How do you name your pets? #Dogs, #Cats #PetNames

I worked with a guy who named his cat “Bob.”


Charnesky, named after a character in a children’s book.

It struck me as funny, I don’t know why, because I’ve consciously given my pets “people names” as a way of showing respect. So I’ve had Hannah, Mike, Sammy, Alex, Mindy. I think animals are a lot smarter than people think. We shouldn’t assume because they don’t communicate the way we do that they are less intelligent. We can’t know what goes on in their heads.

Often I bestow a pet with a name that I like at the time. I’ve always like the named Hannah. It’s a palindrome (spelled the same forward and backward), and I think it’s very classy.

But I’ve also chosen pet names from books, history, and real people. I named a cat Charnesky (sic) after Andrew Charnetsky, a character in The Trumpter of Krakow, a historical YA book. I liked the sound of it. Patty was named after Egyptian queen Cleopatra and our rabbits, Donny and Marie, after the Osmond brother and sister.


Pussilla. My grandmother’s cat. My grandmother named every cat she ever owned, Pussilla.

Sometimes people name their pets because of certain characteristics. My mom had a reddish long-haired dachshund she called Ginger. A cat with with white feet might be called Socks. A dalmatian could be Spot or Domino. I thought it would be fun to call a chocolate Labrador Hershey.

We had a German shepherd mix named Bandit because he stole things and chewed them up.

(He chewed up the camera, which had been on the dining table. One year for Christmas I got a Monopoly game. “Uh, thanks, but I have a Monopoly game,” I said. “Yeah, but Bandit ate the deeds,” my mom said.)

For the most post though Bandit was a relatively healthy dog. That being said, he did sometimes have a bit of a scooting problem! I was speaking to my friend about this just the other day and she told me that to stop your dog scooting, you can purchase dog supplements that promote healthy anal sac health.

The more you know!

So, in Pets in Space, I named my dog character Sparky, because he is actually a robot. Robot…electronic…electrical…spark…Sparky! At no time do sparks actually shoot out of Sparky, although he does give the hero a jolt when he bites him with his electrically charged teeth! He’s a great dog except for the fact that he barks. research has found some of the best dog silencers so I’ve considered getting him one of those.

How do you pick your pet names! Please share some of them!

Pets in Space blurb

Maltese puppy, 6 months old, sitting in front of white backgroun

You’d never guess from Sparky’s sweet face that he’s a robot.

Even an alien needs a pet…

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.


By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased. After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.

An excerpt from Pets in Space (Spark of Attraction)

(In this scene cyborg military Captain Dante Stone has rescued a group of colonists who were attacked by aliens. The half-starved survivors were terrorized and traumatized.)

sparky-sketchDante approached the passage where the New Utopians were located and cocked his head. Did he hear barking? Canine barking? Someone had sneaked a dog on board? Good galaxy! Animals, even domesticated ones like dogs, were known carriers of disease. They could easily be infected with alien microbes that could sweep through and decimate a contained population like the crew of a warship. The Crimson Hawk had no animal quarantine facility. Given that Verde Omega had been invaded by Tyranians who carried who-knew-what, this was a serious situation.

He hurried toward the source of the sound.

A half dozen New Utopians congregated outside the observation deck. In the center of the group stood a young woman with a dog. It jumped around, wagging its stubby tail in a fast, perfect rhythm.

“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded, forgetting his good intentions to inquire into their welfare. “Who brought this dog on board? Explain yourself!”

The small group fell away, leaving the woman standing with the canine. “It’s the captain!” someone whispered, but his cyborg ears heard as if they’d shouted it. “Cold Stone,” someone else hissed.

“Sparky, sit!” the woman commanded, and the dog settled on its haunches. She looked like she was in her early twenties. The clean civvies the crew had rustled up hung sacklike on her scrawny frame. Stringy, dull brown hair drooped around a face sunken from malnutrition, but he rocked back on his heels as if he’d been sucker punched. His chest constricted, and his stomach flip-flopped. A heat totally inappropriate for the situation surged through him.

What was wrong with him? Though he called upon his nanos to calm his racing pulse, his heart continued to pound.

“What is your name?” he asked the woman.

“M-Miranda Lowell. I’m the archivist for New Utopia.”

“This dog belongs to you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Where is the liaison?” He directed his attention away from her, away from his disconcerting physical reaction.

“Here.” A man stepped out of the crowd. “I’m Warren Ochoa.”

“Remove the canine from this ship. Animals are not allowed.”

Miranda Lowell recoiled.

“Captain, we’re a parsec away from the nearest life-sustaining planet,” Ochoa said. “The only way to remove him would be to…airlock him.”

“No! You can’t do that!” The woman rounded on him, horror flickering in eyes too large for her gaunt face. She couldn’t have had much to eat while running from the aliens. Surviving colonists had fled the invading horde with only the clothing on their backs.

Her mongrel appeared in much better shape, healthy and well-fed, its short coat groomed and shiny. Good universe—she hadn’t been giving her limited sustenance to the dog, had she?

Her eyes beseeched. “Please, don’t send Sparky away.”

Her plea shot into him with a sharp stab. Rules were rules, and while he might have been inclined to bend them—especially for her—he had to protect the health of his crew and two-hundred-plus refugees. The latter, physically compromised and half-starved, were in no condition to fight off an alien contagion. Who knew what they might have already been exposed to?

“I wasn’t suggesting airlocking,” he said. “The animal could be placed on a pod and sent on ahead to SSO15.”

She lifted her chin. “No! He stays with me.”

