What You Should Name Your Dog, According to Famous Authors

— Kim, Owl Eyes Staff on

You know how it goes. You go to the animal shelter, fall in love with a regal husky or a dopey three-legged cat, and then it happens: you hear your new pet’s shelter name, and you know you have to immediately change it. We at Owl Eyes believe all pets, regardless of species, should be named Toots, but other options are presented in case you don’t share our vision. So if you’ve been saddled with another Snowball (too common) or Mike (too human) and are looking for inspiration, try a few of these literary names.

Nana from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

You’ve come home and laid out your dog’s extra-large food bowl. Named after Barrie’s real-life Newfoundland dog, Luath, Wendy Darling’s dog, Nana, is an excellent choice for a gentle giant, or any dog who’s protective of kids. Just be prepared for a lot of drool.

Argos from Homer’s The Odyssey

If your new pup is descended from a long line of tracking dogs (say, bassets or bloodhounds) or is always waiting for you when you come home, consider Argos, Odysseus's faithful pet who recognizes him, in disguise, after twenty years away from home. Thinking of the embarrassingly low number of people in my life who would be able to do that, I see what makes Argos so special.

Tyr from Clemence Housman’s “The Were-Wolf

In this lesser-known story, a majestic werewolf, White Fell, seeks shelter in a family’s cozy cottage. Though the werewolf arrives in the shape of a beautiful woman, ever-vigilant family mutt Tyr knows something smells off about this newcomer. While Tyr is scruffy, White Fell takes the form of a sleek white wolf—if you’ve got a similarly mismatched pair, look no further.

Buck and White Fang from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild and White Fang

No one’s a better source for dog name inspiration than Jack London. The guy’s well-known for his dog narrators, Buck and White Fang. Both are fearsome and loyal, and tend to steal the spotlight from his other canine characters: Cherokee, a bulldog who almost bests White Fang; Spitz, a headstrong sled dog; Curly, a cheerful husky; Toots, a Japanese pug; and Ysabel, a sun-loving Mexican hairless.

Crab from William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Let’s say your dog is a little on the gruffer side and needs some tough love to win over. It’s not all lost! Find some inspiration in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, where main character Lance dotes on his dog, Crab, despite the latter’s tendency to get into trouble.

Bonus! Ellie and Theo from the Owl Eyes office

In addition to these great literary pups, consider our office dog, Eleanor, Ellie for short! Though she’s one of a kind, her name isn’t.

And since one office dog wasn’t enough, may we also suggest Theo, a regal name for a regal pup? Let him stare into your eyes and tell you that everything will be okay.

We hope you enjoyed our first installment of literary pet inspiration. Keep an eye out for more in the future! Have you named your dog after a famous character or author? Send us a picture and their name in the comments below!