What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?  How important is your name?  How important do you think it is for an animal to have a special name you ask?  Well, let me share with you some thoughts, feelings and experiences, especially when it comes to “rescue animals.”


Some names just fit the animal, whether it’s a horse, cat, dog, bird, hamster or snake, it’s just easy.  Others you have to play around for a while until it feels right to both the human and animal. After a while it just flows nicely from your lips to the animals ears and they respond effortlessly.

Here are a few stories on how changing the name has changed the animals BEHAVIOR and LIFE.

There once was a horse named Fancy who didn’t give a rip about anything but her favorite horse. Her human would call her and she won’t bat an ear. She would chase her around the pasture forever to catch her to work with her or ride her.  When I spoke to her horse she said she didn’t like her name and wanted it to be changed to “Reba.”  The woman was mortified because she didn’t care for that name and was taken aback becuase she loved her name Fancy.  Well, I said it was for those two to work it out.  The next day the woman called Fancy several times and the horse didn’t respond.  When her person called changed and called her “Reba” she literaly turned around and walked straight toward her person.  The owners mouth hit the ground and she just couldn’t believe it!  She got choked up and was amazed.  The next day she tried it again out in the pasture and called her Reba.  Reba turned and walked toward her and right into her bridle.  Needless to say, that changed their relationship right then and there.

A wonderful family adopted a cat named Wanda who was aloof, antisocial and independent.  When I spoke to Wanda I learned it was a boy cat and he wanted his name to be changed to “Willie.”  I’m a boy and I want a boys name.  The loving family knew it was a boy but wanted to keep the name so they didn’t confuse the cat, which is totally understandable! The started calling him Willie and he would come RUNNING when he was called, sat on their laps, purred like crazy and LOVED attention! He turned into the best cat with just the change of name.

Another cute story was of a naughty horse named Billy the Kid cuz he was a naughty lil dude.  When we spoke he said matter of factly that he wanted to be named Sir William.  Well, with that name came a change of attitude, a willingness to listen and please, a more loving demeanor and a settling in his soul.  His people raved about his change and his continued progress into the beautiful horse he’s becoming and how much he has touched their souls.

The point I’m trying to make is there is a lot in a name!  Sometimes animals who are several years old want a new name.   An animal who is rescued wants to be called something different. Or the animal companion likes all of their nicknames that their called and finds it quite humorous and endearing.  Some will even point out that they call me “a little shit” or will say “I’m NOT fat” with other kinds of name calling so it’s important to pay attention to that too!

Do you like being made fun of or called naughty names?  Some animal friends don’t mind it, where others do. Pay attention and you’ll know if they like it or not.  This comes up A LOT!

When picking a name for a rescue animal who may not have a name or even a puppy, try out a few names and see how they respond by physical body language, you may feel a warm fuzzy feeling inside of your heart or stomach, or you’ll just “know” their name. It may just pop into your head.

My cat Connor was originally named “Coal” by my co-workers and he specifically told me several times he wanted to be named Connor.  Maple was a foster and came with her name. I tried changing it several times because “I” wanted something else, but after a while I finally surrendered my desire for another name and accepted it to be Maple, just as she firmly stated. Got it!

Think about how your animals names came to be?  I’d love to hear your stories so please drop me a line and email me your stories.

Thank you!


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