West Side Rag » Naming a dog is easier than naming a child, but don’t look for Fido or Rex

Posted on January 25, 2022 at 06:07 by West Side Rag

What is your name? Photograph by Daniel P.

On Monday, we posted a story about rescue puppies available for adoption. If you adopt a dog, you must give it a name. Here’s how some Upper West Sides designers named theirs.

By Ellen Jacobs

While there are exceptions, such as the names of celebrity children — Apple, Sparrow, James Midnight, and Bear Blaze — naming a dog offers far more creative latitude than naming a child. For one thing, dogs don’t run the risk of being teased by other dogs for having weird names. The 72nd Street Dog Enclosure in Riverside Park is a microcosm of UWS dog naming creativity, a place where names often say more about owners than puppies.

Take Wrigley, a living example of a curly Doodle’s enthusiastic response to everyone and everything. It was named after Chicago’s Wrigley Field; his parents are Cubs fans. That Wrigley isn’t interested in bullets? No matter.

On the other hand, there’s Honey, who despite her name, is a nine-year-old ball champion. She was named Honey when she arrived on the Upper West Side in a van at 2:30 a.m. from Long Road Home Rescue in Georgia. “We were too lazy to change his name,” said Alice Eng, his mistress. Then she stopped. “Besides, we didn’t want to confuse her.”

The owner of Rodeo, an Aussie mix, was asked if he was rescued from Texas. “No, he’s from Tennessee.” “Was it named Rodeo because it’s your first dog, so it’s your first rodeo?” “We just liked the name,” she said over her shoulder, clutching Rodeo’s leash.

A gentle giant white doodle, Doc, whose fascination with squirrels is of Olympian proportions, was so nicknamed by his owners because they adopted him to help mend their son’s (and their own) broken heart after their former dog was hit by a car.

On their way home from the North Shore Animal League, a couple was struggling to come up with 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, yelled, “Leeroy. It should be Leeroy. Does Leeroy appreciate that he was named after the video game celebrity and internet hero?

Chess, a Border Collie mix, who was immediately renamed from Zorro when his new owner asked the adoptive mother if he was smart. She shook her head laughing. “I wouldn’t play chess with him.”

A ten-month-old bright yellow lab, Plimpton, is not named after the late journalist George Plimpton, or actress Martha Plimpton, or even Plimpton Hall on the Barnard College campus, but rather after a street that runs along the ocean in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, where its owner’s family vacationed as a child.

Arriving at the Bideawee home from Puerto Rico as Peperoncino (hot peppers in Italian), a two-month-old puppy’s name was shortened to Pepe (a Spanish nickname for Jose) by his adoptive Japanese-born parents. After all, by the time they were done calling “PEPERONCINO”, Peperoncino would have long been out of earshot.

Nicco’s dog walker was asked, “Why Nicco?” She shrugged. “I have absolutely no idea.”

What is your dog’s name and why? Tell us in the comments.

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