What's in a name?
Where pets are concerned, Spot, Fido and Fluffy are passe', according to PetsAdviser, a weekly online compendium of animal advice.
Instead, people favor names such as Charlie, Max, Lucy and Molly, adds a recently released survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance.
What in the name of Rover is going on?
“The popularity of people names doubling as pet names is a testament to the bigger trend of pet owners viewing their pets as members of the family,” said Curtis Steinhoff, director of Corporate Communications at VPI. “It’s now just as common for a pet to be named ‘Oliver’ or ‘Chloe’ as it is for a child.”
" This (trend) suggests that we’re no longer looking for animals to keep us company — we’re looking for family members, " author Jenna Rohrbacher wrote in the separate PetsAdviser article.
Denver attorney David Littman can be seen as an example of the trend. In addition to serving as a family companion and exercise incentive for Littman, his golden retriever Lily spends much of her time in his law office greeting visitors and clients. Her calming presence has even helped defuse tense neogotiations, he added.
"We have clients who come in because of our less formal atmosphere," Littman said. "People like her."
According to VPI, the nation's largest pet insurer, the most popular name for dogs and cats actually stretches human parameters a bit. "Bella," the screen name of Kristen Stewart, the female lead in the popular “Twilight” vampire movie franchise, was the most popular name for canines and felines in 2012. It also made the top 10 birds and exotic pet’s names list for the first time, coming in as the third most popular.
Following Bella among dog names were Bailey, Max, Lucy and Molly.
Among cats, Bella was followed by Max, Chloe, Oliver and Lucy.
Charlie was the top name among birds and exotics, followed by Buddy, Bella, Max and Angel.
Of the nearly half a million pets insured by VPI, only 11 dogs were named “Fido,” and 65 cats “Fluffy.”
Of course, there were some unusual names as well, the VPI survey said, such as “Chew Barka” and “Pico de Gato.”
Who would name their pet such a thing? We could ask my chihuahua, Don Diego Rivera.
Thanks for reading. If you would like to be notified about upcoming stories, click on the "subscribe" link above this article. It's free!