Friday, July 16, 2010

Naming Your New Dog -- 3 Simple Rules

Last November, we lost our wonderful dog, Chance, to a spleen tumor. He was a mighty good dog and I can still work up a good cry thinking about those last few days with him. But we live somewhat isolated from neighbors and don't have a doorbell, so we like to have warning when someone drives into the yard. We made it as long as we could without getting another dog until about a month ago, when even Flamingo Joe couldn't stand the big gaping hole of doggy love left in Chance's wake and started looking on for a new dog.

I didn't realize FJ was ready for another dog until one day at work I started getting little instant message pings and links to various dogs on the Petfinder site kept popping up on my screen. Eventually, he found a pair of dogs at a rescue in Winter Park -- one was an English Setter, the other a Gordon Setter -- both had been owned by a woman who died of cancer back in March and had been placed with the rescue. They were both five years old and the description said they were both "fully house-broken." That pretty much satisfied all our requirements. So FJ contacted the woman at the rescue, but by the time we were ready to go and pick up the dogs a few weeks later, the English Setter had been adopted out.

So we got Campbell:

Campbell is a great dog . . . and he really is "fully-housebroken." He has no noticeable neuroses at all, in fact. He doesn't chew shoes or children's toys. He is not afraid of his food bowl. And when it thunders, he begs to go outside so he can play in the rain. Of course, he's only been with the Flamingo family for a week, so I'm sure in time he'll develop all the usual Flamingo dog neuroses.

For now, however, he's definitely a keeper.

I don't like his name, though. It's pretentious, I think, for a dog to be given a multi-syllabic name without a "y" on the end. Which leads me to my three simple rules for naming dogs:

1. Dogs should have one-syllable names like "Buck" "Grits" or "Sam."

2. OR if "Buck" "Grits" and "Sam" are the names you used for your first three children and naming a dog the same thing would be confusing, then you may name the dog with a two syllable name only so long as the name ends in "y". For example: "Roxy" "Skippy" or "Lucky".

3. OR if you insist on naming your dog with a multi-syllabic word like "Beauregard" -- the name must be easily shortened for actual day-to-day use. In the preceding example, the name "Beauregard" is marginally acceptable (in the South, anyway) because it can be shortened easily to "Beau" for everyday use.

The name "Campbell" violates all three of the above rules and that troubles me, primarily because I have control issues. In the meantime, to see Campbell's reaction to being let out in the rain, watch this video (there is a long pause in the middle where you will want some action, but just wait for it -- I think he was stalking the storm):


  1. Has Campbell met the resident alligator, yet?

  2. Well, actually, yes. Campbell met the resident alligator yesterday afternoon and lived to tell. The resident alligator will be meeting with the alligator trapper tomorrow morning and should be a wallet, purse, and pair of shoes by mid-week.


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