What’s in a name?

I came from a dog family. We got our first dog when I was 8 years old. Looking back, I feel bad that our dogs were bought from breeders rather than rescued from a shelter. As I’ve grown up I’ve learned more about breeders and spent significant time volunteering at shelters. But at this point I can’t do anything about dogs past – just learn from the mistakes my parents made.

But anyway, we had two different dogs growing up. Our first dog was a golden retriever. We got him as a puppy when I was 8 and my brother was 4. My parents let us pick his name.

Now, I have a 3 year old. Left to her own devices, she would pick a bizarre name. She got a huge stuffed frog for Valentine’s Day and named him Frosty the Frog. She told her teacher that she should name her baby girl “Bean”. So, you can see what kind of names my 4 year old brother was coming up with for our dog. So the responsibility fell on me to force him to let me name the dog guide him in the right direction for naming our pup.

To be honest, this was 30 years ago. I don’t remember my thought process. And I don’t even remember any of the other names that we considered. What did I come up with? King. Yep. That went really well with Katie & Craig (my brother). We got called King plenty of times when my mom was flustered and trying to get out the right name.

But it fit him. He ruled that house. Far too well. He actually had quite a few behavior problems and attacked far too many people. This wasn’t safe for a house with two young children, and when he was 4 1/2 years old we made the tough decision to euthanize him before he hurt anyone else.

That was really tough for a 13 year old girl in junior high. That age isn’t fun. Soon after, we got a new puppy. A beautiful little black lab puppy. She was precious. And again, it feel on us kids to name her. I was 13 and my brother was 9 when we got her. If you know 13 year old girls, you know one thing: they’re always right. So obviously, I was going to name this dog, too. What did I come up with? Trixie.

Why Trixie? When I was a little girl, my dad and I always watched late night reruns of The Honeymooners. My dad’s nickname for me is Norton, after one of the characters. Norton’s wife’s name was Trixie. It reminded me of some really fun times with my dad.

Trixie was truly a wonderful dog. She lived to be 13 1/2, long after I had moved away from home. She was the sweetest dog ever, well behaved, and devoted. She lived a good life, and a fairly long life for a black lab. I was 26 when she passed away, and I still mourned her loss for quite some time. We had so many great memories involving her. Even though she hated riding in the car (what dog hates riding in the car?!) she endured a 12+ hour drive from Minnesota to Ohio to visit me when she was about 11 years old. That’s love. She truly was the greatest dog ever.

Do you have any interesting stories behind the names of your dogs?
I am sharing this story about my canine pal as a part of the “What’s in a Name?” Campaign hosted by dog bark collar. No matter the name, dogs are man’s best friend!


  1. Becca says:

    I have had 3 dogs total. They have all been rescues from shelters. The first two came with names. We figured they were 2-3 years old and should get to keep their names (Charlie and Argus). My current dog was found on the street so we had the burden of naming him. My dad actually suggested Hunter because he likes to hunt gophers. It stuck 🙂
    Becca´s last blog post ..Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You Giveaway

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge