Volunteer Fosterers, Walkers, and Forum members are curious about the names of our dogs, so let us share with you how we arrive at our dogs' names.
If a dog comes in with a name we always try to retain that name and feel if anyone is to change that name is must be the new owner not ourselves or the fosterer. There are a few exceptions. We usually do not call our staffies after fighters or pigs. They are worthy of the best, and to name a dog in jest is at the dog's expense, so the joke falls flat. Some names are just too popular, so we may modify it to be like another. A Jack Russell coming in as 'Jack' may be called Jack Dee or Jackanory or Zac or Mac. We declare any former names upon homing, and the new owners are welcome to recall the dog their original name. Finally, if a dog has had a very sorry past and its name is on its microchip, we may well change their name to give them a new start, with new associations. 'Bob' may have become 'Bad Boy' in their mind by being called harshly.
For strays, yes, our names are imaginative, because we try not to call a dog by the same name as another. We have a long memory for names, so our dog's rescue name is unique to them. We ask our fosterers to train the dog into this name and not to change it. This becomes the dog's identity within our rescue, and families tuning into this dog will already identify with the dog's name by the time they meet them. Again, it is the Adopter's choice to change the dog's name, but we ask our homes not to change it immediately - but to change it when they have that feeling 'they are ours for good'. If after 3-4 months homing that dog comes back, depending on the level of contact we have had with the family, and the length of time we have known our dog, we may retain the original rescue name or consider the change and call our returned dog by their changed name.
When a dog is renamed by their new family, our Rescue name is usually bracketed next to the new name on the dog's title bar for identification purposes and for Forum users searching for that dog. If a dog stays very close to our rescue, the brackets cease to have purpose and are removed. For example, Moss's original rescue name has disappeared, as has Poncho's and Mica's.
We are having a problem where volunteers are choosing to shorten names, or use a familiar abbreviated name for our dogs. It may sound very friendly but we choose our names carefully, and usually the familiar 'similar name' has already been used, and in our minds relates to another dog. Please, for the sake of the dog, can volunteers stick to the Rescue name, so the dog gets consistency. You might not like a name, and want all our dogs to have a looser, 'ie' ending name, or less formal name, but please respect the dog's Rescue name - it's the only consistency they have apart from kennel routine.
Would you like to Volunteer Foster for us? The process is explained here and includes a link to our Fostering Questionnaire. We need Volunteer Dog Walkers too! Find more details here!
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