Animal Clinic of Kalispell - May 2020

Pet Press KALISPELL MAY 2020



It’s fun to ask where a unique pet name is from and to learn about the shows, books, and even video games that my clients are into.

Celebrating Dogs Named Kylo, Earnhardt, and Hamilton

Here’s one for all the Star Wars nerds out there: “May the 4th Be With You.” This pun comes from the iconic line “May the Force be with you,” and it’s the catchphrase for “Star Wars” Day celebrated on May 4. This month I want to shout out all of the Star Wars fans who come to the clinic. I know there are a lot of you because your pets have told me. Or more accurately, your pets’ names told me. Over the course of my career, I’ve treated countless Lukes, Vaders, Yodas, Han Solos, Chewbaccas, and Princess Leias. Right now we have several dogs named Leia, a puppy named Kylo, a few chihuahuas named Obi- Wan, and a pitbull named Poe. Star Wars has always inspired good pet names. These names can also be generational. I can usually guess what generation a client is from based on which Star Wars names they choose for their pets. People who chose names like Rey, Poe, or Kylo for their new puppy are too young to appreciate 1980s special effects.

I’ve cared for pets named Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky — spelled phonetically as “Chicowski.” Then there’s the NASCAR families with Jimmy, Junior, Dale, Earnhardt, Gordon, and Petty. We have Favre, Elway, Steve, Peyton,

and Brady. There’s Gandolf and Bilbo, Scarlet and Rhett, and of course Kintla, Bowman, Tally, and Siyeh.

My own pets have theme names. When I was a little kid, Barry Switzer was the football coach at the University of Oklahoma. I loved Barry Switzer, so we named one of our springer spaniels Switzy after him. Today, there are a bunch of founding fathers running around my house: TJ (Thomas Jefferson) the cat, Lincoln the springer, and Hamilton the golden. To be honest, the patriotic-themed names happened by accident. Our cat’s name was Teardrop when we first got him, but that’s a terrible name for a cat, so we switched it to TJ. Later, we got 6-month-old Lincoln who already had his name. My son pointed out that TJ was short for Thomas Jefferson, so when we got a new puppy last year, Hamilton fit right in. My pets’ names now suggest that I’m the kind of person who gets teary-eyed during the national anthem before the Super Bowl, which wouldn’t be totally inaccurate. The way we name our pets is really interesting because we often pick names inspired by something we already love. It shows how we’re already ready to love this new dog or cat that we’ve brought into our home. That’s pretty cool, in a nerdy sort of way.

Of course, it’s not just Star Wars that people turn to for inspiration when naming a new pet. When I see really unusual or unique names on a pet’s paperwork, I know it’s got to be named after some fantasy character. For example, I’ve never seen “Game of Thrones,” but when a German shepherd named Khaleesi came in, I knew her name had to have come from some fantasy story. It’s fun to ask where a unique pet name is from and to learn about the shows, books, and even video games that my clients are into. Pet names can also give insight into an owner’s hobbies and interests.

– Dr. Jevon Clark



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