What’s In a (Middle) Name?

We've come a long way from Fido and Spike
By Julia Lane, February 2011, Updated June 2021

Does your dog have a middle name? All of my animals—even the cats—have one. It’s not something my husband or I planned. The middle names just came to be, easily rolling off of our tongues when faced with yet another destuffed animal or consumed counter treasure.

 
“Arrrgh, Darby Lynn! How could you chew a hole in my favorite fleece pullover?”
 
“Cricket Alexis! Oh, that naughty kitty. She TP’d the bathroom again!”
 
But the middle names are not exclusive to disaster zones. When our late Catahoula would lean into me, I’d gleefully sing, “De-SO-to Le-O-pold!” while scratching between his ears and at the base of his tail. It was one of my favorite, mushiest moments with the big guy.
 
Do you say your dog’s full name when he’s in trouble or being a love?

 

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Photo: Julia Lane

Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.