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What's The Story Behind Your Dog's Name?

What’s in a name? A lot, usually. We asked 15 dog owners to tell us their stories.

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Courtesy of Wayne Winston

"We adopted Disco at 2 years old, and his name had already been given to him. My family thought it was a little *ahem* funky, but we decided it would confuse him to change it. We assumed he would grow to fit his name, showing a vivid spirit as he got older. But he never did — he stayed the quietest, laziest beagle the world has ever known.

"And then we realized: 'Disco' is ironic. Genius."

—Jen W.


"My dog growing up was a brown dachshund. I was a very literal child and named her Sausage."

—Jason S.


BuzzFeed / Eric Sams

"This is my dog Mudge after a bath. He was named after a series of children's books about a little redheaded boy and his Bull Mastiff. He is not a Bull Mastiff. My wife loved these books before we ever met, and once she had that little redheaded boy, she decided to complete the set."

—Eric S.


"My family's first dog when I was growing up was named Rum Tum Tugger. We called him Tugger for short. Rum Tum Tugger is one of the main characters in the Broadway show Cats, which means that, yes, we named our dog after a cat. We all thought it was very ironic.

"The name actually happened to be pretty apt, because Rum Tum Tugger in the musical is quite rebellious, and Tugger was known to eat entire pizzas and bottles of my dad's multivitamins off the table."

—Tori G.



"My mom adopted her dog from a shelter. The dog's name was Marly when she got her, but my mom doesn't like human names for dogs. She's also very into star-and-moon imagery, so she decided to rename the dog Starly so that the pup would still respond when being called."

—Dan T.


"My mum found a a little 'thing' crying one night in the middle of nowhere. Being a cool mum, she took it and looked after it. She thought it was an abandoned baby possum for a week before she realized it was actually a puppy. Being geniuses, we decided to call our newfound puppy Possum."

—Edwin H.



"I had a Havanese growing up — Havanese come from Havana (duh), so we named him Desi (after Desi Arnaz). No one in my family has any strong feelings about Lucille Ball's ex-husband, but we named our dog after him. I wound up thinking about Desi's name a lot, because Desi Arnaz cheated on Lucy. WHO CHEATS ON LUCY?!"

—Kristin R.



"Growing up, my parents listened to a lot of classic rock music. Whenever 'Maggie May' by Rod Stewart played, my childhood self always asked if we could turn up the volume, and proceeded to dance around our living room.

"Years later, when my husband and I got our first dog, my mom brought up the memory and suggested we name her Maggie May, or Maggie for short. Now, whenever we play that song, I'm not the only one dancing — Maggie's a natural!"

—Michelle S.


"I was obsessed with a certain '60s TV show as a child, and I mean OBSESSED. I had the lunchbox, a cardboard cutout of the main character, replicas of the props, I wrote fan mail to the stars (at the time well into their '70s), and made all my art projects in school about this show. One of the main characters in the show was a 'major' in the space program, so, when we got a puppy, I named him Major, officially sucking my entire family and an unknowing dog into my obsession."

—Spencer B.



"Snickers was the sweetest dog ever, which is why he was named after the candy bar.

"Well, that, and because my dad thought his coloring made him look like a Snickers bar..."

—Victoria R.


"I have a dog named Butch. That is also the name of my old dog, may he rest in peace. Butch Sr. lived a long and happy life. Since then, we've had a slew of dogs that passed away prematurely. So my parents thought it would be a good idea to name our new dog Butch, in the hopes that he would inherit his namesake's longevity.

"Seriously, it's like naming two kids the same thing. I will forever be confused about which we're talking about."

—Channtal F.



"Our yellow Lab Nola was named after one of my dad's favorite places: New Orleans, Louisiana."

—Mandy C.


"We adopted my dog after finding him as a puppy wandering the Jersey Shore. We gave him the nickname that locals give to tourists: Benny."

—Tim S.



"This is Scout. We named her after Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, because we thought she'd be a tough, feisty girl. She didn't disappoint. She was always energetic and playful, up to the ripe age of 17.

"Her life experiences included being attacked by coyotes, getting a hernia from eating a chicken bone, and going through the trash and swallowing 32 frozen mini sausages, resulting in having her stomach pumped.

"I never said she possessed the soundest judgment, but man, she was tough — and lovable."

—Stu M.



"My dog was named Dude. We actually got him from this elderly lady who named him that. At the SPCA they called him Corey (the Corgi — original...) but it wasn't quite right. I took him for a walk when we first got him, my 12-year-old mind racing with possible names. Each one just didn't feel right, and then I was like, dude. You really ARE THE DUDE. So Dude was his name-o."

—Clark M.

Tell your pet's story in the Subaru Pet Hall of Fame — you and your pup could both win awesome prizes.

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