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Owner condemned for picking offensive dog name

A woman with a rottweiler in the woods
(Image credit: Getty)

What constitutes as an offensive dog name? One Reddit user is keen to find out. While picking out a name for a new pet is always a difficult task, most of us wouldn't intentionally dub our animal something offensive or insensitive. One dog owner and Reddit user has taken to the online community in order to find out if their choice to name their pooch Covid (yes, you read that right) was an insensitive decision. 

The user claims that the choice to name their animal after the virus that has had the world in a state of distress for the past two years was purely down to the circumstances in which they adopted their pup – but now they're realising others aren't so keen on such a decision.

Nosleepy posted to Reddit back in 2020, asking in the subreddit forum 'AITA' a.k.a. Am I The Asshole?, whether or not fellow redditors feel the choice of name was in fact insensitive. 

Nosleepy explains that the stray pup was found by themselves and their partner at the start of the pandemic:

"We called him Covid because that's why we found him - spending all our time at home. We have now started taking him out for walks - which he loves.

"But yesterday a couple heard us calling his name while playing by the beach. They came over and told us that its insensitive as they lost an uncle to the virus. They said how would we feel if they called their pet cancer or death?

"Are they overreacting or is it an offensive name for a dog?"

Of course, nosleepy was met with a tirade of responses, many of whom condemn them for their offensive dog name, and others who don't think the name is such a big deal.

IBOB617 responded, "YTA, would you name a dog Ebola, AIDS or Cancer?" with many other users echoing this point of view, including randombeardy who responded with:

"You haven't experienced the downside so its silly and cute to you. 100k people are dead and it's not so funny to those other people. If you're going for "names about how we found him" you could easily go with "back garden (BG), May" or any other of the millions of names about things that haven't killed people."

Edymnion agrees: "Use practically any other example and it looks REALLY bad really fast. Would you name a dog AIDS and go running around in public yelling "Here AIDS! Come here boy, thats a good AIDS!"? Or "Holocaust, come here Holocaust!"

I mean if nothing else, running around on the beach shouting "COVID! COVID!" could be construed as yelling FIRE! in a crowded theater.

Just not smart any way you slice it..."

Marver2710 reiterates this point: "NAH, I mean you can call your dog whatever you want and lots of people are naming their kids and pets COVID or shit like that. However, if you're outside and you're shouting your dog's name, it might induce some panic or at the very least discomfort. If someone were to run down the street yelling COVID!!!, I would definitely gtfo of there".

ishkabbible729, however, thinks people are over-reacting: "NAH but be prepared for a lot of side eye and lectures. Maybe shorten it to Covy or Corona. It still has the meaning, but without the asshole association."

Corona at least *could* be named for the beer, right? Or how about Corey? Ovid, for the poet?

BrexitDog, along with a number of others, feels it'd be worse if it were a human kid: "I mean it's a stupid name for a dog, but it's a dog. Maybe if it were a child, then it would be pretty bad. Despite your story, I still have no clue why you would name a pet after a virus that has killed thousands of people. Just give the dog a normal name so you don't have to worry about shouting "Covid" for the next 10-15 years".

One user, who has since deleted their account, also named their pet after the virus: "We named our kitten Corona but call him RowRow. I do feel like a bit of an AH but since he was born in March we figure he’s a little brightness in all this darkness."

Alliteratatesaardvarks sees the funny side, commenting: "NTA. I think it's hysterical. Rock on".

Whatever the reasoning, it's not exactly a catchy name (no pun intended). Perhaps re-think it, eh, nosleepy?