please help me name my dog!

You may recall from all your celebrating that Monday was International Women’s Day.  Well, there is currently not a woman in my life, so on Monday I decided to go out and get me a bitch.  I did.  Went to a friend’s house, saw one, wrapped her up in a towel and brought her home.

First thing we did when we got home: took a nap.  Her settled on my lap, little white toes curled up  against my forearm  Slept for a couple hours.  Apparently the whole being-captured-and-carried-to-a-new-place really takes it out of you because I got up, read and then finished West With the Night and the little booger was still asleep in my lap.  It wasn’t until I was a couple chapters into The Golden Compass that she stirred just enough to free her to pee in my lap.  This prompted me to make a list:

Things I learned in the first three days of owning a puppy in Armenia:

1. Armenian dogs just like American dogs WILL take the first opportunity available to pee on me (re: every other dog I’ve ever played with).  It’s must be on every dog’s bucket list.
2. Armenians do not believe in Dogs Inside.  Dogs are “dirty”.  So, my landmother will let my landsisters play with the puppy (playing=running around her squealing), but they are not aloud to touch her.
3. The landfamily, despite their cultural disposition, actually support my keeping her.  They give her bones and built her a little home outside.
4. This puppy-peeing-on-me thing coupled with the I-have-to-wash-everything-by-hand-between-the-hours-of-10-and-1 thing is really no good.  I’m going to have to find a washing machine.
5. Puppy was, in another life, a model.

Indeed, pup was a model before she was born.  And you can see the proof below, but first, you’ve got to help me.  Puppy needs a name.  At first I tried out the name Everybody.  The original thought came from an old friend of mine who was making a joke about giving the name to his daughter.  Since then I’ve been holding onto Everybody for a future pup, delighted at the joke (Who peed on the floor?  Everybody.  Everybody, shut up! Everybody, quit licking yourself).  But after a couple of days I realized that this would mean years of explaining this joke that would quickly cease to be so funny.  And the shortened version, Evi, just doesn’t work.

So, I need you to help me come up with a name. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

(Unsuitable) Names suggested by Armenian friends:
Mickey, Mimi, Gina, Jehko, Sharik

Names suggested by Armenian friends that I actually like:

Armenian and Russian words that might make good names:
Kyasja (blond), Kapik (monkey), Ket (whale), Knobka (lightswitch)

English names that describe her in some way:
Shivers (she’s a nervous wiggler), Duckling (ok, she’s cute and all, but her muttness makes her all disproportionate, tiny back legs, big skull, tiny ears… I’m considering her my Ugly Duckling)

A name I thought of after reading West With the Night which made me realize how much I like race horse names:
Spring Chicken

Names that come from the wikipedia page about International Women’s Day:
Triangle Shirtwaist, Zetkin, Kollontai

My sister and I really love the idea of naming pets after inanimate objects (she’s got a real cute tabby named Tweezer), so here are names from inanimate objects without which I would not have survived 9.5 months in Peace Corps Armenia:
Thermos, Vararan (heater), Blanket, Podcast, Blog, Karma (our fav indian restaurant in the capital), Boots, Birdya (woollen (things))

So, of those I really like Kyasja, Duckling, Birdya and Spring Chicken. And I swear the next cat I get is getting named Triangle Shirtwaist.

But please, please suggest any other names.  Because look how cute and name-deserving she is:

Seriously, she’s saying, “Please… give me my name,” with her eyes.  (Anyone having apocalyptic flashbacks to that scene in The Never Ending Story?)

I took this picture on our first day.  Apparently girl can work her environment.  Look what happened:

I asked for cute on a shoe.  She gave me cute on a shoe.  Then I asked for pensive:

BAM!  Aloof:

Now give me Goofy:


Now,  give I Want To Eat My Own Hand:

Now, give me Over It:

Now, give me Really Disproportionate:

Oh, she’s good.  But check what she did when I asked for Pitiful:

Seriously.  I know.  So, if she’s going to have a chance in this industry, dog needs a name!  Help!


  1. this was hilarious, brent. i don’t normally read your blog, but im going to now.
    Nick and i are sitting at a coffee shop here in Korea and we were enjoying looking at your new puppies pictures.
    We got a pet bunny here and we named it “Bibimbap”….it’s a korean rice and vegetable dish. We thought it was a cute idea, when we tell Koreans they think it’s weird.

