What's in a Name?

Posted by Pia

We receive some wonderful photos in our "Your Pet-Adoption Stories" gallery, but recently something caught my eye that I just had to share:

1 of 48
Meet Martha Stewart! Sure, she doesn't look much like our Martha, nor, apparently, does she share her namesake's crafting ability. But it's the thought that counts...

1 Meet Martha Stewart! Sure, she doesn't look much like our Martha, nor, apparently, does she share her namesake's crafting ability. But it's the thought that counts...

The rest of the photos are ones I renamed based on their celebrity look-a-likes.... Here's 'Joe Pesci'

2 The rest of the photos are ones I renamed based on their celebrity look-a-likes.... Here's 'Joe Pesci'

Captain and Tennille

3 Captain and Tennille

Lady Gaga (or Britney Spears?)

4 Lady Gaga (or Britney Spears?)

Cameron Diaz

5 Cameron Diaz

Carmen Miranda or Frida Kahlo

6 Carmen Miranda or Frida Kahlo

Reba McEntire

7 Reba McEntire

George Clooney

8 George Clooney

Billy Crystal

9 Billy Crystal


10 Bono

America Ferrera

11 America Ferrera

Sonny Bono

12 Sonny Bono


13 Cher

Barbra Streisand

14 Barbra Streisand

Dom DeLuise

15 Dom DeLuise

Captain Jack Sparrow

16 Captain Jack Sparrow

Taylor Swift

17 Taylor Swift

Tina Fey

18 Tina Fey

Groucho Marx

19 Groucho Marx

Jimmy Stewart

20 Jimmy Stewart

Danny DeVito

21 Danny DeVito

Tom Petty

22 Tom Petty

Frank Sinatra

23 Frank Sinatra

Gerard Butler

24 Gerard Butler

Dolly Parton

25 Dolly Parton


26 Yoda

James Dean

27 James Dean

Jake Gyllenhaal

28 Jake Gyllenhaal

Abraham Lincoln

29 Abraham Lincoln

Cheri Oteri

30 Cheri Oteri

The Olsen Twins as kids

31 The Olsen Twins as kids

The Olsen Twins grown up

32 The Olsen Twins grown up

Celine Dion

33 Celine Dion

Walter Matthau

34 Walter Matthau

Zsa Zsa Gabor

35 Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zach Braff

36 Zach Braff

Mick Jagger

37 Mick Jagger

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow

38 Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow

Humphrey Bogart

39 Humphrey Bogart

James Gandolfini

40 James Gandolfini

Ray Charles

41 Ray Charles

Angelina Jolie

42 Angelina Jolie

Cyndi Lauper

43 Cyndi Lauper

Chris Matthews

44 Chris Matthews

Jennifer Aniston

45 Jennifer Aniston

Jack Black

46 Jack Black

These next few aren't celebrities, but they sure look like something! This little guy looks like a bookie.

47 These next few aren't celebrities, but they sure look like something! This little guy looks like a bookie.

Don't these cuties look like the Yin-Yang symbol?

48 Don't these cuties look like the Yin-Yang symbol?

Contributor Robin Tousley from Minneapolis recently sent us a photo of her adorable adopted pooch -- by the name of Martha Stewart! Much like our very own Martha, this pooch has worked hard to get where she is now. Prior to her adoption, she had spent her whole life in a cage, so she was understandably scared and confused when she first arrived at her forever home. Thanks to the Tousley family and Pet Haven of Minnesota, she is a happy, well-adjusted girl receiving the love she so rightly deserves. While viewing the gallery adoption photos, I decided to have some fun and look for celebrity look-a-likes. So how did I do? Let me know!

While I'm no celebrity, I have had a few dogs, cats and even a turtle and a rat named after me by grateful adopters whom I've helped out over the years. I always find it to be a great honor and am disappointed when I hear people offended by any association to a non-human animal. I also find the reverse to be an honor -- when a person names a child after a beloved animal they once knew.

