By Devin O’Branagan
I love coming up with clever names for the dogs and cats in my novels. Some of my furry characters include an Australian Shepherd named Vixen: I’m Too Sexy For My Fur and a Puli named Tassel: Twin Peaks Bosom Buddy. For Twilight fans there’s a Briard named Jacob Black: Kiss the Girls and Make Them Howl. A sexy Bouvier des Flandres is called Flame: Desire Lights Up The Night, and an amorous Old English Sheepdog is Hot to Trot: Scratch My Itch. Oh, and let’s not forget the German Shepherd Dog called Dusty: Lust in the Dust. Um, well, now I am listing them I notice that their names are a bit colorful! My feline characters are much more reserved: Midnight, Jezebel, Princess, Marina Night, Rhiannon, Bronwyn, and Branwyn.
In real life, we presume that our furbabies learn their names by what we repeatedly call them. Since we often address them over and over again with words that in actuality may not be the names we so reverently bestow upon them, I thought I’d ask my Facebook friends what their pets think their names really are. These were the responses:
– Tammy E. A. Crosby quotes Max the pup: “Oh haiiii!!!! My name is ‘Spit It Out!’ What’s yours?” Tammy’s other dog, Ginger, replies: “S’up? They call me ‘I Said COME HERE not run the other way!’ It’s a wee bit long but it’s definitely my name.”
– Nancy Higginson says, “Butt….Shiloh Butt, Stormy Butt, Puppy Butt (Ruger), Patches Butt, Nacho Butt. They all answer to Butt. (Short for Wigglebutt.)” [Devin’s note: Interesting coincidence here is that I have an Australian Shepherd in my paranormal thriller, Threshold, named Wigglebutt. Because they don’t have tails, when they are happy their butts wiggle.]
– Kathy Sianko: “One of mine thinks his name is ‘Quiet…I Said Quiet!’”
– Dee Ambrose-Stahl: “Eve thinks her name is ‘Dammit Eve!’”
– Susan Ballek Figlar: “My retriever as a puppy thought his name was ‘Don’t Eat That!’”
– Angie Clark talks about her cats: “When she’s good, Marina thinks her name is ‘Weenie-Weenie.’ When she’s bad, she knows it’s ‘MARINA-KEIKO!’ When she’s good, Tosca’s name is ‘Doodle-Doodle.’ When she’s bad, it’s a whiny ‘Don’t Pee On The Bed AGAIN!’”
– Karen Wingert Mittan: “Mojo likes to herd us by weaving and putting himself between us and where we want to go. His name is ‘Mojo, Go!’”
– And Richard G. Stewart’s dog has the most common of all dog names: “No No Bad Dog!”
In writing this, it occurs to me to wonder what they call us. Hmmm. Maybe someday I’ll write a horror novel with that theme!
Copyright © 2013 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to Tammy Crosby for the photos of Max and Ginger. Used with permission.
Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal thrillers, comic mysteries, and fiction about dogs and cats. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. All of her books are available in both print and eBook formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com, and check her out on Facebook and Twitter.