Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's In a Dog Name?

Although our home is currently pet-free, my childhood was filled with many beloved animals. Growing up we always had multiple pets at any given time - a dog and a few cats. Regardless of what name you eventually choose for your pet, there is always a good story behind how the name came about. My family got their first dog when I was a newborn, so I reached out to my mom to learn more about how she decided on his name.

Fritz, circa 1992
When I was just three months old, my family moved from the Bronx up to Westchester County. Since the area was very secluded, my mom decided that she wanted to have a dog. She went to a breeder in the city looking to buy an Airedale puppy, but he did not have any. He did however have Miniature Schnauzer puppies. One of the male puppies came right over to her so she decided to bring him home. Being that the Schnauzer is a German breed, my mother knew that she wanted a German name and the name Fritz is the first one that she thought of. It was a name that she had heard on one of her favorite television shows, The Odd Couple. I will let her describe the scene from the show:

"It was from a funny scene with Oscar where he was talking about the names of the sports figures on his wall.  He had some photos of them.  The boxer's name was Fritzie Zivic.  The name just stuck with me so when I got the Schnauzer it was what came to mind."

So it was then that Fritz, we also called him Fritzie, became a member of our family. My older brother was nine years old at the time and developed a very strong bond with the dog. I have very fond memories of Fritz dating back to my kindergarten days when he would wait for my bus at the end of the driveway and walk up to the house with me. Fritz was loving, playful and very protective of us kids. He was even known to hunt down the occasional birds, rabbits and snakes from time to time. He lived a great life and passed at the age of 13.

A few years after Fritz passed on, my mother decided to get another Miniature Schnauzer. This one would be a girl. I have mentioned before how I am a pretty big hockey fan. It was 1998 and Women's Ice Hockey made its debut at the Olympics. And if you don't know, the United States won the gold medal. The captain of that amazing team and there star player was Cammi Granato. Since we were all pumped up from the big win, we deiced to name this dog Cammi.

Cammi in the cat perch.
Cammi was a lot of fun. Since we were living in a townhouse now, she wasn't able to have free reign of the yard. So she spent a lot of her time inside hanging out with the cats. This resulted in her often acting like a cat. She would walk along the back of the couch, climb up onto the kitchen table and somehow even maneuver her way into the cat perch attached to the window. Cammi passed away just a few years ago.

Writing about my childhood dogs brings back a lotof happy memories and even a few tears as I write this. They each will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will always miss them. I enjoyed sharing the stories of how they got their names with you all.

How did you decide on your dog's name?

I am blogging about my dogs in partnership with DogFenceDiy, the invisible fence alternative. DogFenceDiy is sponsoring the "What's in a Name" Campaign as a reminder that no matter the name--they care about your pet's safety.


  1. Well, my dogs name actually starts with my naming my cats. I had a female black cat and my sister named it for me - Salem. You know, a witch cat. Then I got a male cat and he was CRAZY. So I named him Damien, after that little boy in The Omen. When we got our boxer, I wanted a name that fit in with Damien and Salem, so chose Tempest. Tempest is a violent storm or commotion. It seemed to go with the other two pretty well. And finally we have Sookie, which is from the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

    1. Very cool! Do you ever get funny looks from neighbors when calling them? :)

  2. Well for ours my Dad got my mom two Scotties terriers (1 black 1 white) for Christmas 2006 and named them Dagwood and Blondie. At first I didnt like the names since I wanted something that played off the colors, yes I now know Ebony and Ivory would be silly. My Dad passed away on Thanksgiving 2007 and we (myself, husband and daughter) took over care of the dogs so now I'm so glad we stayed with the names my Dad wanted so I can be reminded of him daily.
    Though I've also had dogs named Sam, Muttly, Dog, Saddy/Spoon and my childhood dog that I got to pick when I was 11 and named Lucille Désirée Ball Arnaz Ricardo Nimmons but just called her Lucy :) She actually died a few months after my Dad, at age 13, so that was a huge blow to the family.

    Fritz and Cammi looked like cutie sweethearts!! Thanks for sharing and bring back some memories :)

  3. Well my husband wanted to name the yorkie we adopted Poindexter, so we did but we call him Dexter. Our little mix dog was brown and being Italian I decided I wanted to name him Guido LOL


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