What’s in a Name?

A sweet dog needs a sweet name.

A person’s name is something they generally live with forever. Your parents may not have been so creative and simply perused the list of most popular names and picked one. They may have given you a creative spelling, causing people to misspell your name throughout your life. You may have gotten married and in a moment of undecidedness, simply added your husband’s name onto the end of yours and used both. OK, maybe I’m the only one that has done that. Nonetheless, these decisions are usually permanent.

Recently I have started looking for a dog. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but mostly because everyone we know who has dogs seems to have perfect, well behaved pups. Plus, some very generous friends have offered to dog-sit whenever we go away. We tend to travel a lot, so it is a particularly nice offer. So, I had some very specific goals when looking for a dog: not too big, not too small – I didn’t want a dog that I could carry around in a purse; the dog had to have a nice temperament; no pit bulls regardless of how nice they may be; it would be helpful if the dog was at least somewhat house-trained; oh, and most importantly, the dog has to travel well. He or she will need to spend time on the mainland as well as in Key West, so will need to learn to love the car.

When we met Angel we knew two things. One, she is adorable, personable and will, hopefully, travel well. We will have to see about that. Two, we need to change her name. I had no idea you could just change a dog’s name, but it makes sense. They don’t actually understand what you are saying, so if you say the same word over and over in their direction, eventually they figure out that you are talking to them.

This led to a weekend full of potential dog names. Of course, I had some criteria. No people names. Food and wine names are totally acceptable, however. Nothing too long. There have to be good nickname opportunities. It has to be sweet. She is, after all, a sweet dog. So the suggestions started:

Honey. No, that was my friend’s grandmother’s name. Not her real name, but we all called her that. It is even on her headstone. Keep trying.

Daisy. I like it, but it’s a little vanilla.

Grappa or Cava. Both wine related, which is fitting, but not cute enough for what I deem to be the cutest dog. Ever.

Kugel. Named after the traditional Jewish noodle pudding, this was a good one, but it had one major flaw. I pronounce it “kuh-gel” and FKGuy pronounces it like most other Southerners, “koo-gel”. Poor girl would constantly be having people mispronounce her name.

Whoopie. My sister-in-law was lobbying for Whoopie Pie for a while, but I shortened it to Whoopie. Then I realized her name would be Whoopie Goldberg Glazer. As much as I loved Sister Act, that was not going to work.

So what was the final decision? Babka. It is a delicious cake, has an entire Seinfeld episode focused around it and there are ample nickname opportunities (Bob, The Bob, Babs, Bobbi). We will be bringing her home this week and will have to see how she reacts to the new name. I’ll keep you posted.

Stay tuned for more tales from the dog world. This will be the first dog for both of us so I am sure we will have some good, and embarrassing, stories. Naturally, I will share them here.


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