My Dog’s Name-The One I Never Wanted To Give Her, But Had No Choice

Oh, yes I did.

Simply did what any other crazy dog lover would do.

When I saw a new survey announcing “The Most Popular Dog Names In America,” I clicked.

Clicked first.

Ahead of checking out any stories on world peace, the volatile stock market or the environment, for surely, knowing where my dog’s name placed on the survey was more important, more pressing than any of those matters.

I see you and your dog nodding, “Yes, of course.”

It’s not like I had a say in my dog’s name.

When I brought that adorable ball of yellow fluffy fur home from the Humane Society more than 15 years ago I had a name all picked out.


I was sure I would call her Betty.

The name was inspired by the wonderful black mutt my brother had when he was in college. One of the best dogs ever.

My pup would be, Betty, too, only a Blonde Betty, like the delightful beige brownie dessert.

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“No way,” my brother replied when I called him up asking his permission. “Not going to happen.”

“But, but, but,” I sputtered out regressing into the mode of little sister, beholden to edicts my brother handed down and ruled my life when we were little.

“The name, ‘Betty’ is sacred,” he declared. “Your dog’s name will be, ‘Darla.”

“Darla?” I tried it on, instantly not liking it. “Darla and Daryn? Our names are too similar.”

“It’s Darla,” he repeated. “I had the name picked out for the next dog I would get, but you’re going to use it. Your dog’s name is Darla.”

I was over 30 years old, living on the other side of the country. A rational person could’ve told my brother, you know what, and named my dog whatever I wanted.

A rational person was never a little sister.

Darla it was.

I tagged on a middle name, as my tiny act of rebellion.

Darla Louise.

I know.

Over the top crazy.

Please don’t tell my brother, but he was right.

15 years later, I know my dog is no Betty.

She’s Darla.

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Her name, by the way, is nowhere on the “Most Popular” list.

The Number One dog’s name in America is…



Maybe you even have a Bella.

I know one thing, for sure, Dear Reader.

You have a fun story behind your dog’s name.

Like my friend, Lisa.

Everyone in her family has a name beginning with the letter, “L.”

Larry, Lee, Lindsay, Laurie, Lisa, and Lyle.

One Christmas when she was growing up, the family got a new puppy.

“Please, no ‘L’ name,’” the kids cried.

And so, “Noel,” became the obvious choice.

Get it?

No ‘L.’

That story never fails to make me smile.

And the story behind your dog’s name?

Please share in the comments below.

And if you’re looking for a dog name, you might want to check out this website I just learned about:

Also, please catch my newspaper column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution and The Dayton Daily News.

If you like stories about loving your dog, you might like my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



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My Dog’s Name-The One I Never Wanted To Give Her, But Had No Choice

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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