Confession: I am a Trekkie. Not a huge one. Not a, “In
Episode 3.2, why were you holding the phaser in your left hand in one shot and
in your right hand the next?” Trekkie. But a pretty devoted fan, nonetheless.
Especially when it comes to Star Trek:
The Next Generation

Now, when I get a dog, there’s a fairly high probability
that I will name it after a Star Trek character. I will do this because, a) there
are some great names in that universe (imagine a dog named Worf!); and, b) then I will
always be able to judge who I will like and who I don’t.

Let me explain. A friend of mine recently had a baby, and
she named this baby Ava. I think it’s a beautiful name. Now, when she was
pregnant, she and her husband refused to share their baby name ideas with
anyone (even me, the maid of honour at their wedding, and someone who would be
present at the birth). Their reason for this was simple: people judge you when
you talk about what you’re going to name your baby. They didn’t want to have
that happen, and once the baby was born and named, no one would dare question
it. Good plan.

I picture a similar scenario in regards to dog naming. If
I’m taking little Jean-Luc
for a run in the dog park, and someone approaches and asks his name,
and I tell them, and they make a judgmental face or comment—this person is not
my friend. Their dog is not my dog’s friend. End of story.

I recently attended the massive Star Trek convention in Las Vegas (okay, maybe my Trekkie status is a
bit more serious than I first admitted), and I met a couple with three
miniature poodles (see the above pic!). Their names? Data, Tasha Yar and Riker. Yes, they
were wearing the correct uniforms. Yes, they acted in accordance with their
character names (Riker was definitely in command, Tasha was kind but strong, and
Data was a bit standoffish). Yes, they were adorable and attracted huge crowds.
Yes, their owners were a bit nuts.

But I won’t be like that. Right?