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Life ain't easy for a pooch named pickles

March 03, 1997

By LAURA ERNDE

Staff Writer

She's once, twice, 50 times a Lady.

At least that's what Washington County dog owners think. They made Lady the county's most popular pooch name, according to license records.

There are nearly as many Bears, 49 of them to be exact. Other popular monikers: Pepper, Princess, Max, Baby, Rusty, Barney and Sparky.

Five Washington County hounds answer when someone says, "Dog," but many owners won't go for a commonplace pet name.

Maybe unusual isn't better. Imagine the confused life of Maybe, a Staffordshire bull terrier.

"Come here, Maybe,'' its owner might say. "No, Maybe. Sit, Maybe."

First impressions sometimes make for unusual pet names. Thus, the kitty called Mr. Bagman.

When septuagenarian sisters Vivian Scull and Helen Donaldson first spotted him running through the fields near their Upton, Pa., home, the poor gray and white cat had a plastic zipper sandwich bag stuck on his head.

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"We were worried,'' Scull said. "He went around maybe a week with this thing on his head."

No one could catch Mr. Bagman (Baggie, for short), but eventually the bag came off and the sisters slowly tamed him.

Some people name their pets after their interests.

In Pennsylvania, the chef at the Mercersburg Inn has a dog named Bacon and another called Eggs.

"Those are probably my two favorite foods," said David Easton, 29, who learned to make much fancier dishes at culinary school.

Easton said Bacon, a black Labrador mix, and Eggs, a shepherd/Akita mix, go together just like their names. He got both at the pound about two years ago.

Foods provided the inspiration for several other Washington County pet names, including Marmalade, Meatball, Pineapple and Pickles. There's also Hershey, a chocolate Lab.

A pet owner's favorite drink may have prompted other names. How else to explain the Scottie named Chivas Regal or the corgi who answers to Six-Pack?

Ask-Her Bug sounds like an odd name, but owner Janice Kendrick is happy to translate.

"Ask her" came from Kendrick's daughter Niki, 6. If someone asked, "What's your dog's name?'' Niki wanted to be able to respond: "Ask her.''

"Bug" came from Kendrick, who says the black Labrador hops around like a cricket.

You might be afraid to meet two dogs named Satan and Killer. Maybe not, though. They're both terriers.

Some names on Washington County dog licenses - Lug Nut, Sorry, Face, Fuzby, Tut, Zephyr and Beck - defy explanation.

One Washington County household has mutts named Beevis and Boogie. Another family has a pair of Chihuahuas, Mork and Mindy.

People often name pets after popular TV and movie characters, like Simba from "The Lion King,'' said Chris Files, assistant manager of the Humane Society in Berkeley County, W.Va.

Some pets are named for the places where they were found, said Tammy Felmlee at Franklin Veterinary Associates in Greencastle, Pa.

Thornton became the name of a cat born under a rose bush, recalled sisters Scull and Donaldson. Thornton's sister was named Rosebud.

Every pet deserves a name. Even homeless animals brought to the Washington County SPCA get names, courtesy of the people who work there.

A pet with a name is more likely to be adopted. "It gives them a personality, makes them more real," said staff member Vickie Velt.

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