I have had dogs my entire life, but Gemma was my first dog I ever got from a shelter. We always got puppies at 8 weeks old from breeders. So they pretty much only had one name ever unless the breeder had originally named them something different. I was always against people changing dogs' names. I just felt like it would confuse them. But after adopting two of my dogs, I have learned a lot and some of my thoughts have changed.
Adopting dogs when they are older than 2-4 months old is much different. When adopting a dog, they already have a name and I strongly was against someone changing their name after they adopted a dog because that dog had that name their whole life- of course unless their name was something horrible like asshole or something like that, then it should be changed.
My views on changing names has definitely changed. I still kind of think that if a dog comes into a shelter and the shelter knows the dog's original name and lists the dog with that name, then the name should stay unless that dog never listened to the name in the first place.
Both of my dogs came into the shelters without their original name. So the shelters didn't even know. Gemma was surrendered to a really bad disease infested shelter that the humane society I adopted her from pulls dogs out of. The humane society that pulled her is amazing though- The Humane Society of Calvert County (MD). I believe the original shelter just listed the dogs with a number instead of a name. And I know for a fact that they knew her name because she was surrendered by her owner. When she came to the humane society, they named her Henrietta. Sorry, that name had to go. If she listened to it, I would have thought about keeping it but thank God she didn't listen to that name. She actually listened to "Gemma" right on the spot, so it was perfect!
Tigger (Mowgli) was picked up as a stray off of the streets of Philadelphia by Animal Care & Control of Philadelphia. He didn't have tags and wasn't microchipped (he is both now). Their rule is that whichever worker sees the dog first is the one who names the dog. They named him Pooh because he sits like Winnie the Pooh. He has English Bulldog in him and a lot of bulldogs and other breeds of dogs sit like this but I was not about to keep this name. I adopted him like 2 days after the mandatory waiting period (to see if his owner reclaims him), so he wasn't used to the name anyway. I named him Mowgli and he only kind of listened to it. He wasn't trained or anything, so I figured that maybe with time he would listen.
Well it has been over a year and a half since I adopted him and he still doesn't listen to the name. At one point I thought he might even be going deaf but then I started calling him by one of his nicknames, "Brother," more often and realized that he is just a stubborn bulldog who doesn't listen to his name. About 1-2 weeks ago, I decided to try switching Mowgli's name because these past few months he has pretty much stopped listening to "Mowgli" completely. I always thought he looked like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and acts like a Tigger. In fact, he was Tigger for Halloween. He is tall, slim, has a long tail, brindle coat (kind of like stripes), his coat is a fawn/ fawn-red color, and he jumps up in the air really high like Tigger does. It just fits him perfectly. So I decided to give "Tigger" a try. So far, he listens to it. I think it also helps that it has the same ending sound as "Brother".
So today it is official. Mowgli James is now Tigger Mowgli Ale. Yes, he has two middle names. Since I'm keeping "Mowgli" as part of his middle name, I probably won't bother changing his name on his microchip and state licensing information. But I do need to order a new dog tag and I'll put "Tigger Mowgli Ale" on it. And I have no idea why his middle name is going to be "Ale," it just is and sounds good to me haha.
So now I have Gemma Madeline, Tigger Mowgli Ale, and Audrey Georgina.
What are your dogs' names?