Not everyone is lucky enough to get a pet from birth, where they have the privilege of giving them a name. When I was a child (some will attest that was just last year), I grew up with “found” dogs – strays that wandered into our lives and stayed. We were lucky to have them, and to give them an appropriate name. The first one I remember was called “Missy.”

But already I digress.

The problem is when you get a pet (usually a dog or cat) that already comes with a name. The name is fine; the name is what you call them; the name is what they come to (or the thing you’re screaming while chasing them around the house to put the leash on them). But it’s not necessarily the name that reflects their true personality. That, my friends, takes a little time.

One example would be the dog my Aunt and Uncle had when I was growing up (again, some will argue that I’ve never grown up). Her name was Peanuts, and she was a very chubby Chihuahua/Beagle mix. They would often explain that she was the product of either a very sexy Beagle, or a very brave Chihuahua. My Aunt (and we) would call her Peanuts. My Uncle, thought, had his own names for her. He called her Pickles (I never knew why, really) except for when she’d done something bad. Then he called her Shit-Ass. That was the name to which she answered very quickly.

Well, our precious little girls have grown and blossomed in our home, and we think their true names, reflective of their personalities, have finally come up. They are now Hoover and Ghost!

Hoover gets her name from the Hoover vaccuum cleaner, not the President; its the simple fact that her nose is always on the ground no matter where she is – inside or outside. And anything that’s even remotely loose gets sucked right in! I think she’s nearly cleared out the back yard of all twigs. And going for a walk with her is like being chained to a swimmer taking a perpetual dive – she continues walking with her hind legs, but her front paws are raised up in front of her so she can try to get to the ground to pick up anything she can suck in.

Ghost gets her name from her namesake in the movie Paranormal Activity 3; more specifically, the scene where “Toby” suddenly appears in a sheet like a ghost. She has become so stealth (she’s like a ninja!) in her movements just like Toby that I never know where she is until she suddenly pops up in front of me. So many times they’ll be upstairs with me, and when I start down the steps, Hoover is there by my side and slighly in front of me racing to get down the steps. I look behind me and Ghost isn’t there; neither is she at the top of the steps. Thinking perhaps she’s up to no good in one of the other upstairs rooms, I call to her, “Ghost! Where are you? Come on down! … Ghost?” Then I look down at my feet and there she is looking up at me with a face that almost says, “What? I’ve been here all along. Did you need something?

She also has a way of disappearing for a split-second – a split-second! – and then later I find a little mess I have to clean up. I’ll stand there scratching my head and ask her, “How the hell do you do that?”

So, after living with them for 3 months, they now have their true doglette names. Feel free to say hello to Hoover and Ghost.