrode my wishes and came home with a Bichon Frise. I made it clear I would NOT have anything to do with feeding and caring for this creature. And for the most part I kept that promise. But I did come up with her name. Since the puppy was tiny, we looked for a name that reflected that – and came up with Demi.
I survived almost nine years with that creature. By the time she died the kids had moved out of the house, and it’s been blissfully quiet – except for when the granddog is here. My younger daughter has a West Highland Terrier named Snowball. Fortunately, Snowball’s previous owners trained him well, because he doesn’t jump on furniture or people, doesn’t beg, and doesn’t bark, except when he sees a squirrel. He holds still when we need to put his leash on and comes when he’s called. So dog-sitting for Snowball in small increments is doable.
None of these names are particularly strange or quirky. But then, we haven’t had to name that many pets. The girls’ piano teacher had a dog named Diogi (pronounced D. O. G.), and my step-daughter and hubby own one named DiNozzo (they’re NCIS fans). I had a forgetful friend name her mutt Hey-You so that she wouldn’t have to think too hard before calling.
How do you name your pets?