We expected plenty of laughs, awwwwws and a few tears. But that was nothing compared to the incredible stories we received in our ‘how your dog got their name’ competition. And the winners for best story and most original dog name are…
More than 650 entries came in from all over Australia for our dog name competition. And each one demonstrated how special the doggy members of our family are in our lives. Some stories were funny, others heartbreaking. Many were downright clever or incredibly inspiring.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who shared their story. Over time, we’ll be sharing key insights into how people chose or made up a name for their beloved pooch. You may just find something you like for the next pup who joins your clan!
But there can only be one winner in each category and your votes delivered a clear verdict. And they are (drum roll please!):
Best story of how they got their name: Mumma
Mumma’s story: “I rescued Mumma who had no name from an awful living situation with her 12 puppies. Her babies all found beautiful forever homes, but I couldn’t part with their gorgeous mum. When I had her desexed, the vet (guessing her age at 8 years) said based on her internal condition, she would have had at least 100 puppies. Thankfully, the breeding life is all over for this Mumma and she can finally relax and enjoy her golden years. Now the only mothering she does is with her two-legged baby… my son.”
“I’m so excited to spoil Mumma with this amazing prize. She had a really hard start to life, and it is my mission to give her the greatest senior years,” her owner, Hannah, explains.
Mumma is a Great Dane cross who lives on the NSW Mid North Coast. And she was the clear favourite from the moment voting opened.
Mumma (pictured with Hannah’s son, Riley) is now believed to be 10 years old. She found her forever home on Hannah’s family farm around two years ago. She loves nothing more than going to work alongside Hannah. Although life isn’t always as sweet as it sounds.
“Mumma has noxious farts and has been known to clear the entire store (where she comes to work for Big Dog Friday every week) of customers! Luckily, they all love her,” Hannah explains.”
Hannah has these words of advice for anyone considering getting their first dog:
“If you are after a specific breed, do your research (make sure it suits your lifestyle) and find a reputable registered breeder. If not… Rescue dogs are amazing! Especially senior ones like Mumma.”
Interesting fact: “Mumma isn’t that fussed on puppies (I think she’s had more than her fair share). But she absolutely LOVES human babies. She gets so excited whenever she is near a baby or a toddler that instead of wagging, her tail starts to spin like a helicopter.”
Most original dog name: Broccoli
Broccoli’s story: “After we had chosen Broccoli from the litter, my boyfriend and I were talking about food names like Oreo, Snickers & Cookie, common names. As a joke, my boyfriend said, ‘We could name him Broccoli.’ I replied, ‘we are not naming our dog Broccoli’. Nothing ever topped it, so we just went with it.”
Broccoli (pictured main and right) is a 1 year-old Jack Russell from the NSW Hunter Valley. He came from behind in early voting to be crowned the owner of Australia’s most original name.
“We’re very happy!” Broccoli’s owner Jamie said of the win.
But Broccoli’s happiness manifests in a somewhat unusual way.
“When Broccoli gets very happy, he smiles and his lips get stuck over his teeth and he has a very, VERY gummy smile. His teeth are very much like Tic Tacs.”
As his name suggests, Broccoli has some less than orthodox favourites to get those pearly white Tic Tacs – we mean, teeth – stuck into. His favourite food is scrambled egg, while he only chomps on right-foot shoes.
But the Jack Russell pup at least done his name proud by also chewing up a pair of handmade broccoli earrings.
For the moment, Broccoli – who also goes by the nicknames Broc, Brocco and Spud Monkey – is an only child.
“But he is looking to have a brother soon!” says Jamie.
Jamie’s advice for anyone thinking about welcoming home their first dog is simple:
“Patience, patience, patience. Give them love, and in turn, they will love you.”
Interesting fact: Broccoli’s favourite toy is a warthog that has been named Hogwarts.
Congratulations Mumma and Broccoli! You have each won a three-month personalised subscription box from Paws N’ All, valued at $195.85!
Yes, winners are grinners. But our finalists have great stories too and captured the hearts of many people – including us! – along the way. So, it’s only fitting that they don’t go away empty-handed.
Each finalist in our dog name competition will receive a personalised doggy bag from Paws N’ All, valued at $39.95 – containing hand-picked toys, treats and accessories worth at least $50 in stores.
In case you’ve forgotten, here they are again – give them all a round of a-paws!
“Our dog Jack is training to be an assistance/companion dog for my son. He is almost non-verbal and can only say two words… both swear words.
The speech pathologist who works with us said Jack is a name my son may be able to say eventually, based on the swear words.
Our family joke (and I apologise for the bad language) is we called him Jack because you can’t call a dog s**t or f**k.”
“Ten years ago, I lost my older brother who was an Army vet to suicide. Every year, it is just as difficult to celebrate his birthday.
But on the 25th of July 2 years ago – his birthday – I went and picked up a teeny, tiny little Chihuahua (which is quite funny, as my brother was a giant at 6’4”).
In memory of my brother, I gave this tiny little bundle of joy the same name – Jeremy James or Jay Jay for short. So every year, I can celebrate my brother’s birthday and, in the sadness, I am comforted by a tiny little dog with a big heart.”
“My five year-old son Oliver wished to name our puppy because his older brothers named our cats, before he was born. He chose ‘Pizza Crust’.
Clearly this was not widely supported in the family, however, my middle son persuaded Oliver that ‘Millie’ was French for ‘Pizza Crust’.
Problem solved… until Oliver learns French!”
Most original name
“This is Aarli, full name Aarli Mayi. Aarli is a Bardi word from the Aboriginal nation north of us. It means ‘seafood’.
Aarli was born completely deaf. Her previous owner didn’t want a deaf dog, so we got her as a pup from a rescue organisation called SAFE.
As she’s deaf, we relied heavily on food to train, hence ‘see food’ or Aarli.”
“When she was little, she would play fight our big male Staffie… he would roll her along the ground and she looked like a little rissole getting rolled!”
“9 years ago, I had just started working as a student vet nurse, so I wanted a unique name for my soon to be new puppy.
I was also living at home with my parents and we already had 4 dogs. Dad said if we got a 5th, he was moving out.
So, I figured if I called the pup Rumour and he asked if I was getting another puppy, I could say ‘just a rumour’.
Side note: he didn’t move out when I brought her home and loves her.”
A special thank you! Everyone who shared their story in our dog name competition will receive a $10 voucher towards their next purchase with Paws N’ All! Voucher will be sent in the next Weekly Wag Newsletter.
Stay tuned to Paws N’ All’s blog, as we’ll be sharing more of your stories and tips on how to choose a name for your pup. Better still, sign up for our newsletter below to get all the latest doggy news delivered straight to your inbox!