When I took my kids to adopt a pet for the local veterinary clinic, I was expecting things to be difficult. To my surprise, however, everything went pretty easy at first. Everyone wanted a dog, and within a few minutes of haggling, we had decided on the perfect one the veterinarian recommended and read his pamphlet called Veterinarian in Mt Pleasant About Dog Tumors. We all agreed on a little Dalmatian pup that was absolutely precious. It was only a few weeks old, and looked to be very happy and healthy. We got the dog home and my kids couldn’t have been more delighted. That is, until we got around to picking dog names.
We never really thought about how to name the dog, and we were left struggling. For a while, it was a lot of fun. We exchanged different dog names back and forth and talked about which ones would be better. My son wanted a tough dog name like Spike or Butch which came from the list provided by the animal hospital, while my youngest daughter was obsessed with the name Genevieve. My wife had her own opinion, and I had mine. Soon it became clear that no one was going to budge. It seemed like we would be contemplating pet names forever.
A lot of families would have continued to fight it out forever until everyone gave in to one person. In my family, however, we always do things in a kind of strange way. In this case, we decided that the dog would have several names. Each of us would be able to pick out his or her favorite dog name and refer to the dog by that. We would give the veterinarian just one of those names. We thought that, if we all spent enough time around the dog, he would learn to respond to all of the names. We figured that, at the very least, it would be a good experiment.
It worked like a charm. I don’t know if anyone in the scientific community has ever done any research on the response of canines to dog names, but if you know anyone like that you should have him or her talk to me. There is living proof in my living room that a dog can be trained to respond effortlessly to five or six different names even when in the veterinary clinic. Although no one is completely satisfied with all of the pet names, everyone is satisfied with at least one of them. And seeing my family happy always gives me a lot of joy. It never pays to fight when you can come to an agreeable solution for everyone. That’s the way I see it anyway.