    1. That’s the same with Armenians! They want pretty names like Gina and Flora and I want names like Whale and Spring Chicken. Although, I will say that Knobka was an Armenian’s idea.

    2. lady

  2. you should name her Pig because her tail is just like a little piggy’s tail. and i LOVED the pictures! SOOO CUTE!

  3. oh my GOD! She is such a precious little creature! I like all her “moods”…Her eyes have the entire universe spinning in them…very cozmik muffin this one….SHNORHAVOR!

  4. Oh man, that could be the second cutest dog in the entire world. Roman of course being the most cutest (I know,bad grammer).

    I think she looks like a persephony, or maybe a Parsnip. Awe, or deffinately a Peaches. She looks like a peach.

    Really a cute puppy.

  5. christine

    I like Kyasja. Please do not name her lightbulb. That was my least favorite option.

    She’s VERY adorable! :) Good luck with her.

  6. Um, I think that Spring Chicken is the best dog name I have ever heard. PLEASE!!!! Please name her Spring Chicken!

  7. She is ADORABLE! I like Birdya.

  8. Knobka! Knobka is BY FAR the best name on your list.

  9. I like Karma. Why? Because you are doing great things in Armenia, and maybe naming her Karma will give you a little karma and end your bad luck streak with animals. :) Good luck!

  10. I think you should name her Gretchka, mostly because I think it both looks like dog food and tastes as unappetizing. (if you can’t tell, I really hate gretchka; but I would love your puppy if you named her Gretchka! Actually, she’s cute as fucking hell, so I think I’ll love her anyway)

  11. Emily Haas

    What a ham!! I can’t wait to meet her! I like shaganagagween. That may be a bit long, but hey, its a great word and could be shortened into many other names.

  12. Love love love. Love. Just be sure she knows her limits.

    I like Duckling or Thermos. I am also a big fan of two-part obscure celebrity names, like Paul Anka on Gilmore Girls. So think about that. Wayne Newton? Vivian Vance?

    I miss you and I miss this puppy, though I’ve never met her.

  13. Awww.. the ears are cute!

  14. the Mom

    Since she is posing as well as any model could and since I watched ATM tonight naturally I have decided to call her Tyra. And there you go! The perfect name!

  15. This is really very helpful. And I’m glad you all think she’s as cute as I do! And now, despite a deworming process that made me second guess my adoption (and made me want to puke), I know now that you all endorse my puppy ownership. URAKH!

    Know that Chamitch (raisin) and Chesnut are now in the running.

    Stay tuned for her actual naming.

  16. For the love of God, do not name that poor animal Blanket. It has Michael Jackson written all over it.

    Also, I have this thing where when I read a foreign name, I immediately deem it unpronounceable and mentally assign a new name to it. So I’m going to tell you up front, if you give her an Armenian name, I’m out.

    I don’t know why, but I am feeling partial to Thermos. I think it conjures up memories of a nice warm childhood feeling. You knew that, whatever else was in your lunchbox that day, there was always a jug of your favorite drink, just waiting to be poured into the little plastic lid.

    (Love the writing– keep it up. I’ll be reading.)

  17. Woody and I got a blue heeler mix a few months ago. We kept the name the rescue shelter gave her. Penelope. We just call her Penny. But if I could go back and rename her from the beginning I think I would name her Trouble Maker. She’s a “sweet” dog. Just not so much always a “good” dog. Lot’s of mischief.

    Miss you! Oh, and stock up on any newspapers you can! (helps with house training!)

  18. […] starts as my days now do: with The Unnamed (puppy).  I take her out of the well-built hovel she lives in (remember, landfamily will not allow […]

  19. […] 19, 2010 by breadtobeeaten Ok, brace yourself.  I’m about to explain the dog name […]

  20. love this cute one! missed her for a week now!
    Brent jan, call her popok! Even if it means walnut in English and has nothing to do with this awesome jan, still she is very popok like the way it sounds:-)

    I’m calling her popok anyways… :-D

  21. […] remember how I told you she was quite the model.  I seriously walked her over to a patch of dandelions, and she walked around a bit and just […]

  22. Anonymous

    Name her Sparky!

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