A few days ago I was startled by the hysterical barking of Munni and the utterly funny puppy barks of zoozoo and rushed to check on the provocation. A tall, beautiful great Dane was at the gate curiously peeping in unperturbed by all the ruckus. Looked like she was making a social call.I was surprised that she was all by herself unchaperoned and wondered if she had managed to escape and was lost. Then I spotted a woman a few feet away calling out to the dog. Must be the domestic help of the dog's owners. So I asked her : hesaru enu? meaning what’s the name?”
She said “Rajalakshmi”.

I have heard some funny improbable names for dogs. My own before Munni was named Sabapathy.
I remember the time we were trying to decide a name for Munni. One of the maids thought she was very beautiful and hence should be named Divya. The other one thought we should name her Venkatesha after her favorite deity's name! Ya, it didn’t occur to this other maid that the sex of the dogs needed to be considered while naming them. Even Zoozoo was called Ramu by the guys at the truck under which she had made her home initially but she was quite ready to wag her tail and run to them without a murmur of protest!
In fact I know some friends who smirk when we refer to our dogs as He and she. They feel all dogs deserve nothing more than “it’. So how does it matter if IT is named Divya or Ramu or thotho as babies call them? But some of us do take our dog's names quite seriously. My husband tells the story of an uncle who had named his dog after a boss he hated. He thought he could have his revenge by swearing at the dog and ordering it about using the boss’ name. The plan misfired when he began to love his dog and finally had to change the dog’s name. We are all familiar with Aaamir’s Shahrukh khan of course!

I tend to judge people by the names they give their dogs. I was so upset when I saw an Alsatian named Rosy that I wanted to steal the dog or report them to CUPA - well, this is nothing short of cruelty when you inflict a delicate name on an impressive dog resembling a lioness. Julie is a suitable name for a Pomeranian , not an Alsatian. So I was a bit distressed when this lady said that the Great dane's name was Rajalakshmi and shared it with my husband. He snapped: “That dog’s name is Cleo.”
I was a little confused and checked with her the next day. Turns out Rajalakshmi is HER name and the dog's name is, indeed, Cleo!
hmmmm, I must be losing it but isn't 51 a bit soon for senility?
But then I have always been a little precocious!
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23 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    lovely post!! i once took my pet to the govt vet hospital, the dr. asked me "name?" i replied "soxy" he said, "your's madam not the dog's!!" :)

  2. Had i been in your place I too would have thought the lady told the name of the Great Dane. That confusion aside, I still think Cleo is hardly the name for a Great Dane...

    Enjoyed this post a lot. And yes, I think you are doing just fine for 51 (been there, done that :-)...).

  3. Vishnu Says:

    There is a movie in Tamil-dubbed Telugu movie named "Sati-Leelavathi", in which a family names their dog Subramanyam".

    Your post reminds me of that movie (I burst out laughing when I watched that movie and so did I, now!)

  4. Jina Says:

    I was telling Akila that whoever took those awesome pics (in fb) deserve a pat on the back...U deserve a hug for the pics and the post..Awesomee!!!

  5. Akhila Says:

    "That's silly Mommy!" was the response when I explained the post to my 3 year old.

  6. Praveen Says:


    My uncle named his dog GENO. I think GENO was a dog from a Sujatha's novel.

  7. Richa Says:

    Hehehhe..that was funny. I never had an opportunity to have a pet so can't comment much.

    Though I knew a small, cute, little puppy (German Shepherd but very small at that point) once, named Brutus. It was funny because of the way the owner liked to say the name, Brutus: you would picture a huge dog and then you see that adorable puppy. I know it would have grown into a huge dog, had it lived. Unfortunately, that puppy died after few months. We never got a chance to see a grown up Brutus :(

  8. Raj Says:

    Speaking of inappropriate names, I recall an incident in Cochin many years back. A tall ( 6'2"), well-built guy approached me and introduced himself. " I'm Baby" he said...

  9. Raj Says:

    Another thought. Perhaps the owner of Rajalakshmi thought that the name of the breed was "Great Dame".....

  10. R's Mom Says:

    hahaha! Thats so sweet :)

  11. aMus Says:

    haha..LOVED the post...

    i've had a pomeranian named an unimaginative Richie, while growing up...

    and i once had a house guest who would make STD calls (in those days when std was considered expensive)to talk to Dennis, who turned out to be her dog

  12. Really nice post :D

  13. maami Says:

    Erm, my first ever tortoise shell tabby was called Kalimuthu. Chweet fella he was.

    Of course Billa and Ranga, true to their feline nature, lapped milk and purred as they rubbed against my ankles but abandoned me for another flat that promised a warmer mattress.

    Erm what was Raji, the Dane saying?Woof Woof, what's in a name?

  14. Hi Usha...happy 2010 to you, this blog reminded me of our Steffi, we got her as a gift from our neighbours, her name was ANAIS the dog sure did not smell like it, thanks for the blog post.

  15. Lekhni Says:

    Agree with Ugich, Cleo is more a poodle's name than a Great Dane's. "Rajalakshmi" is quite an imposing name and sounds more like a Great Dane's :)

    With a name like Cleo (derives from Cleopatra ?) I hope the Great Dane was a female :D

    P.S. Thanks for enabling Name/Url, I really appreciate it!

  16. Serendipity Says:

    LOL!!! btw madam Usha , are you happy with Cleo? Or do you want to report them too? :P

  17. WhatsInAName Says:

    Rofl. That was a Funny post. Not just about dogs, but its such a human nature to build an image based on name. I think you have written a post on this, isn't it?

  18. Usha Says:

    Arundati: Haha, I wouldn't have imagined that a vet would be interested in anything but the dog's name.

    Ugich:ya may be Rajalakshmi was better than cleo.

    Vishnu:The dog in Sati leelavathi was called sabapathy.That is how we named our dog sabapathy. Chubramany was Shreedevi's dog in Moonrampirai.

    Jina: Hehehe. Thanks. Higs right back.

    Akhila: Did she think this aunty is silly or the name was silly for the dog? Nice photo!

    Praveen: yes that is a robot dog.

    Richa: oh poor brutus!

    Raj: yes I knew a baby pati too. heheh@great dame.

    R's mom: :)

    Suma:hahaha. May be Dennis has his own cellphone now?

    Subhashini: Thanks

    Maami:Poonais never look at me. kalimuthu...hahahha Ok tell me, I know that cats keep visiting many houses. so do they have different names in each house and do they respond?

    Rouhana: Hey, long time! Happy 2010 to you too! anais anais huh, cute!

    Lekhni:I dont know if she was Cleo or Leo. Could have been either. But now she is Rajalakshmi in my mind!

  19. Usha Says:

    Seren: hehehe. No cleo is ok although IMHO, they could have done better.

    WIAN:Yes I did, didnt I? let me go and fish it out and try to remember what I said!

  20. dipali Says:

    Such fun!

  21. Vijay Says:

    lol...Rajalakshmi the Great Dane and Cleo the maid :-)

  22. diya Says:

    That was hilarious, Usha!! Not senility, that's how some people like us are...I can remember several of my goof ups more peculiar than this!!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    This was really interesting. I loved reading it