Social Question

Judi's avatar

My son is naming his son after my dog. How am I supposed to react to that?

Asked by Judi (39865points) February 6th, 2011 from iPhone

Axel, my puppy is about six months old. My grandson will grow up with this dog.

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51 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

It’s a little weird, @Judi, I agree. But it seems your son thinks it’s a great name, and your choice of it put it into his mind.

Things to think about:

1. They will be contemporaries who just happen to have the same name. Your grandson will probably be a pretty old little kid before he asks who came first.
2. Your grandson will probably outlive the dog by a lot.
3. You could change the dog’s name.

Maybe you could start calling the dog by two names—e.g., Axel Sammy—and then gradually start dropping the Axel part of it so it’s just Sammy.

6rant6's avatar

This is genius. When the kid gets older, and gets on your nerves, you’re never going to inadvertently call him the dog’s name.

zenvelo's avatar

I think I would be upset to learn I was named after a dog. and when the boy is two or three he’ll be confused when you call the dog.

jaytkay's avatar

I am such an animal lover I wanted to give my dog the masculine version of my girlfriend’s name, thinking it was a great honor. Ex-girlfriend, I mean.

bkcunningham's avatar

Aww, @Judi I think it is very sweet.Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Just thank God your dog’s name isn’t Spot.

stardust's avatar

I’m not sure what I think of that. It’s a little bit strange, but I guess it’s their choice. I like the name itself.

absalom's avatar

I was named after my father’s dog, but I wasn’t growing up with it.

If I were the kid I’d be more upset that I’d been named Axel than after an animal. Good dog name. Not sure how it works as a person’s name. It’s kind of like naming your cat Paul.

Funnily enough, Axel is a Scandinavian diminutive for Absalom. Is that what your son is going for? (Or is that what you were going for with the dog?) Because probably no one will know this, and people will think of this (or this).

Judi's avatar

I named the dog Axel because 2 people saw the picture and independently came up with that name.
My sons other choice was Abel, but it looks like he’s going with Axel. I don’t know if I would go for Absalim either (No offense) but wasn’t he King Davids rebellious son?

everephebe's avatar

Well, Indiana Jones was named after the dog.

Judi's avatar

@everephebe; that’s what my son said.

everephebe's avatar

It’s weird but not that weird. The kids at school are going to make fun of the kid no matter what name he has. I’d say don’t react, and if he really likes it, he’ll use it but… with you not fighting him, he won’t get stubborn with it, so he can always change his mind.

choreplay's avatar

A good name is a good name. :)

absalom's avatar

@Judi – No offense taken. Absalom is just an alias. (And he was the rebellious son, yes, with wonderful hair that got him tangled in a tree and killed. Very amusing.)

Abel is an interesting choice. I kind of like that one. I wonder why your son ultimately decided against it.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think it was against Abel as much as for Axel.

6rant6's avatar

@absalom I immediately thought of Axel Foley. And then for some unknown reason I have Shartzenegger’s voice booking “Axel” in my head.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t see it as a problem. I sometimes make a mistake and call my grandsons Toby (the dog) instead their own name.

Seelix's avatar

I have a friend named Nick whose family dog when he was growing up was named Nicky. It’s just something that happens when dogs have human names.

Supacase's avatar

What does his SO think about it?

I’m on the fence here. On one hand I think it is no big deal – I would not be upset to have the same name as a dog. On the other hand, it is just kind of strange.

My mom called me years ago to ask if Molly was a name I had ever thought of using if I had a child. I asked why and she told me she wanted to name her dog Molly, but wanted to clear it with me first. I laughed at her.

gailcalled's avatar

We have the opposite situation. Milo the cat was here first. Then came Milo, the adorable first grandson of my sister. Sometimes it gets mildly confusing. “Your Milo or my Milo?”

They are Primus inter pares.

My daughter’s first cat was Leo (RIP). My sister’s third grandchild is also Leo.

My niece and her husband, when naming her children, knew nothing of the cats on my immediate family tree.

Judi's avatar

@Supacase, my other dogs name is Molly.

Judi's avatar

@gailcalled; the dog DID come before my grandson, who is due in April.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Honestly, I don’t see the big deal. No doubt that child will grow to love that dog as much as he would love another person. Axel seems like a good name to me regardless of where it comes from. I think if this child feels weird about it, it will most likely be because everyone in the family tells him how weird it is to be named after a dog. That would wear on him more than actually being named after a dog.

submariner's avatar

Judi, when you said your son was naming his child after the dog, I pictured a beloved older dog who had been with the family for many years. That I could understand. But to name him after a 6-month old puppy?! No. That’s just silly.

I bet he’s putting you on. If not, I bet he will change his mind between now and the birth.

absalom's avatar

This thread has developed kind of strangely for me…

@Seelix – That happens also to be my name and my father’s old dog’s name.

@Judi – My dog’s name is Molly, too.

