In three weeks, I’m bringing home a new pup—a yellow lab (girl) from Wildrose Kennels, in Oxford, Mississippi. Crates, water bowls, beds, food, insurance: that’s all been a cinch compared to coming up with a good name. Everyone I ask (and trust me, it’s been just about everyone) has a different opinion about what and how I should name my new girl. Considering that I’ll say her name something like 30,000 times over the course of her life, it’s a big decision. And I want it to have some sort of meaning. As a kid growing up in North Dakota, we named pets in one of three ways: after literary or movie characters, after flowers or trees, or after one of the booze bottles we found discarded in my uncle’s defunct chicken coop. (One notable stray was named 99 Bananas.)
But now when I mention that I’m getting a dog, people give me nothing but different answers and conflicting advice: name it a human name (“it’s original because it’s a human name”), a southern name (“because she’s from the south”), a southwest name, (“you live in Santa Fe, after all”). The only way to settle it, I’ve decided, is by a handy poll, below. I’ve included my childhood methods and offers that may work. And I’ve offered some names that I like, too. But the question remains: what’s the best method for naming your new dog.
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