As you probably know names are a big deal for authors. Some spend days searching for just the right one...the meaning has to be right, the sound has to be right (I had to change a name of a character from one book to another because my editor thought it was too feminine for a hero.), everything has to be right.
And here at the Devoti household things are no different. We take picking names very seriously. Except we aren't naming characters or babies (Man, that was hard!) no we are naming dogs.
Over the years my husband and I have named four dogs together. The first was an 120 pound Alaskan malamute that we got as a 10 week old puppy. We went the map route. We looked at Alaska and picked Kiska Denali. We called him Kiska. Our next dog was a stray. He was a piebald (white with black spots) Siberian husky who weighed in at 75 pounds. He came with a collar with a rubber key chain from a bank attached that must have served as his tag. They had scribbled Niki on the back, but what I saw was the bank's name...or what I thought the bank's name was. I saw Roosevelt. The real name was Ravali (a county in Montana), but Roosevelt he was. Next came an Australian shepherd/German shepherd mix that we got at the local humane society. He was six months old and he was kind of a mistake. I saw his picture in the paper and thought he had some malamute in him. When we got there I realized my mistake, but...well...I couldn't leave him there! So, we had three dogs. This guy was hard. My husband and I argued and argued. We went through every historical name we could think of and finally, he won. Our pound puppy became Sherman.
Then finally, there was Meriwether. Meriwether was also a piebald Siberian husky. We got him as a puppy from Canada and he was the sweetest dog to ever cross a national line. As you can tell, we stuck with our historical figure theme and went a bit back to our roots. We are both from Missouri and traveled to Montana...not exactly on Lewis and Clark's trail, but close enough. :)
Now we have new puppy. New puppy has a lot of hopes penned on him. As I think I mentioned we had a rough year with dogs. Both Sherman (who we'd had for 14 years) and Meriwether died this summer. Then we got a rescue dog who bit my son, sending him to the emergency room. We've been sad and beaten. And this poor little 15 pounds of white fur has to pull that load. What kind of name does he deserve?
My husband pulled out his list. Yes, the man keeps a list. We narrowed it down to five with Truman being a top runner. But then my son (who due to circumstances got extra votes) vetoed it. We were stumped. Then I remembered a name that didn't fit our usual criteria, but that my daughter loved. I ran it by my son. He approved. I ran it by the DH...he balked. I pointed to his children...he capitulated.
And Despereaux was named!
What do you think? Does his name fit? And how about you? How important are names to you for your kids, your pets and characters?