When it comes to any pet, the very first thing you have to do before you even get them home is to name them! It may well be one of the most important decisions it comes to with any new critter because the name is what you shall coo over and over again for the next few years. The name is what you will yell when trying to demand attention from it. It is what you have to announce to family and friends when you present them with your latest addition.
It is what you will remember forever!
In my time of 6 hamsters over my childhood I had;
Ron, Harry, George, Charlie, Pip and Bean.
All were boys and Harry and Ron was the result of the Harry Potter craze.
More to the point, I remember each one and doubt I will ever forget them to be honest!
When naming Dexter, I was bombarded by all sorts of name suggestions (my personal favourite being from my Grandma who suggested ‘Buster‘ – confused the hamster with a dog perhaps?)
I was going through names in my own head and looking at his little face to see if he “suited” it.
Its funny how people sometimes say “Oh you look like a *insert your name here*.” as if our names are genetically determined by out looks?
Anyway, I came to the name Dexter and didn’t have to think twice. He looks like a Dexter to me and it stuck 🙂
So the next day, I whipped out a picture of the lil guy on my phone to my friends and said ‘Hes called Dexter, isnt he cute?!’ (Pretty sure that’s the standard way to declare a new pet to friends!)
Instead of the expected ripple of “aww’s” I got a giggle and “Does Dexter have his own laboratory?” … CURSE YOU CARTOON NETWORK!
So it got me thinking about what and why I had named my other pets the way I had.
Harry and Ron, as I already said, were down to the Harry Potter trend of the time, Charlie and George were also Harry-Potter-related names (one was a Weasley twin and the other was the Weasley’s long lost brother off hunting dragons.. or something like that), Pip was named so for he had a majorly fluffy bum and so looks like a giant apple pip and Bean was named as he was an albino (pronounced al-bean-o in my household), an all white specie with red eyes and so couldn’t help make a cheeky pun of it!
When I then thought about Dexter I thought of the US series ‘Dexter’. The dark TV show about a blood-spatter analyst working for the Miami police who turns into a serial killer on people he thinks have escaped justice – not exactly the image I was going for when naming my little Syrian hamster!
If you have seen this series (and I recommend you do as its ace) you will know that Dexter is strangely charming despite having a evil side that no-one else knew about. It is this strange ‘enchanting’ characteristic of Dexter that I like to think my Dexter may reflect in some way.
I suddenly realised I had spent a long time over-thinking and analysing the name of my little hamster. It was a cute name and it suited his face – what more should there be?
So here are my tips on naming a new pet (big or small):
- Repeat a few names a few times over in your head whilst looking at your new critter – can you see yourself saying ‘Hallo *****’ in the mornings or shouting ‘OI *******!’ in the park? If you cant then just try another, if you can then you may be onto a winner!
- If you are lacking inspiration on names to try out in the first place then just look around you; there are ideas everywhere! Open your cupboards even? Some of the best names come from foods, for example Toffee, Pepsi, Crumpet, Bean,Coffee,Sugar, Rolo.. the list is endless!
- Sometimes just looking as special or unique features on your pet can spark brilliantly original names! (A fellow blogger – http://slowdownslowly.wordpress.com/ – named her pet rat ‘Squirrel’ after he showed off his impressive “nuts”)