Nicknames

Languages and words evolve, and I suppose names do too. Despite my best intentions to avoid baby-talk with my dogs, I’ve lost the fight and indulge in some pretty silly nicknames.

Wolf was mostly Wolf or Wolfie, but sometimes he was Fluffernutter. Panda was mostly Panda or Pan. A friend called her Pandalina. Kestry became Treezel-Weasel, the first of the rhyming nicknames.

I first met and held Phoenix when he was two and a half weeks old, smaller than his head would turn out to be. He was the Teeny Weenie Phoenie (despite weighing between 65 and 72 pounds), Nix, and Nixisticks. Raven came home when she was seven weeks old. She was Ravey Baby, then Baby Ravey, which for some unknown reason became Baby Bee, then just Bee, which somehow morphed into Beezles. She responds to Beezles better than she does to her ‘real’ name.

Gryphon is, of course, the Spiffy Gryphy. He’s also the Spiffinator, Spaceman Spiff (from Calvin and Hobbes), and occasionally Mr. Spiffles. Seelie is Seelster and Seelie Wheelie… and sometimes Fruit Loop. Merlin may be the worst. Merlie Whirlie the Swirlie Dog. He doesn’t seem to mind.

I have to wonder how they think of me… do dogs use mental ‘words’ for their people? Do they form mental visuals? Or maybe it’s all about scent. Wish I could get inside their heads and find out.

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14 thoughts on “Nicknames

  1. Now I am thinking of all my dogs of past having had nicknames for me. lol. I love this post- your username caught my eye and I stumbled into the best post of all to explain it. Lucky dogs of yours. My favorite is Teeny Weeny Phoenie. Hilariously cute!

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  2. I feel so honored to know how your commenting name came about. I find, in my life, like in yours, that nicknames are really terms of endearment, so your dogs should feel very loved.

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  3. I give my cats nicknames too! I think sometimes they’re laughing at me for being so silly–cats have a tendency to look like they are condescending to you just to let you pet them, much less call them silly names….

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  4. My dogs have a lot of nicknames, too. Fiona can be simply Fifi, or Princess Pokeypants , depending on the situation. Lucy is sometimes Princess Poopypants, Lucy Lu, or Moomuffin. Each knows which names are hers, though.

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  5. I love your last thoughts and questions. What do dogs think when we speak? Today when I took my dogs out, I just was talking away. (I often talk to the dogs.) Sumo looked at me in the oddest way as if to say, “Please stop. I’m busy and I need to concentrate.” He was probably not thinking any of that, but I do love to imagine I can interpret his every look. Very enjoyable post.

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  6. I get a look like that from Gryphon sometimes. I think he’s not convinced that I’m entirely sane. I try to link their expressions and body language to know what they’re thinking, but it’s not always easy.

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