Most family pets have a name; in our house, our dogs have a “main” name. Depending on whatever mood takes us, they can be referred to in a whole myriad of terms, and the beauty is that they can always tell when we’re talking about them. We have three Labradors; their given names are “Olly”, “Stan” and “Duke”, they are the best four-letter words that exist in the English language!
Olly’s full name is “Olly Bear”, I have no idea how that came to be, or indeed why we named him after Olly Murs.
Stan came to us from a foster home as a four-year-old, he was called “Ben”, but we renamed him to give the pair that Laurel and Hardy reference. He embraced the name straight away and answered to it from day one.
Duke is also a rescue dog; we didn’t change his name because it suits him very well. Stan and Duke came from the same foster home in Derbyshire; together we call them the “Bolsover Boys”.
Here are some of their alter egos:
“Oliver” – his naughty name.
“Mr Bear” – his regal name, used when we ask him to look after the house in our absence.
“Cheese” – OK, we have never called him this directly, but all you have to do is to say the word “cheese”, and he comes running!
“Heimlich” – because he sometimes greets you with an ‘eye-lick manoeuvre’.
“Stanley” – his naughty name.
“Stan the Man” – whenever he’s doing something really cool.
“Stanev” – when the weather starts to turn cold, his fur puffs up to the point where he could survive in Russia.
“Stanistan Man” – it’s possible he originated from his own Eastern bloc country.
“Satan” – for no other reason than other people misread his name on the side of his harness.
“Dooky” – his fun name, usually adopted when he goes into puppy mode even though he’s a seven-year-old, 40kg Lab.
“Pie and Chips Boy” – this came about when he went for a walk across a field covered in cowpats (which we call “Cow Pies” from old Desperate Dan references). He can’t resist helping himself when he thinks we’re not looking. That’s the “Pie” bit, but on the same walk home he found a giant splat of puked-up chips on the path and grabbed a mouthful before I’d spotted it.
“Sir Munch-a-lot” – this pretty much sums him up.
“Dukos” – we imagined him as the Greek God of mischief and gave him a name to match. We probably call him Dukos more than we call him Duke. The Roman God equivalent is “Dukio”.
“Barry White” – we rarely get a peep out of Duke, but when he does make a noise, it’s a deep baritone.
Nero and Julius
We often look after our daughter’s dogs, Nero and Julius. As a pair, we call them the “Needy Boys” or the “Reprobates”. When Nero does something good – a rare event – we call “Nero the Hero”; when he does something bad – a common event – we call him “Nero the Zero”. “Cadbury” was a favourite name for a while; as a puppy we once caught him nursing an empty bag of giant chocolate buttons. Julius has the moniker of “Dyson” because he vacuums up any scrappy old piece of food crumb from the kitchen floor, no matter how minuscule.
Another alternative name which I found funny was told to me by a fellow dog walker who called her highland terrier “Monty”. When he manically dashes around the house, she calls him “Monty-Zoomer”.
Do you have any pet names for your pets?