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In honor of #NationalDogDay, which is this Friday 8/26, I’m showcasing my top 10 favorite photos of Avery the Mini Australian Shepherd. Enjoy, and happy (semi-) Wordless Wednesday!
Talk. About. Cute.
Back in July of 2011, I started a fish blog. It resided within the shadowy depths of tumblr that many will affectionately refer to as “fishblr.” Yet, if you’re at all familiar with tumblr, or the workings of the animal niche therein, you’re probably familiar with the less-than-affectionate mentality that some users will foster.
Now, I get it – opinions run rampant on tumblr, as they do everywhere else. It is the culture of the Internet to have an opinion – whether or not it’s backed by sound evidence. Oftentimes, it is not your opinion that offends; rather, it is how you deliver your thought process. And much like on Reddit, where the majority rules, thoughts flow in an uncensored environment where your peers determine the reach of your posts.
Now, add the passion of animal lovers and the diversity of educated, sound, solid opinions – that fall within the confounds of this unstructured and often mercilessly unconstructive setup. Welcome to “petblr.”
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE a good, respectful debate, but there’s a certain mentality to “petblr” that shocked me when I first discovered it. Take, for instance…
“If I can guilt one person into saving a dog’s life next time instead of buying, I don’t care how shameless anyone thinks my tactics are.”
That’s like saying Panda preservation is so important to you that you’ll kill a Panda if it will draw attention to the endangerment of the species.
It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – that many users on tumblr are perfectly polite and present valid, well-backed arguments in favor of animal rights, rescues, and other charitable causes. Others fight ruthlessly over concepts like #AdoptDontShop, tail docking, ear cropping, etc., and means of communication vary from friendly and constructive to, well…
For the record, I support BOTH responsible breeders and rescues. I’m also an advocate of the mindset that goes with this famous saying, “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I acknowledge that my opinions are my own, and that means that they are not necessarily right.
If I could point out one thing that “petblr” in general needs to improve on, it’s being more accepting of others’ opinions… because we all love animals, and that’s really the point of all this, isn’t it?
Pass it on.
It’s true— Avery and Lana are hardly typical pet names. In fact, there are some reputable websites that would argue that my naming choices are poor. But, in the nature of any creditable Internet-user with an opinion, I’d like to present a counter-argument: Human names give pets dignity.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. It’s not just a killer Aretha song.
Now, this is not to say I haven’t indulged in some rather silly names myself. Back in 2010 I started a blog dedicated to my betta fish, Harlot. Harlot was later joined by Versace, Prada, and Balenciaga.
But while my blog audience seemed to enjoy the comedic names, I always felt awkward saying them on camera. (“Harlot” doesn’t command the attention you need it to when trying to make an important point about water changes.)
When it came time to add a member to the fur family, I couldn’t bear to bestow a joke on a cat. And I couldn’t be happier with my decision! I named Lana after Lana Turner, in line with my propensity to name my pets after real people. Fun fact: I’ve owned a (Robert) Redford, Roxie (Hart), Scarlett (O’Hara), and Clark (Gable).
The puppy Avery – a name I chose as a variation of Audrey (Hepburn) – came next.
Now, some people will argue that dogs should have unique, quirky names, and I get that – I do. But I’ve always considered my pets members of my family – human or otherwise – and I just couldn’t see my family members going by names like Rover, Duke, or Bandit. In line with treating my pets like respectable people, I gave them respectable names.
I don’t mean to say that Rover, Duke, or Bandit cannot command respect of their own merit. But like any good parent, wouldn’t you want to set your child up for success?
There is no doubt there are biases in the animal naming world. It’s just psychology. For instance – if you had to pick, would you determine Roxie or Rocky to be the more aggressive dog? Well, you’d probably pick Rocky. And, fun fact: Statistically, a Rocky bites more often than a dog by any other name.
Wherefore art thou Fido? Or, rather, why are you ‘Fido.’ Goodness, gracious! Names. Matter.
Opinions aside, here’s some facts that you can use in your naming decisions: Dogs understand shorter names better than longer names. The extra intonations and wording can be perceived by the dog as “overload.” The best, scientifically-backed dog names have one to two syllables, usually include a strong “S” sound, and end with a vowel sound – like Rosie or Lisa. Look it up, folks – it’s called onomastics, or the study of names.
In the end, it’s really up to you what you name your pet. What is your personal preference? What will make you (and your pet) happy? Yours is the opinion that matters – respectfully, not mine. I wouldn’t name my pet Princess, but I also wouldn’t name my human twins Sally and Sarah, because I think individualism is important, and alliteration belongs in books.
But I digress.
What do you think of pets with human names? Do you have a preference? Let me know in the comments below!
Woah! We did it!
Welcome, welcome! My name is Michaela and I am so pleased to welcome you to my website. This website will act as a blog – as well as an extension of my social media channels – focusing on the challenges and rewards of owning a puppy and kitten.
Avery, the 5-month-old Mini Australian Shepherd, and Lana, the 7-month-old rescue cat, are particularly good friends – their photos and videos will surely steal your hearts!
I’m thrilled to show you a glimpse into the world of my very mini family… so let’s get started:
Please follow our story on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – they are channels I am trying to grow. I am ALL about engagement, so go ahead – shoot me a message on Facebook, DM, tweet… I’m excited to get to know others in the animal blogger community, and will gladly chat with you!
Please feel free to comment below with your pets’ names and social tags! I want to get to know you and your fur families. 🙂
Until next time…