What's In a Name

Posted by Lisa on 12/29/2015 to Tips & Facts
What's In a Name

What’s in a Name?

One of my most embarrassing moments as a dog groomer happened to me about ten years ago. I was checking in a customer and taking in his personal information for my file. After I got his name, address, and phone number, it was time to get his dog’s info. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “How old is your dog sir?”

Customer: “He’s five.”

Me: “Is he neutered?”

Customer: “Oh yes.”

Me: “Ok, great. What’s this fella’s name?”

Customer: “Diogi”

Me: “Wow. I love it. Is that Italian? What a unique name for a dog! How do you spell it?”

Customer: (He didn’t say anything but just looked at me like I grew a new nose.)

Me: “Sir?” (I wasn’t quite getting why he was acting weird all of a sudden.)

Customer: “It’s spelled ‘Diogi’.” (This time he said it just a bit slower.)

Me: “I’m sorry sir. Come again? “(Still not getting it)

Customer: “Ma’am. I don’t know how to make it any plainer. It’s D...O...G.”

Me: “Ohhhhhh” (Noooooooo!)


What should my name be? Well, I was convinced that I was going to die of embarrassment on that day but I recovered eventually. It’s certainly not one of my prouder moments but it is certainly a good story to tell. In my defense, he did say his dog’s name super fast and put an extra emphasis on the “o”. After ten years, I will admit the minute details are a little fuzzy but this is how I remember him saying it at least.

As a lover of unique dog names, I have often thought about that customer here and there and how he came to name his dog. Did he just come up with it in the shower? Was it something he decided when he was a little boy? Unless fate decides to bring D.O.G. and his owner back into my life, I will never know.

Naming a dog isn’t easy. This is especially true if the kids have any say in the decision. I once asked my four year old son what he’d like to name our next dog and he said “Cup”. Why Cup you ask? He was drinking from a cup at that very moment so Cup seemed like as good of an idea as any. I love my son but I do not love his life choices sometimes. To avoid a lifetime of explaining to people why our future dog was named Cup, I said that some dogs come into a family with a name already. He seemed happy with that response and then went on his merry way.


Now that I think about it, the last time I had to come up with a name for dog was 1987. My last two dogs already had names when they came to live us which was really terribly convenient. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, then you know that we are between dogs at the moment. Some days my kids are super pumped about getting a new dog and other days they tell me that dogs are scary and they don’t like the loud barking. I am totally fine with waiting a bit more until they are ready. In the meantime, I’ve amassed a pretty cool list of dog names that I think my family would like as well. I narrowed it down considerably since I first started it. Here are my top 25 picks of male and female names in no particular order:

Henry                                                               Hazel

Seamus                                                           Fiona

Butch                                                               Big Momma

Willy                                                                 Scout

Pal                                                                   Louise

Hank                                                                Bea

Copper                                                             Bug

Fred                                                                 Cass

Willard                                                              Camille

Clancy                                                              Ruby

Blue                                                                  Edie

Scout                                                                Emme

Bandit                                                               Finn

Dave                                                                 Harriet

Fester                                                               Charli

Stu                                                                    Pippa

Earl                                                                   Mae

Flash                                                                 Mabel

Finn                                                                   Gertie

Bruce                                                                 Lady

Jimbo                                                                 Annie

Bo                                                                      Sadie-Jane

Jake                                                                   Siobhan

George                                                               Gracie

Sam                                                                    Roxie


Naming your dog can be fun!

I feel like this is a sufficient (and impressive) list to choose from when the time comes to name our new dog. I probably could have stopped at ten or twelve names but I didn’t want to be left feeling stuck. I want to be able to look at my new dog, then look at this list and come up with something relatively quickly based on who the dog looks and acts like. It would be a crime to name a dog Camille when she clearly looks like a ‘Hazel’ or a ‘Gertie’. Am I right?

Feel free to take some ideas from my personal list for any future dog that you need to name. I don’t mind. In fact, I would be honored. When people ask you how you came up with your dog’s name, tell them you got it from this funny and charming blogger named Lisa from Yellow Dog Design. I would even love it more if you shared this page with someone you know that is getting a new dog and needs help picking out the right name. That would be amazing of you. And hey, did you know that Yellow Dog Design also has an incredibly cute collection of personalized collars and NFL ID tags? The daisy designs are my personal favorite but there are a lot to choose from. If you buy one from us, send me a photo! I would love to see your dog sporting one of our accessories.

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