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How 3 FirstMates Got Their Names

March 6, 2019

Have you ever wondered how to come up with a great dog name? Something that’s memorable, fits the dog’s personality, and shows off the most unique qualities of your FirstMate? It can be a daunting task, and there are so many directions you could go that it’s easy to spend more time thinking of a name than getting to know your new pet!

Here are three stories from our community about how dog owners chose names for their FirstMate. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration for your new furry friend, or your future new furry friend! Read on to discover the stories behind the names of the dogs we’ve been featuring in our social media posts.

Molly @hyperintelligentmolly

Molly the Blue Heeler Border Collie mix loves adventure. She can be seen on our social media pages running, jumping, and carrying the occasional stick! Here’s her naming story, in the words of her owners:

“We adopted Molly when she was approximately one year old from Safe At Last Dog Rescue. She was originally our foster dog, so we didn’t rename her. By the time we adopted her we thought it would be silly to change her name when she already knew and responded to it. Plus, we had already made up a whole bunch of Molly-themed songs to sing to her, not to mention nicknames! So, the name Molly just stuck! We just steer clear of dog parks, where half the dogs seem to be named Molly!”


Buck @bucktheadventuredog

Buck is a former sled dog and Alaskan Malamute and Alaskan Husky mix. Buck has spent a lot of time camping in the snow and finding the latest adventure. Here’s the short and sweet story of how Buck was named, as told by his owner, Jim Baird:

Buck was named after Buck the sled dog who’s the lead character in the Jack London novel Call of The Wild.”


River @littleriverdog

River is the Duck Tolling Retriever that you’ve probably seen swimming, climbing, and enjoying the outdoors on all of our social media pages. Here’s how River was named, in the words of his owners:

“When you think of the word “river”, what do you think of?

Going with the flow, waters running down from snow-capped mountains meeting the sea, or a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever? Well, we think of all of these things, and more!


Deciding on a name with context and meaning for our precious little pup was important to us. So, our process began with thinking of words that would reflect the things that we felt would be relevant to our family’s new little furry addition. There are many rivers that encircle our little town that we visit often, and we hoped that with his breed being a water dog, his attraction to them would become his playground. And this in fact did happen!

We also have a favourite song by the singer Leon Bridges called “River”. The melody, metaphors and his soothing voice in this song have made a connection with all of us, so this too was factored into giving this name a thumbs-up.

Finally, what really nailed his name for us, and likely why you hear of many other Duck Tollers named “River”, also made the final verdict an easy one. Oddly enough with all of the research we had done before getting River, we had forgotten about the following fact:  one of the original names of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is Little River Duck Dogs, and it comes from their place of origin called Little River Bay, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

So, in the end, as much as we think the name River suits him perfectly, and it did come easy to us, it was by no means a “by guess and by golly” decision. When we now look into the eyes of this little red firecracker of ours, we realize we couldn’t have thought of a better name for him, and how could he not be called River?”


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how some of our community’s FirstMates were named, as much as we have! Share your pet’s naming story in the comments below, and if you’re considering adopting a new pet from a shelter, here are some things to think about.

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