The Dog With Many Names

If you’ll recall, we adopted a new dog from our local municipal shelter earlier this year. The name given to him was Samson. Donnie still calls him Samson, but over the last few weeks he as acquired several different names.

This one is because my Dad believed all dog names should have TWO syllables and the second syllable should end in the long E sound. These phonetic restrictions creates a name that is a) easy to call loundly and that b) travels well across a distance. We realized immediately that “Samson!” just doesn’t travel as well as “Sammy!” so the name “Sammy” gets used periodically when we’re trying to call him.

This is a name I call him for no reason in the mornings or when he’s acting particularly cute or sleepy. It is a variation of “baby” that I did not consciously adopt but which I can’t stop using when he looks at me with those adorably human-like eyes.

This name is getting the most traction as it was born of his personality. We – along with many people on the internet – call the act of a dog running around the house like a maniac: The Zoomies. Samson does this often after baths and when he’s playing with a new toy and sometimes when he knows he gets to go for a run. So the name Zoomie is the name he has come by the most naturally and the one I’m kinda sticking with, much to my husband’s displeasure.

Have you ever adopted a young dog with a name you decided did not fit him? Or even better – do you have a dog that goes by several names? It seems that Samson/Zoomie/Bee-Bee is willing to answer to all of the names, so should he just remain the 3-named dog forever?

16 thoughts on “The Dog With Many Names

  1. Jane says:

    Yep! Our dog is named after a section of Richmond, VA where my husband and I had our first date. However, he is also called “Charles” (nothing at all like his name). Mostly it’s my husband who calls him Charles, and I have no idea where it came from, but he answers to it. We also sometimes just call him “Brown Dog” (he is one of those) and he answers to that too. I like to think of the two variations as nicknames, because we primarily call him by the name he was given.

  2. Colleen says:

    I don’t have a dog, but our cat has many names. He came to us with the name Rowan, which means little redhead, and we like that name and call him that. However, he gets called Ro-ro by the kids and me, Wowan (by Wesley), Wild one (when he has the zoomies – cats get it too!), and flopsy-mopsy by me (when he repeatedly flops down in front of my feet for a belly rub, something he’s mostly learned to NOT do in the dark.) . Oh and LEGO thief, after his favorite night time pastime – to steal LEGOs and bat them down the stairs, one step at a time, and then put them underneath the closet door at the bottom of the stairs. (I go collect them every so often).

  3. I forget our dog’s original name but it was a pretty generic name that totally did NOT fit him. We named him Kumo which I use about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time we call him Buddy. Because he is, literally, my ever present, never leaving my side, constant companion Buddy. My husband and I are the only ones that call him Buddy but he’ll respond to both.

  4. Kelli Oliver George says:

    Yes! We have 2 dogs and 3 cats. All of them have multiple names – more nicknames than even our kids. lol

  5. Stephanie says:

    We adopted two brother young adult cats last spring. The rescue had named them Remus and Romulus, (“the twins”) due to them looking so much alike. We loved the literary connotation, so we kept the names…but they don’t exactly roll off the tongue. As a result, they tend to get a lot of nicknames….they get called “Brother” and “Other Brother” interchangeably on a very frequent basis. Also Bubs or Bubby pretty frequently.

  6. Elaine C. B. says:

    My last dog was a rescue dog. Since we got her at Halloween time, all of the animals had been given Halloween-themed names and she was Morticia. We named her Cadence Callista (I don’t know why, honestly) and tried calling her CC, but eventually Cady stuck.

  7. LC says:

    Aramis: Moose, the Moose, Sweet Boy
    Boomer: Boom, the Boom
    RJ: Fatty, Fatty-Mcfats, Fat Cat
    Roly-Poly: Poly, Poles, PoleCat
    Combat: Asshole Cat (LOL! I did not give her this name.)

  8. Olivia says:

    I had friends who adopted a dog called Brandy which they swapped to Harry as they didn’t like the idea of shouting alcoholic drinks across parks! It suits him much better.

  9. Brenda says:

    Annabelle cat—Anna, Bell-Bell, Fat Cat
    Tabitha cat—Tabby, Tab-Tab, Slat cat
    Cocoa chocolate lab—Coca-Cola

  10. Jordan says:

    I inherited a dog from a former roommate. He was named Creepy (because he used to creep around the house) which we kept, but always used variations on a theme such as Creepers, Beepy, Beepers, Creepy Beeperton, etc. (And near the end of his life it was mostly Goddammit Deaf Dog Get Back Here)
    Also, my parents have had a succession of daschunds—all have had actual names (Earl, Ike, Willie), but every one has also been called Weiner or Weenie. Weenie fits your Dad’s criteria and there’s nothing much more hysterical than watching a daschund run at full speed (called Full Weiner Warp around here) while you holler “c’mere weenieweenieweenie!!!”

  11. Melinda says:

    We inherited our chocolate Pomeranian when my mother-in-law passed away. His official name is Choco but I enjoy calling him Chocolate, Pupper and Brown Dog. He responds to all of them with varying degrees of enthusiasm depending on his mood and if there is food involved. We used to have a Samson, also a rescue that came prenamed. We called him mostly Sam or Samdog.

  12. Michele Maxson says:

    We’ve got the following and they all respond equally:
    Sonny (whom you know) – Son, Son-Son
    He went through no transition, he’s just special
    Anna – Banana, Nana, Nan, Nerf, Nerf-Nerf
    Her name transitioned from Anna to Nerf-a-nerf
    Cota- Cooter, Coot, Poot, Pooter, Poot-Poot
    His name transitioned from Cota to Poot-Poot

  13. Di says:

    One of our cats was fostered elsewhere, and named Yuki (he’s white, and it means snow in Japanese) He’s usually called Yeuk-a-buek; Bookie-boy and The Yukster. The other cat was a rescue, and I named her Charlotte. She’s Charly-Barley, Charlotte-my-Barlet.

    And we usually refer to them as The Hairy Roommates, or Those Furry Bastards. (Although, not in front of the kids)

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