Monday, September 28, 2009

what's in a name

I have just arrived home from covering New Zealand Fashion Week; exhausted in a if-I-have-to-look-at-one-more-stick-thin-model, wintery-garment-or-runway-show-I-think-I'll-strangle-myself kind of way, and all I was looking forward to was coming home to our amazingly awesome (foster) dog, Ziggy Stardust.

But, being a foster parent to a dog (other than saving them from the terrible fate of being put-down at the pound and feeling extremely good about yourself for doing so) means having to give them up to a loving adoptive family at some point or another. You can probably see where this story is going...

I'm happy to say (but deep-down utterly and crushingly disappointed) Ziggy is now off having fun with his new family, who will hopefully love him as much as I did - well, do. And so, I arrived home to a message from Denise, who runs the charity Paws, informing me we have a new dog to save next weekend; which brings me to our very problematic naming conundrum.

Coming up with a suitable name for Ziggy took a gruelling three days. Rocket was thrown around, as was Frankie, Rupert, Alfalfa (Alfie for short) and Crumpet, but none of them seemed to fit quite right.

Sure, there are the obvious rules for how not to choose a name - don't let you're 11-year-old child name it, don't use anything you find on the Top Ten Names list, don't name it something you'll be embarrassed to use when at the dog park and definitely do not name it something with more than two syllables or the dog will just ignore you - I met a pug running rings around its owner the other day; its name was Babychino.

So how do you come up with a cool, interesting and unique, but at the same time suitable name? More importantly, how do you go about giving an identity to a dog that has more often than not already had a life, and a name, before you?

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