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May 12, 2014

How do you name a pet?

Although the new pup will be my second dog, she is the first dog I have ever had to name. About five years before I got him, I decided with absolute certainty I would name my first dog Mr. Eko. There was never any debate. But now just a few
Although the new pup will be my second dog, she is the first dog I have ever had to name. About five years before I got him, I decided with absolute certainty I would name my first dog Mr. Eko. There was never any debate. But now just a few weeks away from the big day I still haven’t found a name for my girl that fits.rhodesian ridgeback puppy

She fits perfectly, now we just need a name that fits her the same way

Here are a few of the ideas we’ve had fun kicking around: Funniest name: Mrs. Potato Head, or “Tot” for short. Nostalgic name: Nala (from The Lion King) T hematic name: Freckles (Eko’s name is from the show LOST – Freckles is the nickname of another character in the show) When I visited the litter I tried to pick up some name cues based on her personality. rhodesian ridgeback puppy

She got into a heated battle with her shadow, so that got me thinking about names from Peter Pan like Wendy and Tiger Lily 

rhodesian ridgeback puppy

She was also determined to cause trouble and go places she shouldn’t. That put me on track thinking about mythological/fictional  trouble makers with names like Eris, Kuma and Lyra Silvertongue  

rhodesian ridgeback puppy

Although she looked like a loaf of bread while sleeping, “Loaf” doesn’t exactly have the right ring to it…

No name has stuck yet, so I’m hoping inspiration will strike soon. Help me get those creative juices flowing and let me know how you came up with your pet’s name. Hopefully your stories will kickstart my brain. If you have any name suggestions or ideas about naming be sure to share those as well.

rhodesian ridgeback puppy Help this pretty girl find her name!

I need all the help I can get!

Comments for How do you name a pet?

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    Oh, I LOVE Tiger Lily, but I think you should call her Lily for short. 🙂

    Also CUTE PICTURES! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Esther Walker says:

    We called our first dog and RR ‘Hector’ from a character in a children’s cartoon, ‘Hectors House’. The line ‘silly old Hector’ was often said, as the dog in Hector’s house was loveable but a bit daft, very much like our beloved Hector, who is sadly no longer with us. Always in our hearts.

  3. raisingdaisy says:

    Oh my goodness, you’re giving me cuteness overload!!! She’s so beautiful and I LOVE those sleepy puppy eyes! I doubt if how we named Daisy will help you much, but she was such a happy, friendly little girl all the time that we took our cue from one of our favorite movies, You’ve Got Mail. In it, Meg Ryan says, “Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?” And we always thought daisies looked like happy flowers, so between the two, that’s how Daisy got her name! Can’t wait to hear what name you decide on. 🙂

  4. I love NALA…I think it is gorgeous and goes well with Eko. When I named Dakota, I had always loved the name. I pick names based on their meanings (most of the time), I looked up the meaning of “Dakota” and it means “trusted friend” in American Indian. That was it! Sooo…I would look up meanings of names you already love ……..

  5. fredrieka says:

    Or Shadow because she will probably Eko’s shadow

  6. Jeff says:

    I thing tiger lily seems like a good one. Before I picked out Stryder, I had three names that I like that made my pool. Haplo, my favorite character from my favorite novel series. Dog, a loyal companion to Haplo that would randomly show up to save him. And Stryder, wasn’t my first choice but after watching him run and seeing his agility it felt right. Plus he responded well to that when spoken.

  7. lindadianefeldt says:

    My first Ridgeback was named by a South African friend. I wondered if there were interesting names starting with Z. Zomba is a mountain in Malawi. Since then, I’ve met people who have been there and who have even lived there. Ambo, my second ridgie, pretty much came in a dream. But variations of the name in a couple of languages were similar to “friendly”. Nala was a return to breeder rescue. She came with the name of “Nila”. I didn’t think that was majestic enough for her. i wanted a new more fitting name for her new life, but nothing that sounded too different from her original one. A few people who had seen the Lion King suggested Nala. It was – and is – perfect.
    A name that sparks conversation is good. A name that says something about the breed is also a good thing. You’ll know it when you find the right one!

  8. scarlybobs says:

    Omg, those pics…SHE IS SO ADORABLE!!! 🙂

    Haha you must be sooo excited, I know I would be!

    As for why we picked Zoey’s name (Kasper came with his!) she was named after a spunky, tomboy character from our favourite video game, Left 4 Dead!

  9. Laura says:

    She is adorable. Our Ridgeback boy came from our Ridgeback Rescue Org., and the family he was with was on a “To Kill a Mockingbird” kick. So, His name is Radley, (after, of course Boo Radley) and I keep thinking if we get brave, and do what you are doing and get a little companion for him, we would stay with the theme and go with Scout. Or if we got another male, Atticus. Anyway, I bet the inspiration will just hit you out of the blue!! I can’t wait to read all about her name and all her adventures with Eko.

