May 5, 2004

In general, on this blog, I use an algorithmically-derived set of initials to refer to people rather than full names, so as to protect the innocent (them) and the guilty (me). However, I will go so far as to reveal that my dog A. has a fairly normal name.

This was almost not the case. I got her with my ex-boyfriend N.T., and choosing a name for her was the second-most difficult trial we faced in our relationship, after picking a color to paint the bathroom, which process very nearly brought us to blows in the middle of Barnes & Noble. (He wanted, if memory serves, Majestic Violet, and I wanted Cleopatra’s Gown. In the end we compromised and used both, in wide stripes, along with gold swirls and sheer fabric so that the bathroom looked like something out of 1,001 Arabian Nights.)

The problem with naming our dog was our respective histories with pets. I had grown up with a bichon frise (a small, white, fluffy breed of dog) that my family had, perversely, named Fang. (We were going to name him Horrible until we realized that we’d end up shortening it almost immediately to “Hor,” and the thought of going around our conservative southern neighborhood telling people our Hor had run away and asking if they’d seen him didn’t appeal to any of us.)

N.T., on the other hand, had grown up with cats with names like Aurora and Beautiful Music. Why I had decided to share my life with somebody who would name a cat Beautiful Music in the first place is, in the clear, harsh light of hindsight, quite beyond me, but at the time it seemed like the thing to do.

Our discussions about a name for A. would go something like this:

N.T.: How about “Lucinda”?
Me: How about “Mud”?
N.T.: How about “Aurelia”?
Me: How about “Three Hole Punch”?
N.T.: [cries]
Me: [cries]

We finally settled on the mutually agreeable but repulsive name “Cookie”; luckily, his controlling, overbearing mother convinced us to change our minds, and we found A.

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14 Responses to In general, on this blog,

  1. tim says:

    OH MY GOD!!!!! My first pet, Chihuahua/Corgi mixed breed, was named Cookie. I miss her. Boo hoo.

  2. Paul says:

    So not fair. A could stand for a million things. Since her first name was cookie I’ll pretend the answer is Ahoy. But I know it is probably simple and classic.

  3. Adam875 says:

    As I know her real name, I can’t imagine how you got A. out of that conversation.

    Though Boy and I recently had a similar conversation about what to name our as-yet-nonexistent cat. I was all pop culture references, like Willow, Xander or Sydney, while he preferred more abstract ideas.

    In the end, he won, because there’s something undeniably perfect about naming a cat Radish.

  4. Cara says:

    I think “Ahoy” is probably the best dog name I’ve ever heard.

  5. rob says:

    You should never name a dog after an object, especially a food. Words to live by.

  6. Dr.P says:

    Beautiful Music is a horrible name.

  7. David says:

    Well, since A. and Goblin Foo Uvula are canine lesbian lovers, we can all refer to A. as Ms. A. Uvula (she took Goblin’s last name).

  8. Bruce says:

    Yeah,I know it’s sooo conventional but I still think ‘Balto’ is a great name for a dog.

  9. Licketysplit says:

    Our cat Coco narrowly escaped being called “Mr. Buttons,” on the grounds that we must save that in case we ever get an orangutan, or “Omelette.” You are free to use either if you ever need them.

  10. Ria says:

    Oh dear – your blog does make me laugh and has cheered up my flu ridden day. I’ve lived a sheltered life and have never had to name any kind of pet.
    With the exception of the originally named Goldie the goldfish ..well ..i was only little !
    Cruel parents ruled out pets on account of being abroad all summer. Now ” grown up ” I am allergic to the beasties (I mean wee darlings ).
    Keep writing 🙂

  11. BethAnn says:

    I named my chihuahua Brutus and found out later that his brother had been named Caesar. Weird.

    My friend had a dog named Diogi. I assumed he was paying homage to some Italian lineage or something until he explained that it was spelled D-O-G and pronounced Dee-Oh-Gee. Yeah, I’m a quick one. His cat’s name was Ask’em. As in “Hey, what’s your cat’s name?” “Ask’em”.

  12. Joe Clark: Thank you for pointing out what you pointed out. Of course I have both rectified the situation and removed the evidence.

  13. JW says:

    I laughed out loud four times reading this post. Prior to that, I hadn’t laughed sincerely in three days. Thank you. :^)

  14. rob says:

    And PS, I think you should serve “Three-Hole Punch” at your next party. We can all wonder which hole it’s supposed to go in.


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