My Uncle Herman was a veterinarian who helped animals of all shapes and sizes. I undoubtedly got much of my affinity and respect for animals by watching him. He named one of his daughters after a cow he had grown attached to in veterinary school. Fortunately my cousin Susan loved having a cow as her namesake and has since named many of her companion animals after our human relatives -- including an adopted cat she named after our uncle Jonas!

Please keep your adoption stories and photos coming! You can share them in our pet adoption gallery, or just browse the many touching, inspiring stories from other adopters. Thanks for sharing --this was such fun!

And feel free to challenge any of my gallery's celebrity name choices.

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

PS: Did you know that actress Jennifer Garner named her Labrador retriever Martha Stewart as well? I wonder how many four-pawed "Marthas" are out there?

Comments (8)

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    “What’s in a name,” as the line goes? Evidently everything because names identify with something, or someone, which matters very much. Now take my name, Kirby Bear of Toad Hill, as an example. When I came to live with mommy and daddy they didn’t know what to call me. Mommy had put out some bread for the birds and some of it was in the back yard. While I was exploring I came across the bread and started chewing on the hard stuff. I went from piece to piece quickly. Daddy said that I was really “sucking” it all up; just like a vacuum cleaner. Thus, Kirby became my name. The “Bear” is in honor of the other two Chow-Chows that mommy and daddy had. In my front yard is a small hill where “toads” live. Now you understand my name.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Dr. Pia
    Thanks for sharing those pictures they were funny and I was surprised how much they reminded me of the people they were named after.

    I'm just Zoe and I look like no one special. My brother T-Bone is black with a white T on his chest. We rescued him at 10 weeks old and the people at the center had already named him but his names fits. My sister Precious is a big, chocolate Lab and her face is so precious the name stuck. Then there is Sophie the blonde Lab, mom just liked the name Sophia. We call her Sophie but when she gets in trouble mom shouts Sophia!!!

    I'm surprised Mom didn"t name me Martha because she fell in love with French Bulldogs the first time she saw Franny. Dad surprised her with me and I'm so lucky so have such a wonderful home.

    Have a nice day Dr. Pia.


  • Hello Dr. Pia & Ladies,
    It is fun to see how people name their four legged family members. Look at G.K., he is probably so named because he will be a very regal "big" guy. I knew Mom and Dad's last black lab before she went to heaven--her name was Sage. We were the two muskateers for awhile. Get it, Sage and Basil. Tasha was 6 years old when she came to her forever home and already answered to Tasha, so Mom and Dad didn't rename her. Thought it would be too confusing. Names are really fun to hear when I go to the vet's. It helps keep my mind off of being so nervous when I listen for names. Have a great day.
    Love & licks,

  • Oh, Pia, you are too hilarious...you nailed most of the celeb "look alikes." I have had dogs named Paul (McCartney), Ringo (Starr), and Jennifer (Aniston). Jennifer is still with me and is a complete love! Thanks for the laughs this morning.

  • Those photos are great and yes I can see the resemblance...my favorite is Groucho Marx.
    Great story and had to laugh at your cousin being named after a cow...

    not an animal, but I call my daughter Martha Stewart because of her beautiful and neat house *!*

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank you for this wonderful, fun loving, adorable, precious blog! I love these photos of celebrity named animals and how clever you are to choose such great names for such great animals! I have always named my animals after someone or some thing that was very fitting for them and they lived up to their name. My latest little sweetie pie, Dudley Do Right, couldn't do a thing right when I first got him and his name was Muttley. I felt I needed to give him a name he could live up to and he did! Thanks for all you do! Jan & DDR

  • Hi Dr. Pia: Thank you for including my cat Newbie, photo #30 in your collection! Newbie is a boy cat, but is still flattered that his likeness resembles the talented Cheri Oteri :)

    You can see other photos of him here:


    - Melissa

  • Hello All:

    Talking about what is in a name - my sister and I were named after Beatles' songs - I am Lucy (in the Sky with Diamonds)and my sister is Martha (from Martha My Dear). We are both Bearded Collies and we love to be crazy with with another, I am at small end of the Beardie range and my sister Martha is somewhat larger. Our feline component of our pack is Max (from Maxwell's Silver Hammer) and together we make up a Beatles' trio!

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