Everyone was watching, taking note. If he allowed even a small insubordination, it would spread. A ship’s captain had to maintain order and control. He looked at the liaison. “Get with Lieutenant Commander Brack and remove the animal. That’s an order.”

Now he had something else to feel guilty about. But what could he do? So much for the ‘let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you’ speech he’d planned. His first officer had been right. He should have let her handle this. Dante turned to leave.

The woman blocked his passage. “I’m keeping my dog with me. You try to take him, and you’ll see what happens!” Anger animated her entire face, giving him a glimpse of what she looked like when she was healthy.

That inappropriate sexual heat flared low in his abdomen. “Do not threaten me.” Dante leveled a stare that caused those under his command to quake in their boots. “My order stands. Now, move out of the way.”

“No.” She planted her feet wide apart.

Gently, he grasped her arms to shift her out of his path.

Behind him, the dog growled.

“Sparky’s not even a real animal! He’s a K9-500 bot!” She wrenched away, the force of the jerk causing her to lose her balance. She started to topple, and he lunged to catch her before she fell.

The mongrel snarled, charged, and latched its teeth onto his ankle.

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17 Responses to How do you name your pets? #Dogs, #Cats #PetNames

  1. Lisa Medley says:

    Great post! See I am the opposite. I dislike people names for pets. It’s just confusing to me. All of our pets are named after flowers (girls) and weeds or bugs (boys) with a few exceptions. Girl pets: Daisy, Rosie, Belle. Boys: Briar, Chigger. Rex, our guinea pig came already named. One male dog we named Ruger after the gun. Two rabbits were Flip and Flop and two meat pigs were Porkchop and Bacon. Naming characters is even more fun. You were lucky to do both, lol!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Those are all cute names. I like Ruger. I don’t know what kind of dog he is, but he should be a Rottweiler or something. Ha! Burglars get to meet Ruger and Smith & Wesson. Lol.

  2. You have the most adorable pet in space – Sparky is so cute! I named my current cats based on their personalities. Jake seemed like a “Jake” and Keanu is a cool, do his own thing cat so…..enjoyed the post…

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Once I had the name, I had the dog! Keanu is a great name for a cat. I’d never heard of the name until the actor came on the scene.

  3. I think we tried to name our pets, but couldn’t get six of us to agree, so ended up with kitty, cat, critter, darn cat, etc. LOL

    My son had Felix and Oscar, two cats who were very like the characters in the TV show.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I’d heard of someone who named their dog, “Kitty,” and I had a two-year-old stepbrother years ago who named his family dog, “Bunny.”

      When I was growing up, we had 6 dogs and 6 cats, and then it shifted and we had 7 dogs and 5 cats. The last dog ended up being named Puppy. I think we ran out of names.

  4. Like Lisa, I tend to avoid naming my pets with human names, but sometimes they come with a name already like Katrina (a mini longhaired dachshund). That turned out to be way cool because Katrina is also the heroine in an upcoming novel and the name of my StarDog in Pets in Space (who is actually the namesake of the heroine Katrina some 1500 years later.) My other MLH doxie came with Lulu but we changed it to Luna.

    We tend to have naming trends. We’ve had dogs we’ve given mysterious names like Phantom and Shadow, barn cats that we started giving numbers as names like Zillion, Number Nine, and Seven Forty Seven, and horses that we’ve registered as the name of novels–like Inherit the Stars and Echo Eight (after Sharon Lynn Fisher’s SFR Echo 8 but the Jockey Club doesn’t allow a number in the name, so we spelled out “eight.”) [We also once registered a horse as To Boldy Go. His barn name was “Trekkie.” teehee]

    • Cara Bristol says:

      You’ve put a lot of thought in your names! I’m conscious, too, of how hard it will be to yell out the animal’s name. “Seven Forty Seven” is long. I’d have to shorten it to “Seven.” Lol.

  5. Here’s what my PETS IN SPACE character Owen said in an ‘interview’ post I did for Here Be Magic, as to why he named his cat Moby: What kind of a name did you give your pet? “She’s pure white, so I named her Moby, after Moby Dick the whale in that old book from Earth. Not that I’ve read it, too long and antiquated. I figured she’d enjoy eating a whale and she was going into the ocean of space. I don’t know, seemed good at the time.”

    And Midorri was named by an alien princess in an earlier book…

  6. My brother and I have always had pets with cool names. We had a turtle named Igor, and a cockerpoo named Tanya. Bill had parakeets named Bob, Dave, and Virgil.
    My kids named our cats Stripy and Schwartz, Houdini, Bruce, and Grover, Channing, Cloud, and Zoe. We have a dachshund named Rudi.

  7. I love your doggie! Great story snippet!

    I had a Scottish Terrier named Pixie because she was surely gifted to us by the Pixies and always into mischief. We had an Australian Shepherd named Sheila, which is what Dundee called females, since she was a girl, and her son’s name was Baby Blue because he had blue eyes and was the baby. Today my Maltese is named Hudson, because he’s as handsome as Rock Hudson… Not very original, but we like to keep it simple.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I think your names are clever. I love Maltese dogs. Sparky in Pets in Space is a Maltese. My mom has a Yorkie named Pixie. She got her at a pet rescue place; Pixie came with that name.

  8. A long time ago mI had two Siamese cats, male and female, called Luke and Leia. I’ll let you work it out.

  9. Congrats on the book! For years I had a livestock business, and we birthed well over a hundred babies, sometimes more than forty a year so I always had to have a running list of names to choose from. I was constantly writing down names. My favorites were probably Siege (who we got via a repossession), Beloved (my blind baby), and Napster.

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