Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Rhyme and Reason of Dog Names at Talking Dogs - #ThrowbackThursday

My friend, Jodi, at Heart Like a Dog blog has been sharing some of her old past blog posts for Throwback Thursday and it has inspired me to revisit some of my own old blog posts and share some of them with you for Throwback Thursday.

 Today I want to share another of my personal favorites that I wrote just for fun.  And, yes, I realize that this was written before Rosie was born, so she's not included.  Hang on until November - her birthday month - and I tell you the story behind Rosie's name.

In the meantime,, here's What's In a Dog Name, originally published on October 18, 2012.
Sources    Most Popular: VPI Pet Insurance      Trendiest: Vet Street
 I've recently read several articles about dog names. Some have been humorous; some explored why we name our pets what we do.  Some have been simply informational.  They all got me thinking about my own dogs and their names.

My first two childhood companions were Blackie Duke, a black Lab, and Skippy, a Cocker Spaniel.  Both were named by my mother.

The first dog that I was allowed to name was my childhood Beagle, Snoopy.  I think the inspiration for that name is pretty obvious (Thank you, Charles Schultz).  Because I was in elementary school, that name had to be approved by my parents.

The true test of my dog naming abilities came with my very first "just mine" dog, Benji.
Benji / Benjamin Franklin
Adopted from an animal shelter while I was still in college, Benji was named after Benjamin Franklin.  Because Benji was a mutt, I remember wanting a very American name that reflected the melting pot nature of our country.  (Seriously.  I thought like that back then.)

Next came another shelter dog, Sherman. I was generous enough to allow the Dog Daddy to select his name (with my wholehearted approval.)
Sherman / Sherman T. Potter
Sherman was named after Sherman T. Potter of television series MASH fame.

When we adopted our black Lab mix from a shelter, I was certain he would grow up to be a chunky, blocky, hunky fellow.
Spanky / Spanky
I named Spanky after that fellow on the right of Lil Rascals fame.  Friends told me I should've used Buckwheat.  Maybe so.  Spanky grew up to be a lean athletic fellow and never resembled a "Spanky" at all.

My Border Collie, Lizzy, showed up at our farm and chose me. 
There was no agony on my part about her name.  She just felt like a Lizzy immediately.  I didn't realize the meaning of her name until I decided to write this blog post.  As I'm fond of saying on Facebook about some images:  TRUTH!

Then came Tucker.  Excuse me while I pause to chuckle. 
Tucker / Tucker Road
He was another stray that chose us.  The Dog Daddy was not keen on adding a puppy to our family right then, so I wasn't sure we would keep him.  Since we had to rush him immediately to a vet, he needed a name fast.Tucker came to us from the road.  We named him for that road:  Tucker

Lucy's name was easy and I chose it solo.
Lucy B / Lucy Bays Bingham
Lucy B was named for my fifth great grandmother, Lucy Bays Bingham who was born in Virginia in 1778 and moved to Indiana in the 1820's.  On the bottom right you can see her cabin which is now in the Indiana University Mathers Museum.  Though I'm not sure my ancestor would appreciate it, Lucy B was named as a tribute.

Jeffie has a big name to live up to and, frankly, there was a lot of debate about it in our house.  The Dog Daddy was persuasive.

Jeffie / Thomas Jefferson
Jeffie was named after Dog Daddy's all-time hero:  Thomas Jefferson.  Depending on present company, we also acknowledge a smidge of Jefferson Davis influence, but that's another story!  

Our poor yellow Lab puppy spent a few weeks with no name at all while we agonized.  Lists were made.  Names added; names crossed off.  When the Dog Daddy began threatening to call him Tator, I knew I had to do something fast.

Rudy / Rootie Kazootie
I'd always wanted to name a dog after my favorite childhood story book, but I wasn't sure the name fit.  Rudy is named after Rootie Kazootie.  Little did we know that as Rudy grew up and "explored" the yard that I needn't have worried. Rootie would have been quite appropriate.

Hmmm...  a little bit of history.  Some popular culture.  Some genealogy and fond reminiscence.   A few snap decisions;  a few that took quite a bit of time.   

Is there a theme or pattern to how we've named our dogs?  

Perhaps it is simply that it is important to us.  Important to somehow reflect ourselves in combination with the bundles of love that are our best friends.  


  1. Naming dogs and cats on my part depended on their characteristics or physical aspect and or just after a name I am fond at the moment.

  2. That is pretty cool. Mom keeps a running list of possible puppy names, but only Bailie has ever been actually used. Mom liked the name Katie and the letter K, so that is how she got her name. For me, she wanted something a bit British and came up with Emma. I wonder what she will find for the next puppy? I know she likes to use fairly trendy human names, even for the cats.

  3. Woah, that is a surprise, I've never seen any dog goes by the name of Bella

  4. What a fun post! I loved reading all the different ways you came up with names. We didn't always have rhyme or reason with ours, sometimes they just came to me. We do tend to use more human names, though not always. I think I might write a post like this sometime! (And of course I'll give you credit for the inspiration)


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