We’ve been encountering confusion with people names and dog names lately.
Some of the grands have a new puppy named Emmie. That’s cute. But when you call “Emmie” from a distance it can sound like “Emma.”
The kids with the new puppy have a cousin named Emma, there is an aunt in an adjoining wing of the family named Emma and all 11 grands have at least one friend named Emma. Emma is the number one most popular baby girl name.
When you yell Emmie real fast and it sounds like Emma, you never know if a kid you are related to, a puppy, or someone you’ve never met before, will come running.
Charlie and Max are among the most popular names for dogs.
We have, or have had, both in the family. Max was a small dog with a bad hip rescued from a Chicago pound. Max often nipped at feet under the table and barked and lunged at black leather jackets and motorcycles.
The Charlie in the family is my better half. He does not nip at people’s feet, nor does he wag his tail. Unless I make ribs.
Some of the grands have a little cousin on the other side of the family named Milo and there is also a dog in the family named Milo. Toddler Milo weighs about 25 pounds and the German Shepherd Milo weighs 85. One Milo you want to pick up and hug, the other Milo you want to brace yourself against a wall when you see him charging toward you.
When I was a kid, we had a dog named Smoky. That dog died and we got another dog and named him Smoky. Creative, right? When my brother moved out, he got a dog and named it Smoky. Then my brother thought it would be fun to list himself in the phone book as Smoky. Somehow, I began getting mail for Smoky even though I was living on the opposite side of the country to my brother and his dog.
Smoky received offers for life insurance policies, car insurance and magazine subscriptions.
Even more difficult to explain is my husband’s family that had a cat named Fish.
People often name pets and offspring after famous people, so again with the overlap. A friend had a dog named Winston, as in Winston Churchill. A cigar in the pooch’s mouth would have fit just fine.
Maybe it is time to branch out with the dog names. Perhaps name dogs after the planets: Saturn, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter. You don’t run into a lot of people with those names, but that’s just me. Another family somewhere might have the entire solar system covered.
Maybe we could draw on the table of elements: Titanium, Magnesium, Lithium. But then, names that end in “-um” are never good yelling names and a good yelling name is crucial in naming both pets and children.
Who knows if people names have inspired dog names or if dog names have inspired people names. It’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, or the baby or the pup?