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From Remy to Yeats: most popular dog names in Wellesley

Posted by Ben Terris  May 5, 2009 08:06 AM

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By Ben Terris
Town Correspondent

Bailey is the top dog in Wellesley. Lucy is the queen in Newton.

In the battle of dog names, the most popular dog name in Wellesley is Bailey with 38. The most popular dog name in Newton is Lucy with 33. Molly, the second most popular dog name in Wellesley, with 34, doesn’t even crack the top ten most popular names in Newton.

Check the list of most popular names in Wellesley here and in Newton here
A list of Newton's most popular breeds are right here.

The lists are compiled from the license registrations filed with Newton and Wellesley government. According to figures from local clerks' offices, there are 2,702 and 1,999 dogs registered in Wellesley and Newton respectively.

The top ten most popular dog names in the two communities are similar to national trends. The Veterinary Pet Insurance Company keeps yearly track of the most popular pet names, based on a review of its database of more than 466,000 insured pets. The national 2008 list was topped by Max (eighth in Newton and sixth in Wellesley), and included many Newton and Wellesley favorites like Lucy, Molly, Bailey, Maggie, Daisy and Bella.

A lot can be learned about a town from its dog names, but to get a real feel for Newton and Wellesley you need to dig deeper than just the top-ten list of names.

This being Red Sox territory, dog owners like to name their pooches after just about anything from the Olde Towne Team. Wellesley has 10 dogs named Fenway to Newton’s three. Both towns have three dogs named Remy. There are also a combined four dogs in the two towns still named Manny.

But lest the town’s are accused of forgetting “the other” sports dynasty, Wellesley has eight dogs named Brady, a dog named Tom Brady and a dog named Tedy Bruschi, and Newton has seven dogs named Brady and three named Bruschi. No one has gone so far, however, as naming his dog Gillette.

Both Newton and Wellesley are more than just sports towns, however. Lovers of literature will see dogs named after great men and women of letters. Wellesley’s literary heroes include Shakespeare, Yeats, Hemingway and Shelley. Newton’s include Oscar Wilde and Nietzsche.

Likewise, both Newton and Wellesley appear to have folk music lovers, but the two towns appear to appreciate different generations. Where Wellesley has two dogs named Woody and one named Arlo, Newton has two dogs named Arlo and one named Woody. On the other hand, Wellesley does have four Dylan’s to Newton’s two.

There are fans of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic series in both towns, as Newton has four dogs named Snoopy and Wellesley has three, plus a dog named Charlie Brown. There are also a combined six dogs in the two towns named Peanut, and one in Newton named Peanuts.

For Newton and Wellesley entertainment is more than just music and comics. It is something that should be recognized. So, to recognize the recognition of the arts, Newton and Wellesley have 10 and eight dogs named Oscar respectively, Wellesley has 3 dogs named Emmy to Newton’s one, and Wellesley has a dog named Tony.

As lovers of fine things it’s no surprise that the most popular car brand that became a dog name is Bentley, with five in Newton and four in Wellesley. Similarly, no one will be shocked to know that the most popular beer brand/dog name is Stella with seven in Wellesley and five in Newton (although Guinness is a close second in Wellesley with five.)

Sometimes a dog name is nothing more than an indication of potential size. If this is the case, watch out in Wellesley. With 10 dogs named Bear living in Wellesley, and only two in Newton, you might want to watch out when you are walking down the street in the former.

If you couldn’t figure out that Newton and Wellesley are places where the historical figures and fanciful characters still resonate today, just know that both Caesar and Cleopatra currently reside in Wellesley, and Mr. Bojangles and Maggie Mae live in Newton.

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16 comments so far...
  1. Why has the Globe become such a yuppie paper. It is like the kids in high school who control the yearbook only taking pictures and writing stories about themselves. I mean the Globe shouldn't be a local paper just to serve the yuppie towns. I mean really, the dog names of Wellesley. I love dog, but why exclude Woburn, Lynn, Abington, etc.?

    If all the yuppie towns loved Obama and Obama wanted to spread the wealth, why don't the yuppies spead themselves around instead of just living in the yuppie towns. They, like the Globe don't want to even pretend like these other communities exist.

    Posted by John P. May 5, 09 10:35 AM
  1. I know on the South Shore there is a Beagle named Sinatra..
    Boy does he love to croon!

    Posted by Bob May 5, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Why stick with Wellesley and Newton? C'mon down to the 'Ville -- Somerville, that is -- where dogs abound, hardly any from six-figure income households. People and their pooches visit us from Charlestown, Malden, Arlington and Cambridge, with a smattering of Dorchester and the South End, so you'll get a much better socioeconomic cross-section of canines. To top it off, the most popular breed down our way isn't Golden Retriever or Lab; it's "Rescue." See how the other 95% of the population names THEIR dogs!

    Posted by Barbara S. May 5, 09 11:19 AM
  1. I named my dog.....Freeta Goodholm
    and my cat............Wilby Puttdown
    Will this cause them psychological damage?

