The Dog Days of Summer

We’re going to take a break from talking about pop culture to talk about dogs. But don’t worry, we’ll still be pop culture-adjacent.

Today is my friend Alyssa’s birthday. Alyssa and I met working at a dog daycare. Alyssa is sweet and kind and compassionate. She gives the best hugs. She’s an amazing listener. She loves pop music and Pixar movies. I hope she has a birthday that’s as beautiful and special as she is.

You know what’s better than dogs and pop culture? Dogs with pop culture-inspired names. I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you. These dogs are all clients of the dog daycare, except the one in the featured image: his name is Balki and he belongs to me.

I’ll start with Meeka. Meeka belongs to Alyssa. Meeka is a Border Collie, she’s named for Meeko from Pocahontas and she is perfect.

We have a Vada. Vada belongs to our friend Shannon, who works at the daycare as well. Vada is also perfect.

We have a Moana and a Maui. Alyssa likes to sing “How Far I’ll Go” to Moana.

We have a Bennie and a Jet. When they’re together, I sing the obvious Elton John song. But if Jet is by herself, I sing “Jet” by Paul McCartney and Wings. Jet loves when you sing the “oohoooowoooowoooo” part. Bennie just wants you to throw a ball for her.

We have a Simba and a Nala.

We have a Starsky. He used to have brothers named Hutch and Huggy Bear.

We have a Leia and a Chewbacca (Chewy for short). Leia demands that you call her General. She’s earned it, damn it.

We have a Ripley. She’ll be your friend, unless you’re a Xenomorph, and she’ll probably bite your ankles.

We have a Dobby and a Sirius.

We have an Ozzy Pawsbourne.

We have a Sherlock and a Watson.

We have a Marty McFly.

We have a Maximus and a Krull.

We have a Disco.

We have an Indiana and a Shorty. Shorty is named for Short Round in Temple of Doom. Indiana will also respond to “Indy”. Actually, he’s an Aussie so he probably won’t respond no matter what you call him.

We have a Buttercup. If you meet her, you must call her Princess Buttercup. This is very important.

We have an Appa and a Zuko (Avatar: The Last Airbender).

We have lots of Gods and Goddesses.

We have a Maliumpkin. She was named for the dormouse from the Alice in Wonderland universe and she has David Bowie eyes.

We have a Turtle and a King (for Stephen King and Maturin, an ancient turtle who features prominently in multiple King works).

And finally, we have a Mr. Tibbs. Call him Mr. Tibbs.

All photos courtesy of

By the way, for those of you who also love dogs and pop culture, here’s a playlist I made a few years ago of “dog” songs and artists. It’s kind of awesome.

4 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Summer

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