  10. OhMelvin says:

    She. Is. Delicious!!! Ahhhhh, the name game. I had a bunch of man names when I got Melvin. His given name in rescue was Riley and we have human Riley family members so that was out. I had names on the list like Norman, Bob, Carl…when I saw him in person for the first time, I saw a Melvin. The end. (Jake’s name was his name his whole five years of life so knowing that, I choose to keep it for him. One less thing to acclimate to).

  11. I like Nymphadora Tonks. (Her nickname was Tonks.) Yes, it’s from Harry Potter. But the character is feisty and determined to set her own path, despite many obstacles.

    I had another friend who fostered an all white bulldog. And her name was Luna Lovegood.

  12. You already called her ‘Pretty Girl’ so here are some suggestions based on that: PG for short or Julia or whatever her characters name was in the movie……….. Belle – or Ms Belle, if you want a match for Mr Eko. Maybelle,[or whatever month she comes to live with you :-)] Bella, Gorjuss [which is Kiwi-speak for gorgeous and may well be the name for my new dog], Sugar, Honey, Comfit …………. And that is the end of my train of thought. I am sure whatever you choose it will be exactly the right name!! 🙂

  13. Misaki says:

    She’s so cute! Hope you think of a good name soon

  14. Pat Sieloff says:

    Congratulations. She is gorgeous. We have always given our RR’s African names to honor their origins and because we just don’t understand giving RR’s name like Bob, Sam, Rosie or some other common dog name. We just think that African names fit them, and when you call “Raasa” (pronounced Rah’-sa and meaning “shoots with an arrow” according to a Nigerian professor our daughter met) at the dog park, we guarantee that only one dog will answer. That said, the affectionate nicknames we give them over time sometimes have nothing to do with African words, but we still tend to use their given African names when in public. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will fit her.

  15. Sheryl starry says:

    I think she looks like honey. That works so does Winnie or Ms Poo.

  16. Jorie says:

    I love Freckles and Nala!

  17. Vizsla09 says:

    For a mischief maker, I like Loki. She sure is adorable.

  18. I love the shadow chasing/Peter Pan connection. How about Tinkerbell? Tink! I got my name because I am so sweet….

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake (I wish my name was Tink)

  19. Vizsla09 says:

    Another thought would be Thamani which is Swahili for precious. I’m not sure if you’re on FB but there is a Ridgeback group there where I’ve plugged your blog. Look for Rhodesian Ridgebacks Rule if you are interested. 🙂

  20. Elyse says:

    If you’re looking for something different and mischievous, you might like this —
    The Greek goddess of mirth is Baubo — sounds like right up this little lady’s alley: “a fun-loving, bawdy, jesting, sexually liberated—yet very wise—goddess who plays a crucial, healing role in the Eleusian mysteries of ancient Greece. “http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_goddess_baubo.htm”

    But then I have a terrible record. When we received a photo of the Bernese Mountain Dog we eventually took home, he had a Hitler-style mustache — I told my husband we had to get him and we had to name him “Adolf.” Fortunately I realized that there was another famous person with a mustache like that — we named him “Charlie” after Chaplin.

  21. audrey says:

    The last photo and your descriptions of her gave me a mental picture of Mulan, lovely, cuddly, cute, feisty, strong-will, pretty.

  22. Two strong female African names I know are Etana (eh-TAH-nah) meaning strong child and Imara (ee-MAH-rah) meaning strenth. Those are my two for you 🙂
    Marty’s Mom

  23. It’s so hard to come up with the right name! For us we named Boomer after where he was from and Dottie we named after throwing names around and finding one that fit with her personality.

    It’s tough and your little girl is the cutest! I do like the name Nala!

  24. Rene L. Hester Jensen says:

    Hello Will,

    Congrats on your new addition! She’s adorable! I’m sure Mr. Eko & her will get along wonderfully, as I soon figured out how cool it was to observe Rhodesians know their own kind(that’s another story)!

    The name for my mischievous, smart, goofy, & loving 9month old “Chi-Chi” was derived from Chiedza Luba, which is Rhodesian(Shona & Nbele language via Google search) for “sunflower”! So, I call her “Chi-Chi” for short. Her papered name is longer, but that too is another story.

    I have to thank you for your blog, as I look forward to reading them & sharing the videos w/ my pup! I grew up with RR’s & am always delighted in educating others about their fascinating history.

    Thanks’ for the blog & hope you are settling into your new digs! Oh, and a belated congratulations on your engagement!

    Regards, Rene & “Chi-Chi” Chelmsford, MA

    Sent from my iPad

  25. Bongo says:

    Little miss no name is really a cutie. I came here with my name and so did Gizmo, the newest cat here. My younger person was only six when he gave Scratchy his name. Can you guess why? My person says with other pets she’s had a name would pop into her head and wouldn’t go away so she knew it was the right one. I’m sure whatever name you come up with will be the perfect one.

  26. Kelly Nomikos says:

    How about Chloe? Dainty yet strong, she is an adorable baby and I know Eko will love his new sister and teach her the ropes.

