Through my work as an animal communicator, I never tire of hearing some of the creative and distinctive names that humans assign their pets. It is common for clients to want to know if their newly adopted pet likes their new name. While the responses from the animals are varied, I recognize that names DO matter to animals, but not in the way we might think.
A name is a name to the animals, but it is the energetic reaction that we humans might have when hearing their name that they respond to. If an iguana named Rose is regularly faced with the reaction of “that’s a silly name for a lizard” then Rose the iguana may start to question her stature in the world. A horse named Chomper may make some of us wonder if a piece of our bicep might become his afternoon snack! If many people who meet “Chomper” have that same fear and energetic reaction of distancing themselves from his powerful teeth, what is that conveying to the horse over time?
Consider your immediate internal (i.e. energetic) reaction when meeting for the first time:
Could you imagine yourself being cautious when meeting a dog named Terminator? And did you imagine yourself wanting to scoop up Cuddles the kitten to hold him or her? There really IS something in a name, and over time a cat named Terror may really start to live up to that name. Chomper the horse may become skittish and self-isolating, and Lovey the Rottweiler might become the most popular and adored pet of the neighborhood.
Most of us put a lot of thought into the names we choose for our beloved animals, and appropriately so. I’ve met several animals who truly do live up to their name, both positively and with some behavioral issues. So the next time you find yourself needing to name a new family pet, consider the energetic reaction their name might illicit, and remember that over time those reactions very likely may have a long-lasting affect on how your pet behaves.