We have 7 animals in this house and, as you can imagine, it’s a lot like The Waltons with rounds of “Goodnight John Boy” and “Good Morning, MaryEllen.” Unlike scripted television, we don’t always get the names right. Other times, it’s exactly like television. We make things up entirely. Here are a few examples:

Whatsyourname ShamusShamus, The Newfoundland

  • Shamu: Shamus lays on his back like a beached Orca
  • Bat Dog: Note the photo
  • Shameless: He theives things he shouldn’t – like my credit card
  • Fuzzy Wumpas: He’s shedding
  • Vader: He breathes like Darth and rides in an all-black CRV called the Death Star

Whatsyourname EmmettEmmett, the Hound

  • Bad Dog or Shredder: Bad Dog was standard during Emmett’s first 3 months with us. He chewed everything.
  • Shemmett: He’s being good like our well-behaved Shamus.
  • Scooby, Goofy or Snoopy-Do: Emmett somersaults to expose his belly and rolls around on his back with a smile
  • Punkinhead: No reason. He’s just being cute.

Whatsyourname KittiesJackson and Jed, Orange Tabbies #1 and #2

  • Chunk: Jackson has a belly. We’re working on this.
  • Munch: Short for munchkin.
  • Chunky Monkey: when Jackson’s climbing, rolling around or flying through the house like a maniac
  • Loaf: See Chunk
  • Jedi: Jed executes some zen-like moves, like he’s tapping into The Force

Whatsyourname BirdsThe Birds

The Tiels are Frankie (Sinatra) and Ella (Fitzgerald). The Fancy Keet is Wordsworth (I’m still waiting for him to recite poetry). Only one nickname has been long-standing:

  • Ella Yella Bird: She’s yellow and, man, can she yell — especially at those annoying “Meet Bob” commercials.

What nicknames do your kids have?