What’s in a name?

My novel has a curly coated retriever in it, and I can’t for the life of me settle on a name for this poor dog. Let’s be clear — I have a curly coated retriever, and it isn’t this dog. This dog is a potential field trialer. My dog would rather chase rabbits, and he’s not even very good at that.

Still, I’ve been tempted to name him Pax, because, well, because my Pax is the best dog ever, and this sort of immortalizes him. Also a couple of people who have read some of the story get uncommonly gleeful when they see Pax’s name. (I think he has a bit of a fan club.) But then I waver and think that people will think that my dog is like that dog, and so I decided that rather than name him Pax after my curly, I’ll call him Rain, after my beloved Newf. So I’ve put “Rain” throughout all my notes.

It doesn’t look right.

Sigh. The obvious answer is to give this poor fictional dog a name all his own. Problem is, I can’t for the life of me come up with a name I like. At the moment I have a bunch of names for girls, but this dog is very definitely male.

Hmmm. How about Bailey? Or Mouse? Both are, to clicker training fans, obvious tributes to Bob and Marion Bailey. While I won’t refer to Bob or Marion or even clicker training by name in the book, the technology definitely has a prominant part in the events. Bailey is a rather common name for a dog these days — too common, I think. Mouse, though… Mouse is not only an uncommon name, it would be an odd, distinctive name for a character in a book.

Okay, unless and until a better name comes to me, the dog I have previously referred to as “Rain” has now officially become “Mouse.”

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