<cue Twilight Zone music>

BarnacleBill's avatar

You could give your grandson a special nickname…

gailcalled's avatar

@chyna’s beautiful boxer is also Molly.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

A name is just a name…until you find out that you were named after a dog your father had in the Marine Corp. I found the picture and asked.He fessed up,we both had a chuckle over it and years later I named my first German Shepherd after him.He thought I was joking.So did my grandfather and brother who shared the same name.
It was funny when the four of them got together.;)
My sister named a dog after me too!
I named my second German Shepherd Dog after my mother’s nickname.
The dog I have now shares the same middle name as my sister in law.
We just can’t stop. XD
It’s not too bad…Axel is a nice name btw :)

Coloma's avatar

When my daughter ( Emily ) was a toddler the neighbors had a dog named ‘Emily’.
The 1st few months I was living next to them I thought they were abusing a child, always yelling at ‘Emily.’ Then I found out that Emily was a German shepherd. lol

Judi's avatar

@submariner; I’m afraid not. Even his SO is calling him Axel on facebook now.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma-I have a cat named Emily…LOL
Well,it was Emily,until we kept messing up Emily and Gracie’s (the dog) name.Now the cat is known as “Gremily”.
It is probably good that I never had children. XD

Judi's avatar

They did just move 1000 miles away from us if that makes a difference.

john65pennington's avatar

Well. lets just hope his son acts as obedient as your dog. i see nothing wrong with this, at all.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, and the good news is, unlike some animals, your grandchild probably won’t be hard to sex.

My goose ‘Marwyn’ started off his 1st 4 months as ‘Marilyn’, until, that fateful day when his penis shot out against my arm!
It was quite a traumatic adjustment, let me tell you. lol

Judi's avatar

@Colona; My grand daughters name is Marilyn and my grandson kept calling her baby Marlin, like finding Nemo’s dad.

Pandora's avatar

Easy fix. Once the baby is named, change your dogs name to something else. It will take the dog a while to get his new name but he will. Tell your son your going to do this. He may decide to change it to something else.
It will be too weird to call out Axel and have the kid and the dog respond at the same time. It will confuse the dog if you meant to call the kid and he comes running in thinking you have something for him but you tell him to go away. Especially when the kid is a toddler and you call his name while playing with him and the dog tries to join in and pounces on the kid and then gets yelled at for trying to join in after you called him. Really not fair to the dog.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t know, is he naming the child after the dog, or just likes the name?
I just learned an internet friends dog and cat are named the same as my oldest son (she and her husband both had pets with the same name prior to meeting each other!) I found it so random since it’s not a common name.

also, when on a search for my second sons name, nymbler.com suggested Axel and Rod at the same time. people began calling my fetus Axel Rod as a running joke.) I didn’t know people used the name though, never met anyone with it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My cousin named his dog after his little brother. It was not an issue until he went to school and told his teacher that ‘Eddie’ got runned over and we buried him behind the garage.

Judi's avatar

@Casheroo; your sons name is Axel too?

casheroo's avatar

@Judi No, they’re Cash and Parker.

Coloma's avatar

Spice it up a little more maybe, like Axel Rose. hahaha

Judi's avatar

Well, when I told my husband what I was going to name the dog he thought I was saying ass hole, so we could change the dogs name to that. Molly already thinks that when my husband calls her stupid that it’s a term of endearment.

Kardamom's avatar

It’s a little weird, but not that weird. My next door neighbor named his kitten after our other neighbor (across the street’s) baby boy. The child and the cat were both named Kelly. It might seem strange, but it’s really a term of endearment. That was almost 20 years ago. The little boy and his parents moved many states away, but we never forgot them. The little kitten died of a congenital defect right after he was born. My next door neighbors were friends with some folks who made stained glass windows. They created a window for my neighbor’s kitty and everytime I see that window I think of the kitty who passed away, and the boy, who is now a man, that I haven’t seen in 20 years.

You might not realize the motivation, but I cannot think that a child who is named after a pet or a pet that is named after a child was ever motivated by anything but love and respect. Don’t let it get to you, embrace it.

Aethelwine's avatar

I had a neighbor that would holler out his front door for his young son when it was time for him to come home. He would say “Here Cody Cody Cody Cody Cody”. It sounded like he was calling for his pet.

I wouldn’t worry, unless your son starts to call for Axel this way. :)

Brian1946's avatar

How much time do you think your dog and your grandson will spend together?

It seems to me the amount of time that they’ll actually be spending together, is directly proportional to the amount of concern that this merits.

cazzie's avatar

Axel is a very acceptable name for a boy where I live. (in Norway). It means ‘My father is Peace’ which is quite nice. He could spell it differently. We don’t use x’s. The Danish or Norwegian way to spell it is Aksel. Pronounced the same way.

I think it’s a super cute name for a dog and a boy. And when they’re together you can always shorten the dogs name. The dog isn’t going to care.

Mat74UK's avatar

I suppose it’s better than him naming the dog after yourself!
My dad named his dog Joe, my sister Joanna was not happy!

Judi's avatar

@cazzie; I suggested the spelling you gave to him. He hasn’t gotten back to me yet but I think you’re spelling is WAY cooler ;-)

absalom's avatar

I agree on the Danish/Norwegian (Scandinavian?) spelling. Aksel actually looks pretty good. Maybe it was just the x that seemed strange to me.

cazzie's avatar

My son’s name is Oskar with a K…. hubby insisted on it, being proper Scandinavian and all… It wasn’t until I came out of my post delivery haze did I realise I had doomed my son to have to say ‘Oskar with K and Ca****** with a C.’ poor poor kid.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve been fussing about this in my mind @Judi….just make it clear as you can that your grandson was named after a name and not a dog! Can you subtly suggest other names too? How about….Oskar?
O dear….“Hey Jude. Don’t make it bad. Take a bad name, and make it bettererer…..”

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