A Labrador lying chained in a dingy room


A young Labrador

Kept tied the whole day

In the compound

Of a house named Bethel,

Which if the Lab could speak or write

Would rename as Methell.

Cover pic for this post: a close-up of a German Shepherd's eye with the overlaid text 'A Dog with No Name'

Wags in a Name | All Chain, No Name

Cover pic for this post, also the logo for the series, with a cartoon dog wagging its tale fervently with the name broken into two parts and written on each of his sides

“What’s her name?”


“She has no name?”


This has happened twice when I’ve asked the human tending to the doggie outside their house about the name of their doggie companion. The only thing different was the gender of the dog, a female in the first instance and a male in the second. Oh, there was another thing different too: in the second instance, the lady thought I was asking her name, or even the house’s name.

Both sets of folk have looked at me baffled, like either they didn’t know that naming the dog at home is a (nice) thing to do, or that I was asking them if I could come in and poop all over their house.

Forlorn-looking chained dogIt was only after the second instance that I seemed to notice a trend. In both cases, the dog was chained and kept outside the main house premises, for almost the whole day (and night), getting breathers I hope for ablutions and perambulations. It seemed obvious: if you keep the dog chained, you obviously don’t care for them. So, why would you bother about an even smaller thing as a name?

So, tip no. 1 for naming your doggie friend has nothing to do with your intellect, but with your attitude. If you’re bringing home a dog to only keep it chained most of the time, they’re better off at the shelter. (And hopefully, you’re bringing them from there and not a puppy-farm-fuelled pet shop.)

Oh wait, there seems to be a name after all. Watch-dog. And that’s worse than the Tommys, Rockys, Jimmys, Johnnys, Lakshmis and Manis.

What’s Wags in a Name about? Check it out in the intro post here.

Update: Thanks to my frequent questioning, doggie 1 (female, mixed breed, mixed brown fur) has a name now: Brownie. Yes, standard old Brownie. I feel like I both won and lost that battle.