Amy Dickinson is a name you might not know but she replaced the late Ann Landers as the advice columnist of the Chicago Tribune a few years ago. Like her predecessor, her column is also syndicated to newspapers all over the country. I frequently read her work in the Seattle Times and chuckled when I saw this exchange in yesterday's paper:
I have been following the letters in your column about dogs that are named after people. There are two dogs in my neighborhood, one with my granddaughter's name and one with my nephew's name.
Dogs are not the same as people. I can't bear to hear them called by names of my family members.
Yes, dogs are not the same as people, and that is why you shouldn't take this personally.
Oooooh, I wished she'd asked me instead. I would have explained to her that nobody gets to own names. Whatever her precious granddaughter and nephew are called they are not the first and they won't be the last. And she doesn't get to be the decider of who or what gets to be Chip or Muffy or whatever.
I can't tell you how many Sophies and Daisys I've met over the years and it is no insult when I share that I have pigs with those same names. It doesn't reflect one whit on the humans with the same names except I am inclined to like them more upon first meeting.
I wish Amy had added a sentence to her reply and it had appeared this way:
Yes, dogs are not the same as people, and that is why you shouldn't take it personally. But if you meet a dog in the neighborhood named Uptight Bitch be sure to ask if she was named after you.