Durban - Pets are often considered members of the family, and when it comes to naming them, some owners choose weird, wacky and wonderful names.
Sometimes not a lot of thought is put into naming a household pet and for others, there’s a rather funny tale behind the name.
For example, Gomolemo Motshwane named his three pitbulls Queen, Tyson and Bruno.
Bruno might be a very popular name given to dogs, but Queen and Tyson stand out as atypical names for pets. Motshwane said he named his dog Tyson after notorious boxer Mike Tyson because the dog is “a biter”.
Few can forget how Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a WBA heavyweight championship fight in Las Vegas in 1997.
Despite the bout having taken place almost 20 years ago, the incident still follows him.
“When I first got the dog it bit me on my finger. It was just a couple of weeks old at that time,” Motshwane said.
More than a year later the dog still lives up to his name, with Motshwane saying he still bites strangers. “I had to train him not to bite the people living in the house, but he does bite strangers,” he said.
Fearing a possible lawsuit, Motshwane said the dog was so well trained he did not leave the yard, even when the gate was open, but would bite any uninvited guest.
Queen, Motshwane said, was named for being the rose among the thorns - the only girl of the three pitbulls. He said she was very protective of her puppies and would turn on the other two dogs if she needed to, but otherwise she was not vicious.
Motshwane is among the millions of people who consider his pets members of the family.
“A dog is a full-time family member, and needs to get the love and attention it requires.”
Despite having a reputation for viciousness, he said pitbulls had an unfair reputation.
“It is all about the owner and how they are trained. A dog is a reflection of its owner.”
Mhaka Khoza said he named his dog Eeh Mfo, meaning Hey Bro, and said it was a name that just stuck with the dog.
Christinah Dipuo Tumelo said her pet was called Jason, after a character on the popular SABC1 soapie Generations.
Terry Shiller said her mom’s French bulldogs were named Paris and Brie.
Tips from ePets SA suggest that people should consider names they like when naming pets, since they would use them forever.
“One- or two-syllable names are the best. There are names (like Hitler) that may offend certain people, so be considerate before using them,” they suggest.
Another suggestion was to take the dog’s size into consideration when naming it.
For small dogs, choosing a suitable name that makes sense would work, such as Rambo.
Others could use the coat colour of the pet as inspiration, like calling a black dog Marmite or a brown dog Rolo.