First in a series.
The most famous is: never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
Oh wait, wrong topic. Rules for a Long and Happy Life of a pet.
Be trite, if it makes you happy. Name your dog Fluffy or Rover or Fido. Be ironic- name your chihuahua Cujo or your bulldog Daisy Mae. Name your cat after your favorite literary character, anime cartoon, or hobbit. If and only if you are homeless, you may use an expletive in naming your pet and delight in introducing people to your pit bull “Shithead.” These are all acceptable.
You may name your pet after a celebrity, such as Elvis or Darth Vader; an attribute, such as Speedy or Frisky; be formal- Mr. Whiskers is so much more dignified than just plain Whiskers, right?; or informal- Stew has a nice casual ring to it.
But whatever you do, amongst the thousands and thousands of possible pet names at your disposal, you must do this one thing: Do not, under any circumstances, name your pet LUCKY. It is the one forbidden name.
It’s tempting, I know it is. Especially if you’ve rescued a cute little fuzzball from certain death at the pound, or found him on the side of the road, you might think to yourself- man, that is one lucky dog. Resist the urge. Trust me on this.
Ask any veterinarian and they will back me up. We all have a laundry list of Luckys we can pull up from memory, the cat who got a rare neural cancer at 3, the dog whose owner passed out drunk at the steering wheel while parked on TOP of the dog, the rat with its foot caught in a toaster, the guinea pig who choked on a Cheerio. These things all happen after the pet received the unfortunate moniker from his well meaning but uninformed parents. These things go beyond the realm of normal “crap happens” and into the “man, that really sucks. What are the chances of that?” sort of zebra category.
I have a theory. I think there is a netherworld demon, a little poltergeist who is filled with a seething hatred. He delights in irony and hates all things cute and fluffy. The sole purpose of this existence is to find cute and fluffy animals named Lucky and turn it from a ‘descriptive’ sort of name into an ‘ironic’ one. Be wary. He is very good at what he does. “YESSSSS!” he booms malevolently from his smoky lair. “I see a young couple from Schenectady has rescued a maltipoo from the shelter and named HIM LUCKY!” He puffs and snorts and leers at the image of the happy family. The next week a polar bear escapes from the zoo and winds up on Lucky’s street, where he is messily devoured in front of a horrified kindergarten class who happens to be walking by. Trust me, it’s probably happened already.
I know all you animal health people out there can verify this. Let’s hear those sad Lucky stories! We must spread the word!