Howdy! One of my best memories from library school was keeping Kelsey company when she went to meet Oscar, her Westie pal. “I love the name Oscar,” she said, “but it would be an embarrassing name for a human child. This way, when I am naming my kid, I won’t be tempted to use Oscar.” Great advice, right? I should mention here that Kelsey’s rosy-cheeked, super cute son is named Walter Gregory — an upstanding name that will never be mistaken for a puppy’s.
With that advice in mind, I went through my favorite literary heroes — the brave, clever, loyal characters I always wanted to be my best friend. Then, two more tests. 1) Can you yell your dog’s name across a park without shame or fearing judgement from others? There’s this guy who I used to see at the park, who would call out for his yorkie Precious, and then turn to anyone next to him and qualify, “my girlfriend named the dog.” 2) How are the nicknames? Watson gets Watsy, Watso, Wats, and so forth. All quality options.
In the end, it came down to Watson (named for Sherlock Holmes’ Dr. John Watson) and Matilda (Roald Dahl). If novelty is important to you, Watson was the only Watson we knew in New Mexico, but there are two other Watsons in our neighborhood — a doxie and a French Bulldog. He’s no Buddy, though.
People always mistake Watson for Winston, so that’s probably a fitting Westie name, too. The other Westies and terriers in our park are named Sebastian, Gus, and Chompers. On tumblr, there’s Lily, Arthur, Maggie, Puck, and Buffy, who all seem happy about their names.