Hi Duana,

A new four-legged friend joined our family this week and we are all in love. The problem? We can't agree on a name. Naming babies was easy compared to this ~ after all, there really were only two of us who had the final say ~ but now there are four of us, each with very different ideas of what our new family member's moniker should be. My daughter is in love with Oscar and Theo, my son only wants Buddy Holly, my husband would like to name him Deuce Beagleow (seriously) and my favourites are Samson, Louie and Alfie. Barney has also been suggested, which I love because he's a Beagle and it really suits him (and I know a certain someone loves a Beagle named Barney and would agree that it's a perfect name for an amazing pet).

Anyhow, can you please help us with a few suggestions for our puppy?

Thank you!


I should not be expected to handle this request without a picture of said puppy.   Like, it’s really not fair. But I persevere, because I am good to you people.

So when I read Bill Cosby’s “Fatherhood” as a kid (we’ve established that I was a nerd), he said that a good tenet for naming children was a name that would carry when you called the child home – a name where you could linger for a long time on the last vowel (I seem to remember him suggesting “Winnou”).

In my opinion, this goes double for dogs. You are going to be calling that dog over and over again, sometimes in a long call, sometimes in a short, frustrated repeat, and also, you are going to make up stupid nicknames for the dog based on the dog’s name that are sometimes longer than the name itself. My husband thinks it’s hilarious to call our dog Libby "Libertarian".

So the point is, you want something that’s gonna go long. Most of the time, I would say this eliminates two-word dog names. I dare you to yell out "Deuce Beaglelow" at the dog park more than once before the side-eye gets you. Buddy Holly is a notable exception here – there are big vowels at the ends of both words, and they’re both fun to say.   Buddy HOllllllllleeeeeee. I could get behind it.

Ergo, Louie and Alfie are right on the money, and Barney – I mean, obviously it works, but don’t let Lainey hear you saying that she’s the real name nerd, I’ll never hear the end of it. As per my earlier discussion about dog-name-lengthening, Lainey and Jacek's Barney is sometimes referred to by the more formal "Barnard". Like the college.

So. What’s an oldish-man name that will not embarrass you but sound super good when  called out over and over? Rusty, obviously, is back in vogue. Digby? Wylie? Dobie.

Or if you’re really into the old man thing, how about Bertie? Eugene. Seymour, which kind of goes with your Samson? Sidney?  Come on. Sidney the puppy? Harvey? Do you want to take a page from Mad About You and call the puppy Murray?

Last but not least, the best dog name I’ve never been able to use? Wallace. It just is. I don’t know why.

Happy trails. Please send a picture stat.