Penny was named after the copper coin that is no longer in circulation in Australia. It took three of us a nice long hotel dinner and a lubricating bottle of wine to come up with this name, based on the fact that she was a red-head when she was six weeks old.
Now we think she's a strawberry blonde, but we still love her name. And we don't make blonde jokes about her - well, not when she's listening.
Newspaper editors seem to love using the name Fido as a a short-cut in headlines about dogs.. But I've never actually met a dog called Fido. Except for the giant sculpture near Fairfield railway station in Melbourne.
I stood near that statue some weeks ago handing out leaflets to promote discussion about the pros and cons of dog off-lead areas in our local parklands and I got to wondering why it's called Fido. Turns out it stands for Fairfield Industrial Dog Object! Seems it was erected in 2000 to represent the dog-loving community. Well, if the latest plan to restrict dog off-lead walking in Darebin is any indication of the Council's attitude to dogs, then I think they should re-name it. But that's another story...
Back to Fido as a name. As far as I can discover, the most famous dog of this name was Abraham Lincoln's dog.
I take a more in-depth look at this name in my new blog about the fascinating language that surrounds us and helps us make sense of our world.