So, I happened to find myself in an area populated by dog walkers. What was I doing there? None of your concern, really. The point is, I was there, and there were dogs there. I was minding my own business. All of a sudden I’m being rushed at by what looks to me at first glance as a miniature Doberman. For those of you that don’t know, these are very miniature. The thing probably weighed 20 lbs. The dog didn’t look terribly friendly, but again it was tiny, and I’m not afraid of any dog, not in this scenario. I’d be one of those idiots that said, “Oh, dogs like me,” and then my hand would get gnarled off. Mini-Doberman wasn’t a problem, though, it was kind of bouncing around five yards from me, representing some kind of toughness, but not being convincing at all.
I have begun to wonder at this point who the dog belongs to. I’d say leashes are used approximately 50% of the time at this location, and I’m all for letting the dogs roam free, but it’s nice if they are friendly and/or listen. Some people are afraid of dogs, should they have to deal with this growling Napoleon complex that was dancing around me? Finally some guy appears, and he’s basically yelling at the top of his lungs, “Michael! Michael!” This happens to be my name, and for a second I wonder if I have stumbled across some long-lost third cousin. Then it occurs to me, he’s talking to the dog. The dog’s name is Michael? What the hell?
I suppose if your name is Buster or Mittens this probably happens to you all the time, but this was honestly the first time I’d ever encountered a dog named Michael. And, let me be honest, I don’t think I liked it that much. It was an odd situation to be in, because Michael is about as common of a name as you can get, but yet I like to go around thinking I’m quite uncommon. When your namesake is a Mini-Doberman, though, that’s kind of deflating. It wasn’t even a dog that I’d like. I might have felt different if “Michael” was some kind of lumbering hoss of a Newfoundland. That’s representing.
I’m a little worried that Michael is going to become a trendy dog name. Ever since I read Freakonomics, I’m very aware of all the science and trends about name popularity. I liked my name right where it was before. Prevalent among humans, unheard of in canine populations. My general stance has always been human names don’t work best for dogs, but there were notable exceptions. If you had a dog named Leroy for example, I would think that was amazing, but then again, my name isn’t Leroy. When the tables were turned, I wasn’t liking it so much.
I guess, all I’m saying is, whatever happened to Spot?