For now her name is Puppy

UPDATE: Just talked to Carol (Monday afternoon), and they have narrowed it down to a couple of names. She assures me they will have a decision by tonight, and I will let you know the minute she tells me. If she doesn’t choose one by tonight I’m going to go over to her house and pee in her orange juice.

Last week I started volunteering for the Humane Society of Utah, something I’ve been wanting to do for years but have never kicked myself hard enough in the butt to do. I announced this to Jon, just like that, hey, I’m going to the Humane Society, I’l see you in about three hours. And I thought it would go in one ear and shoot right out the other because he was reading political websites, and when he gets in that mode the only thing that can distract him is the sound of the dishwasher opening because that signals I am either loading it or unloading it and within seconds he’s in the kitchen groping me.

But he instantly shook his head as if a fly was stuck in his ear, and he was all, you’re what? And I was all, but the dogs, they need me! And he was all, WOMAN, IF YOU BRING HOME A DOG I’M MOVING TO MONTANA. BY MYSELF. So I promised him I wouldn’t, and I had no intention of doing so, except I fell in love with a dog. In fact, I fell in love with the first dog that I walked. And I wanted to adopt that dog right then, but then I thought, hmm… I kind of like Jon. I would miss him if he moved. Who would leave computer cables all around the house and buy hundreds of dollars worth of unnecessary crap when allowed to shop at Costco alone?

So I didn’t adopt the dog right then and instead spent the next three hours being knocked over by 120-pound boxers and pit bulls who were more than a little bit excited to be let out of their cages. I’d open a cage and it was like a humpback whale would fall right on top of my head. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and one dog was so out of control that he worked his way out of the leash and headed for Montana. I had to chase him a half-mile down the road, and I was losing steam when it suddenly occurred to me to yell out in my high-pitched dog voice, the Make Coco’s Head Explode voice, and it worked because the dog did a 180 and tackled me to the ground. The cuddling we did for the next five minutes right there on the sidewalk made me feel like I had cheated on my husband.

Yesterday when I showed up to do a few more hours of work I noticed that the dog I had fallen in love with was still there, had not been adopted, so I dove into her cage to take her for the first walk of the day. Bad idea, because my love had only deepened with the distance. Trying not to fall over in a bawling mess I took her out to one of the dog runs and let her play while I made an important phone call. Not to Jon, no, this story does not end in our divorce. Or with a long legal battle over custody of our espresso machine.

My friend Carol mentioned that they had been thinking about getting a dog, and did I have any advice since they’d never had one before. Advice? STAY AWAY FROM MINIATURE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS. Also, I’d be doing some work at the Humane Society and I’d keep an eye out on a dog with a temperament and size similar to Chuck’s. And this was that dog. A 27-pound black lab mix, one year old, submissive, adorable, cuddly. Doesn’t jump up on people. Great with kids. Loves to play with other dogs. The only way she could be more perfect was if she could balance a pitcher of beer between her ears.

She made a few phone calls to her husband, called me back, I called her back, and six hours later I had her and her three kids in my truck on the way to the Humane Society. Luckily the dog was still there when we arrived, and I tell you what, she could not have put on a better show for that family. She snuggled up to each kid, jumped around the dog run happily, ignored all the other maniacal barking dogs nearby, and basically stole all their hearts. Within the hour she was in the back of my truck and we were all trying to figure out what to call her:

When she was dropped off two weeks ago she did not have a name and so the Humane Society just called her Blackie. None of the kids liked that one, so they started throwing out their own ideas: Isabelle, Pepper, Charlie, Dusty, B.B. Carol’s eight-year-old son is pretty sold on the name he came up with and insists that no matter what the final name is he will call her Car.

No one could agree on anything, and this morning when Carol brought the dog over to play with Chuck and Coco she revealed that they still did not have a name. And I said, you know what? I bet I know some people with a few ideas and asked her if I could take this dilemma to you.

Internet, we need a name for this dog.

Carol has only a few criteria. It has to be two syllables, shouldn’t be too girly or too hard to say, and it should definitely roll off the tongue. Carol’s husband suggested that maybe the name should reflect their lifestyle. They’re very outdoorsy people, love to hike and bike and ski. They love the blues (thus B.B. that was suggested above). Also, they’re from the Midwest and pronounce everything the wrong way, so maybe it could be a name that would allow me to make fun of them endlessly when they say it.

Any ideas?

  • Andrea

    Some ideas: Daisy, Sadie, Poppy, Canyon, Kala or Kali (Hindu name that means “black”), Greta, Sally (for La Salle Mts in Utah), Lucy (for BB King’s guitar, Lucille). Will post more if I think of any…

  • Dutchess of Kickball

    I think she looks like:


  • Kristine


  • Anonymous


  • Stefanie

    Since you are in a Tennessee frame of mind, and I’m from Memphis married to a UT alum and fan, how about Smokey? I’m sure the midwesterners won’t be able to properly draw out the Smooooooo-key so that should be worth a laugh.

    Or if you want a really good laugh, just name him Ya’ll

  • Anonymous


    Because she’s pretty. And it’s Brett Favre’s mom’s name.

    (Carol will get it).

  • sarah

    oooh, i LOVE LUNA! nicknames: “LULU” for when she’s cute…and “LUNATIC” for when she’s being not so cute. :)


  • Millicent

    I second Cara, sweet easy to say name and should keep her son happy!

  • Anonymous


  • kate

    Lucile. B.B King named his guitar Lucile.

  • Kathy

    Shoot, if they’re from the midwest, I vote for Polka.

    She’s adorable, by the way. Makes me want another one, too. One that I would seriously name Polka.

  • liz


  • Ben

    Carson. The 8 year old son would be happy.

