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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pets taking on baby names


Rover and Smokey are out, Jack and Max are in. Pet owners are increasingly choosing children's names for their precious pooches and pussycats.

"It's funny but the top pet names are starting to match the top baby names. They're the children of the 21st century," said Amy Lyden, managing director of Bow Wow Meow – a Sydney-based pet name tag company.

Bella – the top female dog name and second favourite cat name – was also the No. 8 baby girl name, Lyden said.

"I think it just shows the importance that we place on our pets, how they're part of the family."

Hayley and Steve Marsh, from Edgeware, in Christchurch, colluded to call their family pet Dave. It's actually Me Mate Dave, but they shorten it – like you do for a mate.

Dave is their well-loved cat who was bought as a kitten when the couple were living in Sydney.

"He ended up costing more to ship home than it cost the three of us, but he's part of the family and we couldn't have left him."

Hayley Marsh comes from a line of people who gave their pets human names.

"Mum and dad had two boxer dogs, one called Sydney, which we named our second daughter, and another called Charlie. We also had a cat called Colin," she said.

"We mainly did it for a laugh but Dave's definitely not catlike and he wouldn't suit a pathetic pussy kind of name. He's just one of the family, Dave's big and ginger – like my dad. He's called Dave too."

Owner of Auckland-based online business Pets on the Net, Kim Buchanan, said she had noticed a trend towards more old-fashioned names but the foodie society was also stamping its mark.

"We've had George, Olive, Cooper, Floyd, Alfie, Harry, Molly and Heidi. They like movie characters' names too. When Lord of the Rings was happening we had a few Bilbos and Gandalfs.

"It might be more of an Auckland thing but we see a lot of foodie names – Mocha, Fudge, Cappuccino, Bollinger – it's the cafe society taking effect."

Farview boarding kennels owner Stewart Anderson said his Rangiora business was filled with dogs whose names fitted the breed.

"All the standard breeds, like labradors, are called plain old names like Jack or Max but the trendy breeds, schnauzers and pure bred dogs – the owners put some effort into naming them."

Yesterday his kennels were home to Duncan, Ned and Fred, but also Chloe, Bella and Chelsea.


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