  27. I wrote a post awhile ago that I haven’t published on naming dogs. Ours have been just names we like, or named after someone (baseball players in the case of Tino) or songs (as in Sally’s name). I really like Tiger Lily…and Lily for short. I posted a link on our FB page too that you should check out. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=312750498875641&id=113817342102292

  28. Alisa says:

    We finally picked a name for our RR girl: Roo! Short and sweet. Since we won’t get to meet her till she joins us, let’s hope it fits 🙂 I feel your pain with the name picking agony.

    Here are some other name ideas:
    Indigo (Indy for short)
    Zuva (a Shona name, from Zimbabwe)
    Pumba (Swahili for pig 😉

  29. Alisa says:

    There’s also:

    Orsa (it means little she-bear, so cute!)
    Fula (Greek for little sister)
    Sol (spanish for sun, and soumds the same as the English Soul, which is nice)

    Sorry for the crazy name overload!

  30. Fluffy Tufts says:

    All of mine lived with us for at least a week before we thought of the perfect name! With the first three, Pogo, Shelli and Casper, we had other names chosen for them before they even arrived. But those names just weren’t sticking and after getting to know them better, there real names just popped into my head!

    With the others, Jimmy, Venus and Pippa, we decided to let things sort themselves out and didn’t really decide on any name till they got here. Sure enough, for each of them, the perfect name appeared not long after they arrived.

    You are right…you will know the perfect name when you hear it!
    Ps. I also like Tonks!

  31. I think she’s just so adorable no matter what her name winds up being….but I’ve always thought that animals help us name them….you look into their little faces and see “something” – it just kind of happens. I think when you go to pick her up and bring her home it will hit you like a bolt from the blue – HER NAME – you’ll hear it in your heart.


  32. fozziemum says:

    Squee overload! I think when you get her and see her interact with Eko it will just happen! our kids names all came from different sources..Forrest because he reminded us of Forrest Gump…Doc was named by our son..Marbles the cat was after a Seinfeld episode about Mr Marbles the puppet (even though she is a girl) Pickles was a pretty bad rescue I had to save from a hoarder and she was in a Pickle when I saved her …Cleo was named by my daughter after Cleopatra ..Dinnermintz was a morph from ginger ninja until I settled on Dinnermintz..the sheep well the older one Jock named after a Ranger we had that helped us bury our sheep we lost to dog attack…and the other boys we got at the same time we named after the Odd couple Felix and Oscar 🙂 good luck with the new squeelicious girl 🙂 Hugs Fozziemum x

  33. how about a name from africa? Like Bayo=Joy is found or another promising name :o) I met a RR girl on the show, her name was Hiba :o)

  34. I loved that you said Lyra! When I got Artemis one of the names I considered for her was my favorite characters from His Dark Materials was Serafina Pekkala, the Witch Queen. I was unsurprised to see Freckles listed, I was wondering about Claire but that’s a little simple for a dog.

    When I named both of my dogs I had a list in my head of the name possibilities that ranged from normal “dog” names, like Lady for Artemis, and for Apollo I had literary inspiration in Mr. Darcy. I was very much like you though; once Apollo got in my head I wanted to use that name. I had to have a name to make his appointment at the vet and groomers, I chose Apollo and it was perfect. Artemis I had to play with for a little while before I knew she was far from a Lady, but not Serafina either.

    You’ll know. Or you could just put a bunch of names in a hat and let Eko choose 🙂

  35. Emmadog says:

    Mom has a list of names she likes so if she needs a name, she starts there and decides what fits the pet. It will come to you. She needs something slightly regal because of her breed, but funny too to go with her personality.

  36. Gail Simburger says:

    I was thinking Tips or Tippy because her “tips” – nose and tail, look like they got dipped in an ink well. I do like the idea of spending time with her before you name her though.

  37. Bailey, Willow, Suri or for a laugh GaGa as that is what she makes us all feel just looking at all the adorable photos 🙂

  38. Boomdeeadda says:

    Good Gravy !! I’m late to the show but that little girl is a heartbreaker. OMgosh Will ! How fabulous. I’m really happy for you all. Naming is mind boggling. I follow Animal Couriers too and I’ve been suggesting they could publish a name book to raise funds for shelters because they meet so many pets. I’m always reading a fun or cool name on their posts. Here’s a few I quickly found there: Molly, Lili, Mia, Cookie, Sofie, Lola and my vote is Chanel because that’s my signature fragrance and rather a posh name (I think). Anywho, that’s a great spot to name surf.

  39. joanb49 says:

    In that last picture the name Lulu popped into my head. Then I looked it up and in African-Swahili it means gem, in Arabic – pearl, in Germanic – fame, loud, fighter, warrior; and in Latin – bright, born at daybreak. Though I must say I like Nala too.

  40. Maryann Biller says:

    I just adopted a Great Dane and she came the name Kuda. Which I didn’t get at first. Thought was a short version from the Lion King “Hakuna Matata”. Turns out it means “Horse” in Japanese/Chinese. But it’s definitely a unique name. Her nicknames “Kooky Kuda” “Kudis”.

  41. Oh my gosh, what an adorable face! She’s just so cute. Trust me, the right name will come along and you’ll know it based on that sweet face and her personality.

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