How to choose a pawfect name

Surf dog naming websites: Just like you google while naming your newborn baby, surf websites that stock dog names. The drawback is that most of these websites have Western names;
if you want to call your canine by a desi name, you will have to think about it.

Name as per personality:
It’ll be nice to beckon your pet by a name that blends with her/his personality. For eg., a grand-looking dog named Maharaja or Shahenshah sounds good.

Choosing fictional/historic dog names: Some may prefer naming their dog after a famous canine or one immortalised through fiction. For instance, those who have been moved to tears by the story of Hachiko — the dog who waited faithfully for years at the railway station for his master to return — may name their dog the same. Literature and films have memorable dog characters, thereby giving you many options.

Name as per physical appearance:It makes sense to name a brown dog Brownie, Chocolate, Ebony or Shadow.

Choose a name that won’t embarrass you in public: Maybe you are in the habit of calling your obese pet Motu. It may not be so much of a problem within the four walls of your house but on a walk outside, your dog may be laughed at and teased. Did you know about an incident of a girl running after her Golden Retriever named... err... ‘Pia’, in Lucknow (UP)? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t only her dog who answered her calls.

Request for permission before naming your dog after a family member or a friend: Naming your dog after your best friend or favourite relative may be appealing to you but the person concerned may find it disrespectful, especially if s/he isn’t a dog lover. However, if someone feels honoured, go ahead.

Think it over before naming your dog after your favourite celebrity: Though choosing a celebrity’s name for your canine may seem to be a great idea, if you update your social media status, it may be offensive to fans. No need to attract unnecessary trolls.

Don’t name your dog after your late pet: In a bid to remember your late pet, you may want to call your current pet by the same name. A bit unfair to both, don’t you think? Each dog has a different personality. Therefore, each should be addressed differently. Don’t expect your living pet to carry on the legacy of your erstwhile dog.

Select a name which is convenient for your dog: Most importantly, remember that it is your dog which is being named. Choose a name which s/he will easily be able to comprehend. Dogs find it difficult to recognise long names; they readily respond to names which are one or two syllables long. Dogs find high frequency sounds extremely audible; this is why names starting with ‘s’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘k’ catch their attention immediately. They also respond quite well to names ending with a vowel, especially a brief ‘a’ or a long ‘e’ sound. Avoid a name which sounds similar to commands like ‘sit’, ‘run’, ‘come’, ‘stand’, ‘jump’, etc.

While naming two pets, choose names that are complementary – like Topsy and Turvy.

Involve family members:This should include children as well. It’s a good bonding exercise for a family too.

What do you mean what’s in a name? Everything!
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Readers’ corner
“Johnny would weep, not eat and drink when I was hospitalised”
I am a regular reader of your Pets and Us section and wanted to send a story about my puppy named Johnny, a Pomeranian Spitz. We’ve had him since he was 15 days old. He came to me in 2012. Johnny is very attractive and more intelligent than anyone in our family.
He used to wake me up at 4 am to take him for nature’s call; he has always been in a joyful mood at any time of the day. I have travelled with Johnny in a car to Chennai, Bangalore, Kerala, Ooty and various temples. He does not bark at all while travelling. Now let me tell you about an incident I’ll never forget.

I am 65 years old and suffer from severe diabetes. I had a very bad fall at a departmental store and my hip bone had to be operated. The day I fell, Johnny started crying. My little Johnny’s eyes were brimming with tears and he kept jumping as I was being taken to hospital. I came to know later that he hardly ate or drank water when I was in hospital. After I came home, he was overjoyed. I could see and tell the love in his eyes. He would be weeping just like a child whose parent had gone missing! After that, whenever I went for check-ups, I would take him with me.

I cherish and pray to the Almighty that my Johnny is given a long life so that I can spend a lot of time with him.
He is an integral part of my life!
– Padma D, Coimbatore

Are you a proud pet parent?
Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]

By:Pallavi Bhattacharya

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