A follow-up on pets with sports-related names

May 25, 2011

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

In a previous column, I brought up the subject of people naming their pets after sports figures. I was following a vehicle in traffic one evening that had the vinyl cut-out characters of the owner’s pets and their names. The cat was named Bear and the dog was called Urlacher. That prompted me to write a column about pets and their sports-related names.

Much to my surprise, the owner of that van read the column and sent me this e-mail: “Hi Doug, that was my car you were behind. I put that on the car so people would look at it and maybe smile. Now how they got their names. I brought home a stray kitten from my daughter’s house and asked my husband if we could keep him. He hated cats. I said you can name him. So his name is Bear. Then I got a 2-year-old beagle with blue eyes from the pound and said you can name him. With the blue eyes, it had to be Urlacher. He has to tell everyone about their names now. Oh, he would be lost without them now.”

It was great to hear their story. I also received this e-mail from someone else who named their cat after an Olympian: “6 years ago we adopted a wonderful black kitten from Winnebago County Animal Services. He is polydactyl on all 4 feet, so his feet are huge and very distinctive. We decided to name him after Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian runner who won the 1960 Olympic Marathon in Rome…barefoot.”

I appreciate getting those stories. I’ll throw this out there one more time. If you have ever had a pet that you’ve named after a sports figure, drop me a quick e-mail, and tell me the name, what kind of pet, and how you arrived at the name. I know there must be several more dogs and cats running around town with names that would look right at home on the back of a jersey.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the May 25-31, 2011 issue

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