    Posted by deadsteve May 5, 09 11:24 AM
  1. In response to a few comments, please let me say that for those of you who are angry and think that the Globe and Boston.com only focus on a select few towns, know that in the next couple of weeks we will be launching 6 more Your Town sites. This will bring the total number of towns to 10, with the hope for many more to be launched over the upcoming months.

    Also, please recognize and enjoy this story for what it is. Clearly this is not hard hitting news, but rather a fun look into a couple of our communities.

    Posted by Ben Terris (Town Correspondent) May 5, 09 11:30 AM
  1. "In response to a few comments, please let me say that for those of you who are angry and think that the Globe and Boston.com only focus on a select few towns, know that in the next couple of weeks we will be launching 6 more Your Town sites. This will bring the total number of towns to 10, with the hope for many more to be launched over the upcoming months."

    Will one of those towns be Boston? Because that's the source of my frustration with the Globe these days - I live in BOSTON, and I want to read a BOSTON newspaper. Instead, the Globe has eliminated City Weekly and now delivers the Globe West edition on a regular basis. Now boston.com is prominently featuring suburban features as well, but I'm missing coverage of my community.

    Posted by allstonian May 5, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Ben Terris,

    Thanks for the comments. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday while walking in the Financial District, "Bark Less, Wag More".

    Posted by Jim May 5, 09 11:52 AM
  1. Ben--I appreciate your comments but do understand that starting the series off with Newton and Wellesley is going to cause a bit of eye-rolling, especially from us who actually do live in Boston proper. Even with a light story like this, it would be nice if the Globe could start the journey in the South End, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale or any of the other very dog-friendly Boston neighborhoods.

    Posted by greenbrier May 5, 09 12:30 PM
  1. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday while walking in the Financial District, "Bark Less, Wag More".
    ***************************************************************************************

    Good slogan for the MA legislature and all MA elected officials!

    Posted by Jackarooty May 5, 09 12:31 PM
  1. I don't think the Peanuts character goes by 'Snoop' if thats the name I bet it refers to the hip hop artist.
    What a bunch of babies: "Its not fair you excluded my town what about our dog names waaaa waaa waaa"

    Posted by RikkerPKeaton May 5, 09 12:52 PM
  1. My Havanese which I adopted is named Maddux and is just a ray of sunshine in my life. Retired, I have some quiter days than others but as an artist, that's good too as it allows me to think and create before putting the brush to the paper. Maddux is the 11 lb. star in our house....

    Posted by R.B. Wolliams May 5, 09 01:05 PM
  1. I can only imagine that the biggest pet name in Lincoln is.... BARNICLE

    Posted by notfromnewton May 5, 09 01:08 PM
  1. As long as the most popular name is eventually Leash Law.

    Posted by yip May 5, 09 01:17 PM
  1. we had a samoyed when we were growing up and her name was kara walsh.
    now my mother has a chow and her name is meling walsh

    Posted by pamela May 5, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Dog names hit home here for us where eighteen years ago, we named our springer, "Marley" for Bob, of course. Years later, "Marley and Me" is a book and movie and our Marley really had incredibly good stories throughout her life. Hearing her name called after seeing the movie on DVD, well, we all had a good cry - she had died March 26, 2008 suddenly. She lived longer than the book-Marley and in her life won a medal from Fred Brown as she ran a human road race in Hudson - during a snow storm, won a look-a-like photography contest with me - and a $100 grill - was asked by Senator Patrick Leahy if he could meet her at a cancer road race in Vermont, was filmed for Boston Legal as we lived near the Dedham courthouse when cameras were there one evening, was in Flag Day parade wearing a "millie the presidential dog" t-shirt (although she was a democrat at heart) and well, her name was really special.
    She even got her head stuck under our carriage house in Dedham - roofers from the nearby church had to hoist a huge granite block to free her - what a day that was!
    We miss MARLEY, our dog's name - and maybe someday we'll write our own book - like the 4th of July roadrace where Tootsie bit the English (Springer) Patient - she was in a featured article concerning that attack and landed at Angell Memorial that day.
    We miss you, Marley!!!

    Posted by M.Kovner June 26, 09 01:07 PM
  1. We lost our "Marley" who was named more than a decade before the "Marley and Me" successful book and movie. On March 26, 2008, our new springer was born, the same day Marley suddenly died.
    What to name this puppy? I was riding with the horse guard in Connecticut and one horse named "Coal" was cribbing none-stop - actually wearing a special crib harness. With this puppy chewing up everything "Cole" it was - perfect! Indeed, since her Maine breeder had named all the litter "D" names, little Cole had originally been the pick-of-the-litter and named, can you guess? "Diamond" of course.
    The horse guard drill sergeant says "Pressure makes diamonds out of coal", but we found a cole in the original diamond. Marley would approve I am sure.

    Posted by I.Kovner June 26, 09 01:15 PM