This weekend I found love in New Orleans; he’s short and cute, and he loves to cuddle. He lost his home in Hurricane Katrina and spent some time living on the street. Luckily, he has since moved in with my friends Christa and Dan. His name is Miles Davis, and he’s a Miniature Pinscher.
Being named after a jazz legend in a city that has been dubbed the birthplace of the genre may be daunting to some, but Miles wears it well. The name was given to him when he was rescued and my friends decided to keep him after getting to know him. According to this article in The Columbus Dispatch, naming pets after celebrities is a trend—one that may be helping to up their chance of adoption.
Using celebrity names can help distinguish one puppy or kitten from another in a new litter where the tiny fur-balls may all look very similar. This method gives potential adoptive parents an idea of what kind of personality the pups have, which can also be hard to tell from a picture on a website. I don’t know about you, but when I see a new dog I tend to imagine what they would sound like if voiced by an actor, so this makes total sense to me. I also love the episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte York Goldenblatt decided to name her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel after Elizabeth Taylor.
Other people just like having a pet with a cool name that they didn’t even have to come up with themselves. It's kind of like receiving a Cabbage Patch kid named Punky Brewster as a kid in the 80s; the namesake is cool by association.
The article considers this a successful marketing tactic, citing a statistic from The Humane Society of the United States: "The number of dogs euthanized in shelters has dropped to 3 million this year, from 20 million a year in the 1970s.” While I’m not sure how big of a part this particular trend has played in the change, I’m all for anything that helps animals find their forever home. Maybe one day I’ll adopt my own Miles Davis.