When Names Evolve


Jeni was Didi – she became Jenison, or Jeni, and now is frequently called J, JJ, Jen, Jayce or Scary.

Snoopy was Snoopy – and it has actually stuck pretty well, but he is also Snoop, Snoop Dog or Bubba.

Bauer was Scully – he became Bauer, now Bowie, Bow or Loud Dog.

Legolas was Ash – he became Legolas, now Lego or Leggy.

And Garth was Garth, and has somehow evolved into Garfunkel. Or Garfy. Consider this post the official announcement of his new name (until he gets adopted… because we’re not keeping him…really).

I know I am not alone in this – I remember Love and a Six Foot Leash writing this post about how their dogs’ names changed multiple times.


Some of these “evolutions” are natural nicknames, but the dogs start picking up on it and responding to silly pet names as though they are their real names. If I was the scientific sort, I might try to record what mood I am in or what the circumstance is when I call a dog (or Leggy) a particular nickname, but I’m too lazy to actually do that and I guess I can just assume.

The funniest thing to me about all of these names, is that I have had a list of potential dog names sitting around forever. And none of them are what any of my dogs are named. Snoopy was named by the shelter, Bauer was named by his former owners, and Jeni was named by my husband on our honeymoon the week before we picked her up. I didn’t even really like “Garth” as a name so you think I could have managed to switch it to something totally different… but he just became Garfy.

I like to think of the name evolution as the growing bond between dog and person as the dog’s “true name” comes out… though it probably also has a lot to do with convenience as well.

So has your dog’s name changed? Did any deep thought go into it or did it just happen?


Today I’m participating in the “Thursday Barks and Bytes” blog hop… Check out the hosts at 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.


9 thoughts on “When Names Evolve

  1. Our dog Donna was named by the shelter. Didn’t think there is a need to change it since she is still loved by the people from the shelter as well. I’m sure I would have given her a terrible name and think it funny, so it’s probably to take the naming decision out of my hands! Hah!

  2. What fun and Jeni is so beautiful! We’re people who use a lot of nicknames and the dogs respond to all of them 🙂 We’ve never kept any of the shelter names. Jeffie came to us as Stevie. Rudy came to us as Fatso. Rosie came to us as Puppy.

  3. O hai! I have a chicken named Legolas. And there’s a Merri and a Pippin. But I often call my dogs (Flash and Patches) Bubby and Sissy. They’re litter mates. Oddly enough, none of my animals really have nicknames. Huh. Well, the duck, Jimmy, goes by Jim Jim.

  4. Thanks so much for joining Thursday’s Barks and Bytes.

    Delilah was actually named Ginny when we got her, but Hubby wanted a Delilah to go with Sampson, their names haven’t actually changed per say, but they do have nicknames. Mostly Sampson is Punkin to me and Bubba or Bubbers to Hubby. Delilah is pretty girl, big girl or sweet lips to me, while Hubby refers to her as Sweet Pea. Not sure if those count or not, but our dogs do respond to those names! And Sampson’s middle name is Aragorn. 😉

  5. Your dog is SOOOO cute. But I might be biased because her face reminds me so much of a cross between my angel Abby and my current sweetie, Rita.

    Rita was Peaches at the shelter. She became Rita for Rosarito Beach, where she was found, plus peach margaritas (which my husband is killer at whipping up). Her name hasn’t evolved too much. We sometimes call her Senorita, or Bunny or Bun.

    Our dog Bailey evolved to B and then Pea and then Peanut and then Speanut and then Spea. That was her main nickname (esp’y since the hubs and I evolved from Piglet and Pooh to Spig and Spooh. So we became Spooh, Spig and Spea.) I have never admitted this publicly before…. 🙂

  6. Hi Y’all!

    Hmmmm…plenty to think about here…When my Human got me my nickname was Hawkeye. It’s since be shortened to Hawk, but I’ve never been called anything else. My Human says when she was little some of the dogs earned a nickname…like one of the hunting dogs who liked to roll in cow flops and earned himself the name stinky.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  7. LOL this is a great post. We have so many incarnations of our dogs’ names. Glad we are not alone. We bought our golden retriever (pre Chessies) from a breeder when he was 14 months old. She had named him “Gus”. We did not like that name. Hubby had an Uncle Gus so it was odd to us. We changed his name to Gordie. It was close enough so he answered to it right away. Nestle (our cat) was named by the shelter, but I could not remember it. Kept calling her Hershey…lol. She is mostly “kitty cat” and she comes when called.

    Thanks so much for joining Barks and Bytes. 🙂

  8. Love that precious face! My dog, Lucy, is most often called “Ducy girl” which of course evolved from “Lucy doo”…”‘Lucy Duce”…”Lucy Ducy.”…she still answers to every single one of those too! And Oscar, answers to “da baby”! hahaha! 🙂

  9. Moses was “Blue” when we picked him up from the breeder, since all the puppies were named after their collar colours. Then we named him Moses, and it’s often shortened to Mo or Big Mo.
    Alma was named Winnie when we adopted her. But that name didn’t suit her at all. So now the pair of them are Mo and Al.

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