A Rose By Any Other Name

May 12 | 3 Comments

Name MeMuch like our owners, we don’t have much input in selecting our names. At least we’re getting closer to being named as if we were a member of the larger family than in days gone by. I can’t complain about my name, but my sister may have a beef since I haven’t heard of many kids named Copper. Here’s an article on trends in dog names based on surveying owners in the bay area of SanFrancisco.

They’re not just Fluffy, Rover and Fido anymore.

As dog and cat ownership has expanded to nearly 2 out of 3 American households and spending on pet pampering products has exploded, Bay Area residents have taken to giving their animals more human-sounding names – such as Max, Lucy, Samantha, Charlie or, in the case of one San Francisco papillon spaniel, William III.

But the most commonly loved pet of all, according to a Chronicle review of more than 60,000 pet licenses, is a Labrador retriever named just plain Buddy. He lives in at least 89 different Bay Area homes, the data show.

My old man likes to call me Buddy too, as in “Buddy, stop licking yourself”, “Buddy, take the cat’s head out of your mouth”, and “No Buddy, I don’t want to watch Air Bud again.”

The Chronicle looked at animal license records from San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to find the most popular pet names – and the most perplexing.

The computer review showed that people are naming their pets like children. Seventeen out of the top 25 tags for dogs and cats are typical people names. Six pets were named Jennifer, seven Marcus and four Kevin.

Beagles are likely to be Bailey. Boxers often are Rocky. Dachshunds are Oscar. And Jack Russell terriers are, of course, Jack.

That’s borderline breedist, no? What if this article were about humans, do you think they would observe: Italians are likely to be called Joey Bag of Donuts, Germans are likely to be named Wolfgang and Canadians have propensity to have last names of Eh?

“Personally, I don’t understand it,” said Spivak, who first worked with the San Francisco Society for the Preservation of Animals and now is a part of Maddie’s Fund, a new family foundation dedicated to saving the lives of shelter animals. “I like food names myself – like Honey, Peaches and Cookie.”

I’m with him. I like to name my humans after food names too. I refer to my father as Sausage, my mother as Muffin and my dog sitter as Meatball. Behind their backs, of course.

Cute, classic pet names seem more likely to go to cats – Tiger, Tigger and, of course, Kitty. They also go to certain small dog breeds, like Lucky the Pomeranian and Princess the poodle. The ever-popular Chihuahua is likely to get stuck with such labels as Chico, Chiquita, Shorty and even Taco.

Let’s face it, small dogs are cats on steroids, they deserve those names.

Then there are the wise guys. Twenty pets got dubbed Killer, including six Chihuahuas, three cats, a Pomeranian, a rat terrier and a dachshund.

Shouldn’t they put Killer’s in animal shelter prison?

Leave your favorite animal names in the comments. In the meantime here’s the top 10 Bay Area dog names.


Buddy 518

Max 504

Lucky 494

Lucy 353

Daisy 344

Rocky 303

Molly 296

Charlie 289

Bailey 277

Coco 275


3 Responses to “A Rose By Any Other Name”

  1. Blackie on May 12th, 2008 5:29 pm

    I have a pretty common name so I’m jealous of names that are different. My favorite is still Costanza, a goofy beagle that lives down the street for me.

    I imagine they put wired rimmed glasses on him while he complains about the bad food he’s getting.

    As always,

  2. Luckeyboy from Doggyspaces on May 22nd, 2008 9:13 am

    I love my name but I have the e in the Luckeyboy so I am a little different hehehe. I have a friend tho his name is Fattdogg and his bro is Maddogg hahaha now thats funny!

  3. Kathy on September 3rd, 2008 11:04 am

    Bunny Roo is the best name…..of course!┬áMy sister’s name is Kiwi….that is just goofy.

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