This blog post is a part of the “What’s in a Name?” Campaign hosted by DogFenceDiy, the invisible fence alternative. DogFenceDiy understands how important your pets (and their names) are to you.
Dogs have always been a part of our family. Over the years, we have had many dogs come and go, and we’ve had many opportunities to name new puppies. I think it’s just about as hard for us to name a puppy as it is to name one of our own children! Names are important – and fairly permanent, especially once the dog has learned to answer to a certain name.
My husband and I sometimes joke that we gave our favorite names to the dogs we had before our children. It’s actually a little bit true – I’m fairly certain at least one of our children would have been named differently if we hadn’t had a dog running around with the name we really liked…but we couldn’t use since we didn’t want to name our baby after the dog!
One of the first dogs we ever owned was a Malamute/Lab mix. To this day, I don’t think I have ever seen a puppy cuter than she. She was a unique little puppy mutt with the classic black and white face “mask” markings of a Malamute (from her dad) combined with the smaller body and smoother fur of a Lab (her mom). We took her everywhere as a puppy, and everywhere we went, she got tons of attention because she was just so darn cute. Don’t you agree?
It can sometimes be hard to name a puppy, especially if you want a name that will be special and have at least a little bit of significance. However, since my husband and I had spent the previous summer living in Alaska, we knew right away of one famous Alaskan name that would fit our little ball full of furry energy, and that name was … McKinley.
It’s definitely not an original name for a dog if you live in Alaska, but we didn’t know that at the time! There are tons of dogs in Alaska named after the tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley (aka “Denali”). We weren’t living in Alaska at the time, though, so it really didn’t matter much to us. The name McKinley reminded us of a place we loved, and we thought it was the perfect name choice for our new puppy.
The three syllable name “McKinley” probably wasn’t best choice we could have made for our dog. Over the years, we began to notice that shorter names are perhaps a little bit easier for dogs to learn. But – eventually our McKinley did learn to come when she was called (or truth be told, she would RUN AWAY FROM US when she was called…she was a naughty dog sometimes!). We often shortened McKinley to a nickname, “Kinnels.” She eventually learned to answer to her nickname, too.
I could tell you lots of McKinley stories. She was the sweetest, naughtiest dog you could ever imagine. Naughty or not, she will always have a special place in my heart. We have since returned to live in Alaska, and every time I hear someone talking about Mount McKinley, I can’t help but remember her and smile. We couldn’t have picked a better name.
What is your dog’s name? How did you pick it? Let me know in the comments.