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Thread: Your Relationship to Pets & Naming Strategies

  1. #21
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Parent/friend.

    You can't control a cat. But dogs need you to control them.
    I love pets. They are family.

    The only pets I've ever named were 2 cats called Batman & Robin (Batman had a black bat mask on her face, and Robin seemed good enough for the other - both female though) and a dog called Leo.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

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  2. #22
    Member Mxx's Avatar
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    I guess I've taken on the responsibility to provide and care for her. We both dislike being around members of our own species, and she might be the reason I've hardly ever felt a sense of loneliness.

    Once she kicks the bucket though, I'm not sure I'll get another pet. I've got too much wanderlust in my blood for now, and a pet is a handicap for that.

  3. #23
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Factually, animals that are pets are property. And so, I "own" my pets, in the factual sense. Property as in: a commodity at my disposal, of my responsibility, etc. They are not human, and so not sentient, and therefore: are not possessive of ethical or moral agency (thereby, are only objects of ethical dynamics insofar as there are humans who disagreeably vie over them). Hence, there is no moral obligation qua imperative to them -- there is simply the option, the free choice to treat them with respect and/or care -- or not.

    Emotionally ala behaviorally, my pets are my companions, or have the capacity to be. Well-mannered pets earn my affection, and therefore my care. Ill-mannered pets do not. I strongly prefer cats, for their relative autonomy and independence. Why? When they choose to be with you, it means more than a pack animal, compelled by wired-in herd dynamics. When an animal chooses to bond with me, I bond with them in return. Walah: I have a pet.

    I pick names from my paracosm. For instance, my first cat was named Ptah.
    Last edited by Ptah; Today at 04:49 PM.

  4. #24
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    @Ptah, might want to look up sentience. Animals in general are sentient.

    It is ironic that the common perception of the word is what the word was made to avoid.
    Last edited by Hephaestus; Today at 06:52 PM.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

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  5. #25
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Perhaps I used the wrong word, yes. Perhaps "sapience" is more correct, but I figure you know what I meant regardless of the term used. Animals -- or simply those often kept as pets, if you prefer -- demonstrably do not rise to the level of human intelligence, behavior, wisdom, communication, volition and so on. Thereby, they are as I said in my post -- not to be regarded in the same ethical capacity as human beings.

  6. #26
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Perhaps I used the wrong word, yes. Perhaps "sapience" is more correct, but I figure you know what I meant regardless of the term used. Animals -- or simply those often kept as pets, if you prefer -- demonstrably do not rise to the level of human intelligence, behavior, wisdom, communication, volition and so on. Thereby, they are as I said in my post -- not to be regarded in the same ethical capacity as human beings.
    I keep wanting to misuse "reticent" in places it almost works.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  7. #27
    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Interpersonal zeitgeist of the moment and otherwise. For example, I am fairly certain my father was a Ginger Rogers fan, hence a number of dogs baring the moniker Ginger. Alternatively, I think I ended up picking it up subconsciously for being partial to redheads, particularly one stranded on an island for three seasons. I've also named dogs for kung-fu action stars and had a few inspired from advertising campaigns I was working on at the time.

  8. #28
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Well, thus far there has been no point in my adult life where I considered my financial and/or residential situation sufficient to acquire any pets of my own without feeling like it would be an irresponsible decision.

    Though when I was growing up my family always had at least one dog, so I'm acculturated as a "dog person" and will probably end up getting one eventually, at least in the hypothetical event of my somehow becoming something other than a perpetually broke, shiftless, transient fuck-up.

    (I've never failed to do right by the kid, but let's just say that hasn't been without its measure of toil and struggle--so I'm not exactly in the market to have any more of them, and by extension pets are still pretty much a no-go as well.)


    However, in my memories it does seem like I ended up naming almost all of the family dogs. Like, not 'officially' but the names we ended up using always seemed to have been something I originally suggested.

    There was the Golden Retriever named Oswald--because I was fifteen and the idea of having a pet named after someone famous for murdering a politician appealed to me.

    Oswald quickly acquired a similarly aged 'brother' from the local Humane Society. He was a total classic rescue mutt who'd just been found abandoned on some farm, but we figured probably a black lab/collie mix.

    He was mostly black but had two white feet and two small white patches right on his upper lip on either side of his nose.

    The shelter staff had named him 'Martin', but since he'd never actually been trained to respond to any name, we immediately all went "Geez, that name sucks; let's just give him a new one."

    So I just started personally, honestly not for any particular reason I recall being consciously aware of, calling him Gomez, and apparently nobody had any better ideas than that, because everybody else just started calling him that, too.

    In retrospect I think it might have been that his white lip patches looked like a mustache. It's an exceptionally rare sort of man who both has a mustache and should have a mustache, and I basically believe the few men like that in the world are probably all named Gomez.

    (In further retrospect-upon-retrospect, the Raul Julia version of the Addams Family character was still pretty iconic at the time. This presumably has something to do with my subconscious view of the name as the most quintessentially appropriate of all names for the kind of guy who can grow a mustache and actually pull off the intended aesthetic.)


    Kind of a shit-ton of guinea pigs, too. Basically my brother got one and named him Boris, and then of course I had to have one too, which turned out to be a female whose name obviously had to be Natasha. Then my parents thought "Hey, you know what would be fun? If we let the kids start breeding them." So Boris and Natasha became the forebears of a rather long and illustrious genealogy. (They mature really fast and you know, breed like rodents, so the later generations tended to be composed of individuals who were the offspring of pairs of siblings, though I figure that's not something they would care about.)


    Actually my parents consulted me for advice again about naming their current dog--another Retriever, as of now about 18 months old.

    They were like "we were thinking about maybe naming him Odin", and I immediately, almost out of pure reflex, just grimaced and said "Gah, no, don't do that. Odin is a terrible name for a dog."

    I mean, terrible name for a Golden Retriever, anyway. I couldn't tell you exactly what breed of dog I'd consider the most figuratively god-like, but certainly not Golden Retrievers. They're like the Swedish beer-ad models of the dog world.

    I think I would probably name a dog Odin if it had ocular heterochromia, or maybe if it seemed unusually perceptive in a remarkable way, but otherwise it just seems kind of... excessive. Like you're trying slightly too hard.

    But almost as reflexively I quickly shot back "Well, not Odin, but what about Olaf?" (Also vaguely Nordic, starts with the same letter, etc.)

    And they went with that. He's named Olaf.


    The funny part is that I have since learned something I did not know then--that the name Olaf is apparently derived from an ancient proto-Germanic word for "wolf". (Actually a whole family of derivative names based on this term--also including Randolph, Rudolf, Adolf, etc.)


    Which is still kind of amusingly ironic if you've met the dog (my dad habitually spoils the hell out of any dog he ever gets his hands on, so they usually end up being kind of lazy, airheaded attention whores--apart from the basic and obvious, nothing about him I'd describe as especially wolf-like)


    I.e. it later turns out to be surprisingly more appropriate than I thought it was, making me indulge in a silly idle fantasy that perhaps I have some kind of special talent for naming things.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I get really wigged out realizing that thinking of children as pets is accurate.

    OK, but here's the thing though:

    For a long time I've been hearing say this thing about how adult dogs supposedly have the same IQ as a three-year-old human.

    It always sounded exactly like the kind of thing that was presumably just a popular myth and couldn't actually be true. (I mean, for starters, how do you even give a dog an IQ test?)


    But then I acquired my own 'pet' 3-year-old human, and the resulting extensive/intensive observation of his visible thought processes (which are most of their thought processes at that age) quickly started seeming uncannily familiar.

    Leading quickly to the subsequent realization that "Holy shit, it's true! Toddlers think exactly the same way that dogs do!"


    (In the pre-toddler phase of age 1-2 it's actually something creepier than that. They're less like an animal and more like a giant head on wheels containing a computer with an immense amount of raw processing capacity but no pre-loaded data, which has only recently become capable of autonomous locomotion and immediately proceeds to start figuring out the basic principles of physics purely through direct experimentation--and this is a feasible strategy because its locomotion machinery has fucking Wolverine healing powers.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

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