The most popular dog names for 2010 are in…

The nation’s most popular pet names for 2010 were announced today. According to pet insurance company VPI, the top ten dog names are as follows:

1.    Bella

2.    Bailey

3.    Max

4.    Lucy

5.    Molly

6.    Buddy

7.    Maggie  

8.    Daisy

9.    Charlie

10. Sophie

The trend toward tagging our pets with “people names” continues. In fact, for every dog name on the list, I know a person with the same moniker – the only exception is Daisy. (Yep, I know a Buddy.)

The article attributes Bella’s popularity to the Twilight series, but even before the books and movies hit, I encountered an unusually high number of pets by that name. We’re humanizing our dogs and cats more and more as a society (a phenomenon which can be both tremendous in terms of the animal welfare movement and slightly dangerous when it comes to training and communicating); our collective choices in pet names reflect that.

I still prefer the less human-y options. Our Doberman-Pointer-Lab mix, Uno, is so named because he’s our first dog. And because from the moment I saw him, I knew he was The One.

Our second pup was christened Maybe. As in, maybe my husband would let us rescue a Pit Bull, maybe not. (It also nicely pays homage to our favorite sitcom character, Maeby Funke.) In the photo, that’s Maybe wedging herself in behind Uno.

That said, I’ve always wanted to name a dog Steve. And my friend Christopher has a (rescued) tarantula named Betty. I love that.