Ever given a new pet the old pet's name?

When I was growing up, we had an airedale named Bridget. When that lovely old dog died, my parents went out, got another airedale, and named it Bridget.

I’ve told this story a few times and people seem to think it’s bizarre. I guess since I was young at the time it seemed natural. Has anyone ever done this, and if you think it’s weird, why?

My beloved cat Tabitha died recently, and we got a new little kitten. I was sorely tempted to name her “Tabitha” too.

In the end I did not.

I think it has to do with the grief process. By getting a new pet, and giving it the same name, you are sort of trying to erase the pain of the death of the old pet - by finding a replacement.

But the new pet will not be the old one. Each animal has its own individual nature. If you, even subconciously, think that the new pet is a “replacement” for the old, this has two bad implications: (1) you may feel guilty that you can so easily ‘replace’ a beloved companion; and (2) if the new pet does things in a different way (and it will!), you may get angry at the poor thing for not being the same as your companion.

Just my 2 cent’s worth.

My grandfather does this with both his cats and dogs. He has one cat and one dog. Whenever one of the pets dies, he goes out, buys the same exact breed, and then names the new pet the same as the deceesed one.

He’s done this so many times (at least 3 times for his cat and 3 or 4 for the dog) that it’s really creeping me out.

That is so creepy. I wouldn’t name a new pet the old pet’s name.

Except for a fish. We did have two fish in a row named Saha.

When I was very young, my sister had a hamster named Hammy. When I got my first hamster, I named it Hammy.

My dad’s childhood dog was Gypsy and my childhood dog was Gypsy. I have a friend who names all his Labs “Harley”.

I wouldn’t do it. In fact, I won’t even buy a cat that looks the same. I would consider it an unhealthy way of dealing with my grief.

lol… this takes me back…

When I was very young (not sure how old but it was before kindergarten) I got a gerbil and I named him Killer. He died after a few months or so and was laid to rest in our garden. Not too long after that I got a hamster… and named him Killer.

He died a few weeks after that… my granny (quite a colorful woman) told me that naming a new pet after a dead one was a sort of curse. (!)

As a kid, I had a Basset hound named Colonel. For whatever reason, it was nicknamed Beebo. I wouldn’t mind getting a Basset (15 years later) and naming it Beebo.

Here’s another one…

One of my cow-orkers has a husband who loves the name Spencer. He just couldn’t wait to use it, so he named their dog Spencer. Now she is pregnant with a boy, and he is pissed that he blew the name on the damn dog. He refuses to change the dog’s name or name the kid Spencer.

Learn from his mistake, people.

Even creepier, I have an friend named Anna. Before Anna was born, her mother had two daughters who died at birth. Both were also named Anna.

I wouldn’t immediately name a successor pet with the same name as one who had just passed on, and even years later I probably wouldn’t consider recycling names. One problem this might introduce is that whenever talking about past pets (something I often do) I would always have to specify which one I am referring to. One cat I fondly remember from my childhood was named Percy. If I went out and got another cat and named him Percy then every time I talked about him I’d be calling him “the new Percy.” Years later after he, too, passes on I’d have to either say “the Percy from my childhood” or “the Percy I got in 2003” for distinction. Perhaps I may also distinguish them by fur markings, i.e. the black Percy or the gray Percy. I know people who have recycled pet names, but will distinguish them by assigning a roman numeral (e.g. Percy II) and calling him “Percy the Second.” They may also call the new pet “Percy Jr.” In any case, recycling old pet names requires additional modifiers to distinguish pets when talking about them later on.

We definitely did have the “sequel” numbering going.

I don’t think I’d ever name a second pet after a first, but only because I find the naming process to be so fun. It’s one of the reasons I look forward to having kids.

It’s interesting to me, though, that this seems to creep people out. I didn’t think I’d ever understand until lainaf’s post about the daughters named Anna. I guess that creeps me out a little, and I understand the connection.

The longer my cat lives, the more names she collects …

My last cat was called Tabitha “Leapus” Twitchett. Or, sometimes, The Witten. Scientific name: *Vociforous Pestiferous Voracious. *

(Continuing the re-naming humans hijack…)
When I was looking at my mom’s family tree, I noticed a lot of duplicate names in families. She explained that people used to re-use names if their children died - it didn’t used to be any big deal. This is a Mennonite family tree we’re talking about, so I don’t know if it is a Mennonite thing or a thing people in general did a couple of generations ago.

Until about two months ago, my mom had always had a cat named Gustav as long as I’ve been around (32 years). Gustav I (1963-1981) and Gustav II (1981-2002) were both great cats and I never found it to be odd that they were named the same. They were both called Gustav; but in terms of conversation and name attribution, they were identified with their appropriate members of the royal family.

In terms of the re-naming of humans, it does seem a little spooky. My paternal grandmother’s parents had their first son George round about 1890 or so. George died as a toddler of Reubella (I think). The next boy born after George’s death was also named George. This son was killed by a sniper in WWI. It has been a topic of family discussion among the more superstitious relatives that the son who died in the war might have been cursed (I hate to use that word, but I can’t find the term that sounds right).

With pets, I never gave renaming too much thought. I know that some friends had said that it was odd, but it never really sent-up any flags for me. The renaming of humans is another story entirely. If the family feels comfortable with the renaming of a child after the name of a deceased sibling; that’s great. It just strikes me as sort of unsettling.

My mom did this. She’s currently on her second consecutive cat named Missy. Personally, I think it’s morbid and weird. I would never dream of naming a pet the same name as one who died. That’s just bizarre.

My only weakness is for pets with people names (well, except for Fruitcake and Tequila).

My grandfathers wife did this. At her death, she was the owner or “Mickey 4”. All her dogs had been black miniature poodles, all named Mickey. I remember Mickey-two the most, since she had him for the longest. Mickey 1 and 3 both got run over by cars in front of the house. Two was hit by a car, but survived - it was old age that did him in. 4 was adopted by a friend of a friend after she died. I don’t think hed been hit by a car, but it wouldnt surprise me…

Oh, and for some reason, her cats all had different names.

I never had a real name for goldfish… I’d just call them “goldie”. So when one died and I got another… It got the name “goldie”.