What’s in a name and other random thoughts of an Animal Communicator

What’s in a (Pet’s) name?

Does the name add value or hinder your animal Companion?  

From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594: JULIET:
     What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title.    


How did you name your pet? Was the name inherited? Did you create a barn name? Do you have a series of nicknames for the different looks, behaviors or coy activity of your dog, cat or bird? 

I have seen a name make or break a personality. I have seen a new name completely turn an animal around. One potentially great thing when getting an animal from a shelter is that it is a brand new day in that animal’s life – why not start with a new name? 

The dog I adopted, Isabella (on the left in the pink chair) – had a different name with the rescue group – they called her Sarah.  I thought Isabella (both the name and the dog in front of me) was a very beautiful match.  The name is very Queen like (okay I’m all about BIG girly names) and that was fitting to bring out the personality that I knew was in there for this shy, nearly feral dog.  She was SO introverted and was happier with her head in a corner than out in public with others (except me and Olivia – my other dog).  Queen Isabella sponsored the Columbus voyage – the discovery of America – so who better to name her after than a Queen who was a patron of THE discovery voyage of our home as well as a patron of the arts and scholars? She has turned into quite the discovery dog indeed. 

Olivia (on the right in the pink chair) is a great story. My ex husband (he was my husband at the time) and I were living in Denver. I wanted a dog, his kids wanted a dog. We were redoing a bathroom in the house and he ran off to Home Depot. He came back and said he met the most well behaved Border Collie in the store and that her people said she had puppies (not full bred) at home. He had taken their phone number…..we made a call and off we went up I-70 to Evergreen, a mountain town.  In fact this was probably the first week of December and there was definitely crusted snow in all around. 

On the drive up the freeway I casually mentioned that I will name the dog Olivia. Without seeing her, I knew my puppy was in that litter. 

We arrived at this warm mountain like cabin in the woods. The woman graciously greeted us at the door and she went to the back door and one by one called the puppies in. All super great names by my book and then I heard it……..”Olivia, come in.” 

‘Olivia’ ran in with the rest of the balls of fur and sat on my feet. I also had to think that a ½ Border Collie that was cute, excited and mellow was the best of the gang.  SOLD. 

I have more stories – not only of my own animals – but of watching animals really be able to blossom because someone took the time to either change their name or to stop calling them a name that was limiting their potential.  More of that to come……………. 

Last year I had a contest on “What’s in a name” and my Communication with all Life University helped me judge it.  My newsletter has the first story and there will be more in my newsletter as well as posted here on the blog.  I’d love to hear your story!  

Blessings, Joan 

Joan Ranquet 

Animal Communicator, Author, Speaker  


www.contacttalkradio.com host of PET TALK LIVE every Wed. at 4:00 pm pst  

Founder of Communication with all Life University certification program  

For the best supplements for all life – (humans, animals & soil):  www.dynamitemarketing.com/joanranquet  

Upcoming classes: Beginning & Advanced Animal Communication classes coming up – plus special EARLY BIRD specials extended.  

DENVER – September 17 – 19  

SEATTLE AREA – October 15 – 17  

BOYNTON BEACH – November 6th 2010 The Crystal Garden  

ORLANDO AREA – November 12 – 14  

For more info or to register – joanranquet@joanranquet.com or contact Shannon at smyers@myersmarketing.com.



  1. Deborah said,

    August 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Joan, I felt moved to write you after reading this great story. When I first took a look at my dog at the Denver Dumb Friends League, they told me his name was “Frankie.” Frankie? What? Was THAT the next one up? (I told friends that he was in the witness relocation program and was a Mafia dog, so they shouldn’t fire a gun around him or he’d remember his past….) I knew it wouldn’t work, but I didn’t have another name handy. I thought I’d wait and see what he showed me. For a few weeks, I “tried on” some names, but not a one did a thing. Until one day, I was sitting on the floor cross-legged when he walked up and folded himself into my lap, content. I said out loud, “Wow,you just came and tucked yourself into my life.” Tuck. Tuck!! “Are you Tuck?” He looked up and licked me. So, for 14 years, that beautiful little boy was known as Tuck. Not Tucker. Just Tuck. He left us last month but his incredible spirit is still in our house, forever tucked into our hearts.

  2. shannon said,

    September 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Joan,

    Thank you for your blog; I am always impressed by your knowledge & I learn a lot from you. Maybe here’s an opportunity for me to teach you something in return.

    If you look at the name of every god from every religion, you will see that the vast majority (including all of the major religions) contain the vowel sound “AH”: God, Yeshua, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, Jah, Yaweh, Adonai, Jehovah, Alpha, Omega, Ishvar, Bhagwaan, Rama, Shiva, Waheguru, Messiah, etc. Thus, the AH sound is extremely spiritual & in effect naming a child or companion with a name containing this sound is considered holy, almost giving rise to more power in that name rather than one without this sacred vowel sound.

    As a result, I have named my (now 9 year old) Border Collie/Husky mix sisters Pongo & Tonka. Note that the “O” in both contain the AH sound, and that Tonka – who has the sound twice – is SUPER sensitive to some ethereal realm that is less evident to us “basic” humans. This is made obvious by her uncanny knack of singling out individuals who have seizure disorders with no training whatsoever, as well as a host of other “special” talents that put people in awe – no joke. Pongo is also special (of course), but she’s boisterous & lacks the serenity that is so evident in Tonka.

    When I rescued the sisters, they were named Sunshine & Pongo. Sunshine IMMEDIATELY struck me as a Tonka. I don’t know why – maybe having grown up with horses, Tonka’s speckled & spotted chest reminded me of an Appaloosa, hence the Indian moniker. Also, I simply liked the name. As for Pongo, she was on the verge of being called Shibby (from the movie ‘Dude, Where’s my Car?’), but with much contemplation – & most likely the help of SOME higher power(!) – I did not go that route. After 2 weeks, I gave up because by that time she fully knew her name as Pongo.

    I suspect most people use ‘cute-sy’ nicknames as well: Pongo also responds to Monkey, Munks, Munkers, Muffin, Bumbee, Doglet, Black Dog, Little One. Tonka is a.k.a.: Stinky, The Smelliest, Taun-Taun, Brown, Big Dog. So we don’t always lean toward the spiritual on a daily basis!

    Thanks again, Joan, for your keen insights. I look forward to gaining more education from you now that I have found your blog.

    Very Best,
    Shannon, Pongo & Tonka

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