The top 10 dog names in New Zealand have been tallied, and there’s not a Rufus to be seen.
But a quick trip to the beach revealed Wellingtonians might be more original than elsewhere in the country.
According to pet data from AA Insurance, the top 10 names this year are Luna, Bella, Coco, Charlie, Molly, Cooper, Poppy, Nala, Milo and Bear.
But Coco was the only dog with a name in the top 10 at either Lyall Bay or Island Bay beaches on Tuesday morning.
The miniature schnauzer, a rescue dog from the Wellington charity HUHA, was out for a walk with her owner, David, who said she certainly suited her name.
“She’s kind of cute and sprightly, very affectionate. They’re a great breed.”
Amanda was down at Island Bay with her retreiver-collie-cross, Mabel. Mabel didn’t make the list, but she does know a Bella – Amanda’s mum’s dog.
“Bella is nuts,” she said. “She is a bichon/shih tzu, and she is a yappy little… she’s hilarious. She has a pink jewelled collar, and her [full] name is Bella Petronella.”
Loca man Kevin considered Molly, fifth on the list, before settling on Millie for his 10-month-old labrador.
“I toyed with a few names,” he said. “Maya, Molly, Coco – being a chocolate lab.
“I was just sort of vocalising them out loud in the car [on the way to pick her up], and came up with Millie, and I think she suits it.”
Some Wellingtonians opted for names which were a little more unique.
Shazz chose for her dog, a huge mixed-breed with a lumbering gait and fear of water higher than his shoulders, Tilq Al Kabiron, which means “Tilq the big” in Arabic.
“The name just came about. I just started to call him Tilq,” she said. “And I really liked that orca Tilikum, he’s Tilikum’s colours.”
For many families, choosing a name was a democratic affair.
Helen Casey and her husband took that approach when they named their Australian Shepherd, Fergus.
“My husband and I wrote lists, and Fergus was on his list and my list,” she said.
“It’s a good Scot’s name, because I’m from Scotland originally.”
Helen said Fergus spent much of his time with her in her art studio, and only occasionally stepped in the paint.
Further down the beach, Harriet was busy throwing sticks for her family’s golden retriever Rizzo, named after the character from Grease.
Harriet might have been about to start a family argument.
“Well, if my mum [sees] this she’ll be angry at me, she claims it was her idea, I claim it was mine.”
In the end, each family member’s name was put into a hat. Harriet’s was drawn, and she picked Rizzo.
Whether she thought of the name first, we’ll never know, but from where she’s fetching sticks from the surf, Rizzo doesn’t mind either way.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz