What’s a good thing to do during a global health crisis lockdown? Why get a dog, of course.
At least, that’s what so many people are doing while quarantining at home. After all, pets make great companions, they offer uncontaminated unconditional love, and taking numerous daily walks will give your day some structure. Plus, cuddling a pooch may be the only physical contact you’re currently allowed during social isolation. They also won’t tire of you after months together in confinement.
Besides, you have all the time in the world to devote to puppy training. And, be real, you won’t be traveling any time soon.
Dogs offer an instant infusion of happiness, and right now, who doesn’t need a dose?
Being cooped up with an adorable, frisky, Instagram-worth furry pal is a great way to stay optimistic and sane during insane times. Research shows that interacting with an animal can relieve stress, lower blood pressure and increase production of feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin.
In fact, it’s such a great idea, that everyone seems on the same page. Thanks to the pet-adoption boom, many shelters have reportedly emptied their stock of dogs looking to be fostered or adopted into forever homes. Other rescue organizations have stopped accepting applications and breeders are besieged with inquiries.
If you’re lucky enough to welcome a new fur baby, the big question is, what to name it? There are the old standbys – Spot, Bruno, Scooter and the like – but why not get creative.
My niece has her new chocolate Labradoodle all picked out. So, what’s her name? Moose; not Mousse, though she’ll reside in a family of chocoholics.
My mother keeps coming up with other chocolate-themed names: Godiva, Hershey, Mallomar. But, nope, this pandemic pup will henceforth be known as Moose, like the animal, and not the chocolate dessert.
As author of the book, “What to Name the Cat,” my mother, Thelma Kandel, is full of great pet monikers – in fact, her late Bedlington Terrier was named Truffles (for both her favorite chocolate and fungi). She insists most of the feline ones – in such categories as artists, fashion, literature, politics and more – work just fine for dogs (and cats are a good option while sheltering at home, too).
Which made me think about all the great names just waiting for a four-legged companion to claim. So here are some ideas based on the current situation, the city we all love, plus some favorite things. It’s a fun exercise to come up with one you like, even if you don’t get a pet just yet.
Names to commemorate getting a dog during a pandemic: Corona, Quarantina (Tina for short), Pandemonia (Mona or Pandy for short), Vira, Zoom, TP (for you-know-what), Fauci
NYC-themed names: Fiorello, Bagel, Hamilton, Carnegie, Hudson, Brooklyn, Bronx, Broadway, Bloomie, Bergdorf, Cuomo
Happy hour-inspired names: Brandy, Merlot, Champagne, Campari, Maraschino, Margarita, Negroni, Bacardi, Cassis, Sazerac
Names if you’ve become a junk food junkie: Waffles, Twinkie, Cupcake, McMuffin, Oreo, Dunkin’, Jelly Bean, Gummy Bear, Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Chip
Names if you’ve become a binge-watcher: Cagney, Chewbacca, Astro, Buzz, Maverick, Scooby, Kramer, Buffy, Daenerys, Katniss, Hermione, Cersei, Khaleesi, Groot
Names if you’re a superhero fan: Logan, Storm, Flash, Mystique, Rogue, Nova, Shazam, Elektra, Krypto, Gambit, Kent, T’Challa, Thor, Jubilee, Kal-El
Names if music is your salve: Elvis, Journey, Banjo, Kazoo, Axl, Bono, Ringo, Celine, Iggy Pop, Lady Gaga, Ziggy, Zappa, Elton, Springsteen, Beethoven
Names if you’re missing your favorite sport: Serena, Venus, Babe, Beckham, Mamba or Kobe, Manning, Frazier, Jeter, Pele, Shaq, Rafa, Yogi, Tiger, LeBron, Usain, Ace
Bethany Kandel is an Upper West Side journalist and author who can’t wait to meet her niece’s new pandemic puppy Moose.