Girl Tuesday - a column by Maggie Cooper.
Girl Tuesday - a column by Maggie Cooper.

Madness of modern mongrel monikers

FOLLOWING a column I wrote for this page in 2008, I copped a lot of flak for suggesting that ‘Talon’ was an odd name for Kasey Chambers to have named her first-born child.

Who knew there were such a lot of Talons out there, and that their mothers would be so defensive (and aggressive)? It was even a topic for outraged callers to an ABC talkback show.

Nothing like waking up and turning on the radio only to hear yourself being quoted and abused by strangers.

I still query the decision to give your child a name also used for a popular brand of rat poison – but clearly, that’s just me. (Note to self: Be prepared for another rush of abuse for having reopened the subject.)

However, that is not the focus of today’s column. Instead I want to look at the change in trends for modern pet names.

Years ago, more often than not, people didn’t really take their dogs out to beaches or parks.

The dog stayed home, often tied to the Hills hoist; it ate table scraps, not gourmet pet food complete with names that involved lists of ingredients better suited to a Christmas buffet at the local RSL.

I guess they handled it okay. I have memories of childhood pets that survived to respectably advanced ages.

My dogs have also survived well without ever having access to bottled water with a ‘hint of chicken’– an item I actually saw on a supermarket shelf in 2008.

Now, dogs go everywhere. This is not a criticism, you understand. I am a dog owner, and a chief offender in this regard. It’s amusing, though, to hear owners calling their dogs on the beach or at the park – how the names have changed over the decades.

You’ll almost never find a Spot, Rex, Rags, Wags, King or Trixie now – way too unsophisticated.

Dogs are now called Bethany and Harmony and Ellie. I know far too many snappy desexed bitches called Maggie (okay, guys, it’s Just Not Funny Anymore).

Friends in Sydney have a wiemeraner whose name was inspired by the sailboats tied up in the serene inlet across the road from their house. They called it Maude.

Kids’ pets are another exception to the rule. They often choose names that are cute. This trend paved the way for the popular party game of ‘What would your name be if you were a stripper’. The rule is, you put the name of your first pet with the name of the street where you lived as a child.

My first pet was a cocker spaniel I named BooBoo, and I lived in Chapel Lane.

BooBoo Chapel … perfect.

The dog stayed home, often tied to the Hills hoist



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