I always wonder how many dog owners have nicknames for their beloved canines. My guess would probably be close to ninety percent. It would be a fun idea to research, especially as to the origin of the nickname and when and why it was given to the dog.
I know that in our home, all the family members have different nicknames for our senior gals Ember and Abby. Our oldest, Abby, at thirteen and a half is known as “Ab.”This shortening of her name is something many owners do for a nickname. She is also fondly called “Boog” by one of our daughters; there is no reason for its origin. Abby also gets called “Baby” or “Ab-a-roo.”
Ember has a few nicknames, too. “Embah-do” by one of my daughters, and I have affectionately called her “Ember-lou” although I have been told that it sounds like a country western singer. My favorite name which I call her is “Jelly Bean.” I seriously do not know why I created this nickname for her. It literally came flying out of my mouth one day as I came in the door and said “Hi jelly bean.”
After we first got Ember, she was called with fondness at the off-leash park “Hoots or Hooters.” These nicknames were pretty bang on with her voluptuous figure, five months after having her last litter. When she would walk quickly or run, her swinging nipples were quite a sight! We spayed her shortly thereafter, but many strangers smile realizing that she has been a mother dog.
When I walk client’s dogs they get a treat from me upon arrival, and when I return them back home. As part of the routine I always say goodbye to them out loud before heading out the door. I walk a big male lab named Ben and I call him simply “Benny” or “Big Boy” when I say my goodbye.
Cassy, a small bichon-poodle mix, I call “Monkey” or “Little One” when heading out on my way. When she boards with us my eldest daughter calls her “Casserole.” In Cassy’s house she is also known as “Little Sh**t” for her nickname. This made me laugh so hard when I first heard this, as she is the sweetest little dog with spunk that gets along with all types of canines.
Lily, a Golden Retriever who I walked for many years was simple “Lil.” Most of the dogs I walk I just shorten their names as a term of affection. “Mitz” for Mitzi, “Zo” for Zoey, “Lade” for Lady and “Fully” or “Fully Wooly” for Fulton.
One mixed breed I walk and board is named Zoey, a flat coated Retriever Bassett mix. She is lovingly called “Zoe-wiener” in our house due to her long slim shape.
I don’t think that our dogs get confused with additional names. Dogs are like us, and grow up with a variety of nicknames from friends or family members.
Dogs respond to our facial expressions, body language and most of all tone of voice so any happy words directed at them are well received.
There are plenty of links on the web regarding dog names and nicknames. I actually wrote a post called “What’s Your Dog’s Name” last February,https://dogstwentyfourseven.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/whats-your-dogs-name.
While thinking about dog nick names I found this interesting link by Colleen Cancio on the Animal Planet site. She wrote about ten nicknames that won’t embarrass your small dog, http://animal.discovery.com/petsource/small-dogs/10-small-dog-names.html.
So my word of advice to any dog owner is to go with what feels right regarding a dog’s nickname. It may be silly, funny, quirky, thought-provoking, or simply another way to show your love to your beloved dog. Our dogs love to be spoken to anytime and this contact between canine and human being should be celebrated.
Now you tell me – does your dog have a nickname?
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