After that little video clip of the babbling brook beside my workshop, somehow the conversation got onto dogs' names, and Weaver having to shout "Coco!" at her neighbors through the darkness, as she tries to entice her cat indoors so she can retire to bed.
I mentioned a Red-Setter I knew called 'Copper' that hated uniforms. One day, there was a ring on the doorbell, and a policeman was standing there. The setter started to attack, and the entire family seemed to encourage it by shouting, "COPPER! COPPER!"
I had another friend who had a labrador called 'Blackie'. One dark night, he lost it in London, and found himself wandering around Brixton at 2.00 in the morning, shouting "BLACKIE!" at the top of his voice.
My friend who is currently almost dead through alcohol abuse (mentioned in a previous post), had many fixed and rigid notions about right and wrong, and one of them was that you should never call an animal by an ordinary human name. Presumably this maxim works in reverse as well, which is probably why you don't often come across children called 'Towser' or 'Fido', unless, of course, they are the offspring of Bob Geldoff or Frank Zappa.
The Border Collie which features at the end of my video is called 'Dolores' (Dolly for short), which is about as far away from a sensible name for a working dog as you can get - unless, that is, the dog works on the stage. Julian Clarey's dog was called 'Fanny' (I once had the pleasure of meeting both of them), but actually did work on the stage as 'Fanny the Wonder Dog'. (J.C.'s autobiography is entitled, "A Young Man's Passage", btw, so it's hardly an odd choice of name).
Animals - like children - do not have a say in their choice of name, and most animals don't seem to care - unlike children - even though they show signs of disliking being laughed at in public. I called my cat 'Widdy', which carried well when being shouted in a high-pitched voice from a distance. I absent-mindedly started called him 'Tiddles' when he first turned up, then that became the less common 'Widdles', which eventually was shortened to Widdy. I later found out that my 68 year-old sister's pet name for her 70 year-old husband is 'Widdy', but she didn't tell me how he got it.
I had a friend who had a budgie called 'Bridgit' once, and I have another friend who has a parakeet called 'Beaky'. Somehow, it doesn't seem right to give ridiculous names to a creatures which are capable of pronouncing them, like parrots. I expect many parrots have been given dignified names like 'Horatio', but "Horatio wants a cracker" sounds like a request from a retired and bed-ridden Admiral who suffers from dementia, so any vestiges of dignity are immediately expunged. I expect there have been a few demented Admirals who have been dubbed 'Squawky' by the nurses of the homes that they have been dumped in by their relatives, though.
So here's a little competition: no prizes go to the person who can come up with the most inappropriate name for the animal in the photo above.