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?

  • Steph from Toronto

    I really like some of the names mentioned but I’m sorry, this dog’s name is clearly Sophie. No question.

  • Leslie

    No name suggestions from me…just thought I’d commend you for going through with what I’ve been dying to do for years. Maybe some day, I’ll get off my ass and volunteer there (without bringing every dog home).

  • Katy

    Nani (hawaian for beautiful)

  • Amy Howard


    Either that or Barack.

    Obama has a nice ring to it, but that breaks the two syllable requirement.

  • L Bo

    it’s pretty obvious that her name is Sugar…

  • Anonymous

    I like Velvet too. but I’m partial to Alice. I like to name animals old fashioned olive or hazel or pearl.

  • Kami Fancher

    Dr. Pepper
    Gladys- it’s the first word in my reCAPTCHA :)
    Liberty- Libby for short
    Otilia- Tillie for short; means “battle heroine”
    Ruthie- Ruth means friend
    September- Ember for short
    Tivo- who’s not going to want to play and replay with her?

    Someone mentioned Armstrong because of Lance Armstrong… I think Armstrong works well because of 1) biking, 2) jazz, as in Louis (don’t you think she’s singing What a Wonderful World in her own heart right now?) and 3) that you were the catalyst to get her home. Maybe she could be called Ari for short (ARE-ee). Or maybe use Armstrong as a middle name, if they’d like.

    Best wishes to both your families.

  • Kat


    Very loosely translated means champion in Japanese.

  • Karen


  • kccruz

    1.)ONYX BLUEBONNET (Last name here)
    Onyx = Black, Blue = I got dem blues baby, Bonnet = What outdoorsy Midwest people where on their heads when they hike ,bike and ski ( just an assumption) Bluebonnet = A flower…for puppy was “picked” just for them.

    2.) Maddie Waters ( Last name here)
    A play on the name Muddy Waters….Plus the whole family is “Maddiely in love with her”

    Good Lord I am a cheesy genius.

  • Sadie


    Growing up, we had a rag-tag black lab mix with the white bib like this puppy’s – and she was a sweet, loyal, crafty dog. Her name was Heidi.

  • Emma

    Someone else suggested it but I think Shadow is really nice.

    Also I think Amber would be good, as it connects with nature and isn’t too feminine…

    Autumn or Blossom or Echo would be nice for the same reasons.

    Also Cherry or Poppy or Honey or Cricket or Petal or Ivy or Crystal or Sugar or Jasmine (or Jazzie) or Vixen or maybe Snowflake?

    Or Sage – but it only has one syllable :-(

    I’m from Australia so there’s also Jarrah, which is an Australian tree or Opal which is an Australian gemstone…

    Lookingforward to hearing the name choosen! She’s so cute!

  • Anonymous


  • anon

    I always thought Dogma was a cool name for a dog.

  • JS5981

    I think Cricket is a suitable name for her. Don’t ask me why, just popped into my head when I saw her.

  • Michelle


    The pictures of this dog reminded me so much of my dog growing up, it brought tears to my eyes. She was the most amazing dog. Her name was Cinder, and I thought it only appropriate to recommend the name to Carol and her family.


  • Elizabeth Marie

    Definitely Charlie. Such a cute name for a girl or a boy dog!

  • Jessica



  • A

    Bo. Alternatively spelled Beau.

    Also – Delilah.

  • AngelaB


  • Anonymous


  • Laura

    I know, it’s not two syllables, but she looks like a Scout to me. If you need a longer name, go for Jean Louise.

  • Barbara

    What’s wrong with Puppy?

    Growing up, our dog was a black lab mix that looked just like this one and his name was Puppy.

  • Anonymous


    Lucille “Lucy”


  • cbms

    Chase or Chaser (for the 2 syllable requirement)

  • Anonymous

    she looks like “midnight” to me :)

  • Sheetal

    Chaya (shadow in Hindi)

    beautiful creature that doggie

  • Anonymous

    How about Circus?

  • Anonymous

    LeeRoy (as in Brown…you know, the baddest dog in the whole dang town/meaner than a junkyard dog…etc. you get the picture)

    or JoJo so you could say “get back, JoJo” ala the Beatles

  • Patrick

    Casey. As in “at the bat.” Best dog name ever. Yes, I am biased.

  • Spacemom

    CB-Coco’s Bitch
    CW- Crotch Warmer

    How about?

    Martha (like that dog in Martha Speaks, What? Leta doesn’t watch that one yet?)

  • SammyHill


  • Mariel

    I’m a fan of full names for dogs soo..

    Carmen Lolita
    Georgia Moon

  • Jessica

    Tonka – like the toy trucks, but still kinda feminine sounding

  • Anonymous

    Snowball, just to be contrary.

    Also, I know you said two syllables, but Barq’s is a Midwestern root beer, and then whenever they talk about it you can say “A what beer?” and they’ll be all “ruht! ruht! ruht beer!” and you’ll be all “you mean rooot beer?” and they’ll be like “whatever” and you can be “yeah, what kind of soft drink is that” and they’ll begrudgingly say “pop” and you’ll be all “HAHAHAH! YOU SAID POP!” and it’ll be loads of fun for everybody.

    Plus, Barq’s sounds like Barks, which, dog-appropriate.

    Congrats to you and them and Puppy.

  • Aimee

    Ruby Jane

  • Anonymous

    Otis and Chuck. BFF.

  • Brianne

    Shasta. Google Lake Shasta. She would love it there.

  • Monica

    I always name my pets after alcoholic drinks.

    Sake and Martini so far.

  • Nancy R

    Carly, if only because it can be shortened to Car.

  • Anonymous

    We have a dog that looks exactly like her. We also got her at a local shelter. Her name is Sasha Marie. She is a wonderful dog!

  • Kate

    Ohhh, I like Minnie. She looks like a Minnie. Or “Girl”. Just plan Girl.

  • Heidi

    I was at a Neko Case concert last night, and Neko dedicated every song to a different animal she had met at the Humane Society of Minneapolis on a tour in the afternoon. Example “this song is for snowball the cat, who purrs really loud and sleeps on her litterbox” etc.

    So, Heather, I suggest the name Neko.

  • lisa

    obey pronounced oh bee :) or cosette (to honor the dog we once rescued from u of minn research lab)

  • Katie

    Sister spikey mace of desirable mindfulness

  • Susan s

    Looks like Shirley to me.

  • Lindsey

    Kona is a pretty cool name for a dog. Or Abby.

  • Moop

    I like Keeper, that’s a great name for a Dog!

  • A Mama

    Colman. Or the short version pronounced Cully. Though I do like Fargo best of all 1,300 (!) entries.

  • Tara

    If they like the blues, then name her “Nola” (New Orleans, Louisiana)