Sunday, February 27, 2011
Step 1: Think of a name.
Step 2: Stand in the middle of your front yard or in the center of your local park.
Step 3: Scream your dog's potential name over and over at the top of your lungs.
Step 4: Do you feel like a bloomin' idiot whilst screaming the name? If not, then you've chosen your dog's name wisely. If you DO feel ridiculous, then you need to go back to Step 1, because believe me, you'll be repeating Step 3 ad nauseum throughout the life of your new pet.
That's the valuable lesson I learned back in the early 1980s. I'd just got a Dalmatian puppy (that's him in the photo above), and I thought it would be the ultimate in coolness to name him Frodo. Yes, I said Frodo. Bear in mind that this was decades before Peter Jackson ever dreamed of filming Tolkien's trilogy, in a time when the only people who'd ever heard of Lord of the Rings were basement-dwelling Dungeons & Dragons players. To the public at large, the name Frodo had about as much meaning as a handful of Scrabble tiles thrown randomly onto the counter.
Frodo had an unfortunate tendency to hightail it out of our yard at every possible opportunity, so I spent many an hour standing outside screaming his name, much to the puzzlement of the neighborhood. I knew during the first ten seconds that I'd chosen the wrong handle for him.
So remember, it might seem like a good idea when you're sitting in the comfort of your home to name your dog "Mr. P. J. McFluffington," but in practice, not so much.