1972 - What’s in a name



When you breed a litter of pedigree puppies,- which we did for the first time in 1972- if you want to have the litter recognised as having come from your kennel, you need a name for your kennel which is registered with the Kennel Club and is unique to you.


We chose two as possibilities which were duly submitted. YPPOS and NINELL


The Kennel Club rejected YPPOS. I suppose they were used to spelling the words backwards to weed out the idiots.


NINELL got through . It is an abbreviated form of my mother’s and Viv’s mother’s names- Nina and Nellie. When we told them of this, it was pointed out to us that most parents were accustomed to having grandchildren named after them, not dogs. They seemed unimpressed by our argument that we hadn’t (at that time) got any children.


The second name of a registered dog is its individual name. So, a puppy is given its kennel name- a sort of surname, and its individual name- just like a human if you ignore the fact they are back to front.


Often, breeders will start all the individual names of their first litter with the letter “A,” the second litter with “B” and so on. Years later when we came to the letter “K” we had a litter of just one puppy. I wanted to call it Kristimbrok which on the face of it sounded like a nice name but Viv saw through that when she pronounced it with the letters “i” as in “I am” and “o” as in “Oh.”


We started with an “A” litter but missed out “B” and went straight on to “C”. More of that later.


Over the years, we have spent many happy hours thinking up names for puppies. It becomes a whole family thing as people are observed muttering to themselves like monks wandering around murmuring incantations, although in our case the prayer is answered from time to time by a monk wandering in the opposite direction, hearing your latest inspiration, and murmuring the immortal words “Mm, that one’s possible.”


Back in 1972, our first homebred golden from Brena was called Ninell Adelina and we kept her. They all have pet names at home. One day, when she was just weeks old, Adelina came bounding up the garden with her puppy oversized ears flapping up and down. From then on, to us she was “Flappa.”