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My Dad’s office pays for little TV ads for the local animal shelter. Theoretically, once a week Dad’s supposed to go over there and take a picture of an animal to email to the TV station, with a little message about it for someone to read. In practice, he forgets, and they usually end up running the same spot over and over. But when I’m home he makes me do it.

Because the animals get adopted faster when they have names, and because they usually don’t (we mostly photograph puppies and kittens, which go in and out too fast), we usually make some up. Dad, who “oversees” the process, insists on selecting the names himself even when he has me do everything else. These fall into three basic categories: New York Sports-Related (“Met,” “Net,” and “Jet”); Dad’s Side Of The Family-Related (think of a lot of Jew names); and Annoying His Daughters-Related (“Bubba,” “Big Head,” [abusive nickname for someone Dad knows]).

However, I am the one who sends these emails. And Dad does not know how to access the sent mail folder.

He has sometimes been surprised when the commercials run.

two lab mix puppies
Supposed Names: Benji and Barney
Names I Sent: Jeeves and Wooster

German shepherd mix puppy and mother
Supposed Names: Gretchen and Greta
Names I Sent: Mildmay and Methony

two beagle puppies
Supposed Names: Sylvia and Minnie
Names I Sent: Catherine and Cixi

female husky mix puppy
Supposed Name: Holly
Name I Sent: Cantarella