An AP article in yesterday’s paper revealed that more and more people are choosing charming human names for their pets. Rover, Fido, Mittens and Socks have given way to respectable names like Winston, Bart, Molly, and Tabitha. I’ve actually been on this band wagon since 1995 when we brought home our first family pet, a homeless kitten we named Missy (she had a cute little M on her forehead that sadly morphed into a Harry Potter scar as she grew). She was followed in 1996 by a gangly Labrador Retriever puppy christened Luke by my children (after the galactic warrior not the gospel-writing doctor) and lately with the newcomer, Bella – a blond golden retriever named so by her former owners for her beauty, not after the love interest of one Edward Vampire Cullen.
The article quotes the author of The Best Pet Name Book Ever! (Wayne Eldridge), who says – and I agree – that pet owners who give their animals human names are more likely to treat them as members of the family.
That would aptly describe me and the Meissner household. Luke, with his aging, Skeletor face, ears that don’t hear much any more, arthritic hips that make him sway like a drunkard, still has us smiling and cooing over him. Missy, at 14, commands all the attention of a matriarchal, fussy aunt who can get away with moodiness because of her spinsterhood. And Bella, the newcomer, is definitely everyone’ s life coach. Her approach to every day is. “And what can I do for you today?”
I am fiercely devoted to my pets-with-human-names and I don’t like to imagine life without their fur on my black pants, their escapades into the kitchen trash and their penchant for producing odious odors.
My pets are good friends. Forgiving friends. Easy-going friends. They deserve names that elevate them to a more homosapien-like status.
And no, I have no plans to rent the DVD Marley and Me. None. Do not ask it of me.
You should’ve seen me when I closed the cover on The Art of Racing in Rain.
So. How about it? Care to share the names of your pets? Don’t worry. There shall be no judging on the Edge if Cuddles or Fifi is what you have sleeping at your feet as you write. Let’s hear ’em.