  • Shannon D

    I think she looks like a Jolie (means happy),
    a Necie,
    or a Leila (could be said Lee-la or lay-la; means dark-haired beauty)

  • Bill



  • Anonymous

    My good friend had a dog named whoknows… Because the dog just showed up at their property, with no i.d. When anyone asked where the dog came from or what her name was, they said: whoknows?

    She was a sweet heart.

  • ORKMommy

    Maggie, Molly or Lover!

    I love it when people get new dogs who fit right into the family! This is one lucky puppy AND family!

  • Jessica

    I look at those pretty brown eyes and her seemingly sweet temperament and the name that pops in my head(and out of my mouth making my hubby believe I’ve lost my mind) is Pumpkin. Just roll it around. Here Pumpkin, Pumpkin roll over, Stay Pumpkin.

  • KAS

    Bella. Her name is Bella.

    I too am from the Midwest and I guarantee you that they will “mispronounce” her name. Also, it’s two syllables, and belladonna is a flower/plant.

    Yeah, it’s a little girlie, but whatever. :D

  • Mocha


  • sandra

    Juper (rhymes with super)

  • Anita

    Frida…what a great dog!

  • Ms. Brown

    Pecos (my cat’s name: she can rope a wild tornada!)
    Frida OR Kahlo

  • Anonymous


  • Tuesday

    We have a dog called “Hazel-Chicken”… Our eldest daughter always wanted a chicken called Hazel, but we don’t do poultry, so now we have a Hazel-Chicken instead.

    Have always liked “Gizmo”, “Widget” or “Toggle”

  • Claire

    I think you should call her Cobra because of her yellow eyes. Alternatively, “Lab Calloway” for the blues angle :-)

  • Carrie

    Scout….that dog looks like a scout.

  • Jill


  • cheri

    she looks like a “penelope” to me. or “penny”.

  • Nora

    How about Odetta? Sure, it’s 3 syllables, but it’s girly and bluesy, and you can call her Odie for short (for that all-important garfield tribute). Or Cotten (after Elizabeth Cotten).

    As an aside to juneyor, my dog’s name is Bocephus. Bocephus Jones. But we call him Mr. Boo. Miss Boo would be a cute name, too, come to think of it.

  • judi

    i can barely type this i have such chills right now…
    she looks EXACTLY like the dog i grew up with – down to the random white patch on her chest – who i got to name b/c i was so insistent. i had just read edgar allen poe in school, and i named her RAVEN.

    wow, i miss her. but this dog is beautiful. i offer up raven as my suggestion, she has a GREAT namesake.

  • beach


  • Christy

    How about Carly, so that Car as a nickname makes sense.

  • Mia

    LOLA! L-O-L-A, Lola! She comes with her own song!

  • Steph

    I think Stella is a beautiful name for her. It fits a name for a dark soul singer in a lounge and she is dark and has big beautiful soulful eyes.

    Plus you can make silly Rocky jokes


  • jawnbc


  • Anonymous


  • sunski

    We have a black cat — Nightly — and a black dog — Shady. They are both girls, but neither name is too girly. Being from (and still in) the Midwest, I can’t think of any name that we pronounce funny, so you’re just going to have to give up on that.

    Our black cat had been living in the shelter the whole six months of her life (having been born there) when we adopted her. The Humane Society workers said that it’s hard to get people to adopt black pets because people don’t want the black fur all over the house. So bless your friend for adopting a blackie.

  • Carolinda Benson


  • Anonymous


  • jules

    how about lucille or lucy in honor of their bb king love. or dooce? or tosca?

  • Nicole


  • Stephanie

    Delta–as in the home of the blues

    Bessie–as in Smith

    Billie–as in Holiday

    Mamie–as in Smith

    Etta–as in James

    (Can you tell I like the blues too?)

  • Alicia A.

    Isla. (like Ees-luh.)

  • jb

    When I was in college, I adopted an adorable Jack Russell/Corgi mix who I called Ezra, after Ezra Pound. She was a good dog, and so I think I will offer her name to Carol.

  • Jane (Harold)

    Another blues suggestion is Koko (Koko Taylor).

    How about Arthur (because Blind Arthur Blake sang Black Dog Blues). I’d prefer Blake, but it’s one syllable, at least in my accent. “Black dog, black dog, you caused me to weep and moan…”

    Continuing the Black Dog song theme, Zeppelin. Or Jimmy – nice name for a girl, I think, but then my Mum christened me Harold.

    How about a black comic book character? Betty after Betty Clawman. (

    If you want outdoorsy, how about Kara Dog, for Kara Dag – Black Mountain in Turkic.

  • April

    Naming dogs is always an adventure!

    The few I have thought of are:


  • Keely

    *sniff* I love dogs too much.

    Names that will showcase the midwest accent:

    Do me a favor, and continue to post pictures of her playing with your dogs from time to time. They make me tear up, seriously, thinking of her stuck at the humane society, and now home with a good family.

    My cats get their shots at the humane society from time to time, because it’s cheapest. One time I was there, looking at the wall of cat cages, and in one cage were two black kitties, jumping around, playing with each other, being adorable, etc. The lady said they had grown up there, at the humane society, together. While I was there a couple came in and adopted both of them together. It makes my chest hurt a little, to think of the two of them lying on some chair in the sun somewhere, cuddling and happy.

  • Sherri

    I wanted to name our new puppy Lambeau, but my husband, who is not a Wisconsinite said “No Can Do!”. Take the name, Carol. I know you will use it wisely. Plus, it looks like your new puppy enjoys leaping! Congratulations!

  • Martha

    I think you should name her Rainey, because it is pretty, feminine, and could be in memory of the famous blues singer Ma Rainey who was known as “The Mother of the Blues.”

    beautiful pup.