If you read my blog post “What's in a name” then you might already know how much time I put into finding a name for my new dogs.

For me, it's part of the fun of getting a dog. I enjoy playing around with name ideas, making a big list of possible names and then trying to decide which one is right for THIS dog.

Our addition this time around is Zooka. We picked him up at nine weeks of age. He is our second Vizsla. We lost our beloved Romeo a year prior in May 2018. This new guy was born in May 2019.

I was working on a name long before he was born. I pull out the name list from the last time around and then start adding or subtracting from it.

This time around we knew we were going to get a boy. We typically alternate genders and since we had planned for Zuzu to be his big sister, we wanted a boy this time. Unfortunately, we lost Zuzu to an unknown illness just as we were supposed to be picking this guy up. So he does not get the benefit of having a cool big sister like Zuzu.

We had several boy names on our list, but we decided to wait until we found out which boy we were getting and see if could determine which name seemed the best fit.

We thought about a name with special meaning or significance. We thought about how it sounded. We thought about how it would sound with our other dog's name. We thought about lots of things.

However, since we were excited about a new puppy and at the same time grieving the very fresh loss of Zuzu, we decided that we wanted something lighthearted and fun. We had enough seriousness and tragedy with the losses of Romeo and Zuzu. We needed something to bring some light and some lightness in. (We are named The Light of Dog, after all!)

So, while most names are found on lists of names, the name Zooka is not. I did not pull it off a name list. I did not pull it from a TV or movie or literary character. This one is sort of “made up” if you will. If you do a search, you won't really find it other than a product name for something or other.

When trying to find a name, my first criteria is it must be a name that is NOT in my database of names of dogs I have worked with in the past. That eliminates a lot of names! So in trying to be creative, I thought of Bazooka. But we wanted a two syllable name. I thought of shortening it to Zooka.

I was trying to come up with ideas that would go with Zuzu. We looked at “Z” names but were not finding one we both liked. Until I thought of Zooka.

Then when Zuzu died unexpectedly and long before she should have (not even 6 years old), I also wanted to see if we could use something that paid a bit of tribute to her.

Zooka starts out with the same syllable/sound as Zuzu. If she were still with us, we would not have chosen this name – I don't want names that could be confusing when I say them and both dogs have to figure out if I am talking to them. However, now that she's gone, it seemed more like a fitting tribute to have a bit of her name in the new name.

So, there you have it. Zooka is:

  • unique – never heard it before!
  • pays a bit of tribute to Zuzu with the first syllable sounding the same
  • it's lighthearted and fun – it's hard to sound mad or too serious when you say it

So this is Zooka. We hope to have many many years with our newest addition to the family and The Light of Dog team.