Pet names like people names can run the gamut. Any motive can apply–from fun or noble to functional to downright outrageous. Even “What in the world were they thinking?” (Remember Moon Unit?)
Many pets have come and unfortunately gone in my life. As a child, among the more memorable ones were Flossie and Pluto, the mother and son beagles. One time when Pluto was a puppy, he slipped unnoticed out of the kennel when my brother was feeding him. Pluto was gone for several days, but one evening I heard a faint yippy little bark coming from across the road where the farmer had a hay field in full summer growth. After walking through the field for about 20 minutes I found poor little Pluto desperately trying to find his way out of the 3-foot high jungle. Hard to say who was happier: my brother, who was now out of the doghouse (ouch), Flossie because her baby was home, or Pluto because he was cold, hungry, thirsty, tired and getting close to the end of his rope.
Lassie–what else but a mixed mostly collie with the most compliant personality. My sister used to dress her in baby clothes and push her around endlessly in a toy baby carriage.
Molly was the cow who supplied us with fresh milk and morning moos, and one memorable morning a baby. All feet hit the floor one morning after my Mother looked out the kitchen window and announced “Molly had her hummy.” (PA Dutch for calf).
Stud was the goldfish from Coney Island. Loki LeMew (the Norse God of Mischief) our first cat. Frank LeMew was the white cat with blue eyes, named after Frank Sinatra. Frank by-the-way was not deaf. Pepper LeMew, an all black feline had six claws on each front paw.
Hassle earned her name because of the trouble we had to go to to bring her home. At the time, we were in the Army, stationed in Germany. This was before children, so naturally we did what everyone does: practice being a parent by getting a dog. The details of how we located the family that was selling puppies in the first place escapes me, but suffice it to say, not speaking German, it was an undertaking. This was right after we arrived in Europe, before our car made it to our post. We purchased two round-trip train tickets from Ludwigsburg to Stuttgart, then walked to the family’s address. A chocolate brown miniature poodle, she was an adorable ball of fur. After using all our German money to pay for the dog, we walked back to the station in time to catch our train home.
Germans are very pet friendly. Dogs are allowed everywhere. Restaurants, stores, you name it. One last obstacle arose though, after we were settled in our seats. After handing the conductor the second half or our round-trip ticket stubs, we didn’t understand what else he wanted from us. After much ado, we finally realized that dogs are welcome on trains, but need a half-price ticket to ride. My recollection is that it was the equivalent of 25 cents, but our American money wouldn’t do. The conductor was getting annoyed, and a resolution wasn’t in sight. Finally, a fellow passenger, bless his heart, pulled the correct change out of his pocket, ending our public humiliation. It also allowed him to get back to reading his evening paper in peace. Hence her name. Hassle sounds German. She was a loveable family member for many years, but to this day I remember the angst of getting “der kleiner hundt” home.
Barbie LeMew’s naming ritual has already been described. See: https://coco724.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/barbie-la-mew/ in case you missed it.