Food-inspired names for dogs and cats
Genevieve carried the box into work, where colleagues thought she was bringing in a box of pastries to share. In anticipation, they shouted, “Doughnuts!”
It is not easy to get a dog out of Micronesia, but with a lot of planning, the pooch found its way to Catherine’s home in Annapolis, Md.
“I do feel funny calling ‘Donuts, Donuts . . . ’ late at night, trying to get him inside and wondering what neighbors are thinking,” wrote Catherine.
One day, Dianne McDowell saw what looked like a doe in a nest of leaves in the backyard of her Lemoyne, Pa., home. It turned out to be a very big and very frightened stray dog.
“It took me 20 minutes just to be able to touch his muzzle,” Dianne wrote.
The dog finally trusted Dianne enough to let her take him inside. The only dog food Dianne had was some special stuff she was feeding her other dog, who had kidney problems. Dianne didn’t want to give the newcomer the special food.
“I had made beef barley soup the day before so I gave some to him,” she wrote. “He was so hungry. He ended up being our Barley for 16 wonderful years.”
The District’s Larry Slagle has a miniature dachshund. Its name? Ben — “in honor of the hot dogs and half smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl,” wrote Larry.
Sari Kaye of Rockville, Md., named all her pets for the Jewish holiday closest to when she got it. There was Matzo the dachshund (Passover), Blintz the dachshund (Shavuot) and Macaroon the cat (also Passover).
Not everything was edible. Shofar the beagle came aboard near Rosh Hashanah.
Barbara Gwaltney of Ashburn, Va., had gone to the Fairfax County animal shelter seeking a puppy. There weren’t any, but there was what was described as a “special cat.” Especially fat, it turned out: at least 25 pounds.
“When the front door opened he ran down the hall to the kitchen and his entire body was shaking and rolling because of his girth,” Barbara wrote. “I named him Milkshake. He was so full of personality and so goofy. We were blessed with 16 years of fun and many crazy stories of his multiple lives.”
Overindulgence can have consequences, of course. In July 1987, Larry Butler arrived with his family in Finland, where he was to join the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki. Larry’s 5-year-old son reminded him that he had been promised a dog.
“So, we drove out to a small town, Porvoo, to the east and visited a litter of yellow Lab puppies,” wrote Larry, who splits his time between Reston, Va., and Maine. “One little pup crawled up on our son’s lap and that was it.”
Larry asked the breeder what the dog’s name was. She explained that all the pups in that litter had English names beginning with the letter “H.” This particular one, she whispered in Larry’s ear, blushing with mortification, was called Hangover.
“But you can change it,” she hastened to add.
Larry wrote: “What were the odds of getting a dog named Hangover in Finland, notorious for its vodka binges? Sold! We ended up calling him Gover, but I still woke up every morning with a loving Hangover.”
Ah, the perils of drink. When Margaret Norris was growing up, her parents let the kids name the family cat. Because of its long whiskers, they called it Whisky.
“My Mom told us years later that she just didn’t know how to say no to that,” wrote Margaret, of Kensington, Md.
Margaret’s own children paid her back. The family fish looked like a horn shark, so they named it Horny.
“My husband tried to overrule that one but when I asked how he planned to explain the problem, he let it go,” Margaret wrote. “I never heard a teacher laugh harder in my life than my then-second-grade son’s teacher when she showed me his ‘All About My Pet’ paper at parent conferences.”
Amanda Walker’s teenage daughter was so annoyed by all the suggestions her family made for her new gerbil that she finally snapped and said, “I’ll name it what I damn well please!”
What I Damn Well Please became the rodent’s full name, but, wrote Amanda, of Severna Park, Md., “he was always known as Damwell.”