On Monday, we posted a story about rescue puppies available for adoption. If you adopt a dog you have to name it. Here’s how some creative Upper West Siders named theirs.
By Ellen Jacobs
While there are exceptions, such as the names of children of celebrities — Apple, Sparrow, James Midnight, and Bear Blaze — naming a dog offers a lot more creative leeway than naming a child. For one thing, dogs don’t run the risk of being mocked by other dogs for having weird names. The 72nd Street dog run in Riverside Park is a microcosm of UWS dog-naming creativity, a place where the names often tell more about the owners than the pups.
Take Wrigley, a living example of a curly Doodle’s enthusiastic response to everyone and everything. He was named after Chicago’s Wrigley Field; his parents are Cubs fans. That Wrigley isn’t interested in balls? No matter.
On the other hand, there’s Honey, who despite her name, is a nine-year-old champion ball catcher. She was pre-named Honey when she arrived at the Upper West Side in a van at 2:30 a.m., from the Long Road Home Rescue in Georgia. “We were too lazy to change her name” said Alice Eng, her mistress. Then she paused. “Besides, we didn’t want to confuse her.”
The mistress of Rodeo, an Aussie mix, was asked if he had been rescued from Texas. “No, he’s from Tennessee.” “Was he named Rodeo because he’s your first dog, so it’s your first rodeo?” “We just liked the name,” she said over her shoulder as she snapped on Rodeo’s leash.
A sweet giant white doodle, Doc, whose fascination with squirrels is of Olympian proportions, was so dubbed by his owners because they adopted him to help mend their son’s broken heart (and their own) after their former dog had been hit by a car.
While driving back from North Shore Animal League a couple was scrambling to figure out a name for a Black Lab mix puppy, when their 16-year-old son who was cuddling the newly adopted pup in the back seat, called out: “Leeroy. He should be Leeroy.” Does Leeroy appreciate that he was named after the video game celebrity and internet hero?
Also in the named-after-a-game department is Chess, a Border Collie mix, who was immediately name-changed from Zorro when his new owner asked the foster mother if he was smart. She shook her head with laughter. “I wouldn’t play a game of Chess with him.”
A vivacious ten-month-old yellow lab, Plimpton, is named not after the late journalist George Plimpton, nor the actress Martha Plimpton, nor even after Plimpton Hall on the Barnard College campus, but rather after a street that runs along the ocean in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, where his owner’s family used to vacation as a child.
Arriving at the Bideawee Home from Puerto Rico with the name Peperoncino (hot chili peppers in Italian), a tiny, two-month old puppy’s name was shortened to Pepe (a Spanish nickname for Jose) by his Japanese-born adoptive parents. After all, by the time they finished calling “PEPERONCINO,” Peperoncino would long be out of hearing range.
Nicco’s dog walker was asked, “Why Nicco?” She shrugged. “I have absolutely no idea.”
What’s your dog’s name, and why? Tell us in the comments.