Thursday, 8 October 2015

What happened to Rover?

There was a time when dogs would be called Rover or Fido or Skipper.  On the whole, the names used for dogs were not names that would be used for babies, although there were exceptions.  Farmers - especially shepherds - used a number of traditional names, names that were short and distinctive - Rob, Meg, Gyp, Beau and so on.  the OB and I almost cringed when we were told the name of the dog we took from a rescue centre half a century ago: Sandy.  It was not that Sandy was a particularly embarrassing name to have to call in the park, but it was just too common.  We would have preferred something a little more original.

Fern
Our second dog was bought as a puppy and we allowed the children to give him his name.  They decided on Rags, being heavily influenced by the children's television programme, Blue Peter.  Then came Bramble - a name I later found to be surprisingly common - and now, Fern, a sort of continuation in the same vein.

There seems recently to have been a trend developing for people to give their dogs real names.  Not that Rover and Gyp aren't real names, of course.  I suppose what I mean is human names as opposed to canine ones.  Walking in the park the other day, I looked down to see a small, pug-like dog trying to climb my leg.  "Geoffrey," its owner called, "what do you think you are doing?"  Well, I assumed the owner was calling her dog and had not confused me with someone else.

But I ask you: Geoffrey?  For a dog?

I have also met Nigel, Eric and Albert in the past few months.  Now I scan the hatched, matched and despatched columns looking for a boy called Rover.

5 comments:

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

We had a pet cat called Spot.

joeh said...

I have had that same observation.

joeh said...

Fern is one handsome dog!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I used to name puppies after family friends.
Fortunately, for your sake ...or mine, there've been none to name since we met,
Can you imagine dogs named Brighton Pensioner and Old Bat?

Bea said...

Yesterday, I met a Jack Russell called 'Russell'. -not too original, but he was a cutie.