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The Shawnee News-Star
Massachusetts reporter Joe Reppucci's news and resources for those who love pets
The Ruff Report: Dogs and Surveys
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About this blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
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The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
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Is your dog's name on the most popular list?
Many look upon their dogs as superheroes, and apparently that is why so many families have chosen to name their pets after Bella, the fictional heroine character in the vampire film "Twilight" and in the series of best-selling fantasy novels that the film is based upon. 
Bella is now the most popular name for the family dog for the fourth consecutive year while the second most popular name is Bailey, according to a survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance. It tallied the numbers from its 2012 database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the most common names.
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In 2009, Bella dethroned Max, which was on top from 2003 to 2008. Max - and its many variations, such as Maximum Max, Max Power, Max Avalanche, Maximus Gladius Spartacus, Minimax, Sergeant Maxwell T. Steel, Max the Moose, Max Crime Fighter, Cherokee Max, Peanut Max, T.J. Maxx, Duramax, Fatmax, Maxmax, Maxator Midnight and Mad Max McNaughty - is now third most popular. It slipped to second place in 2009 and third place in 2010 as Bailey has now been number two for the past three years.
"Max had been the most popular dog name for so long. I didn't think anything would take him down," VPI spokesman Curtis Steinhoff states in a media release. "I can only wonder if Max's dethroning has something to do with Bella being the name of the heroine in a certain vampire book/film series that's pretty popular these days."
In the film and novels, 18-year-old Bella Swan, a high school student moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father. She becomes drawn to a pale and mysterious classmate, only to discover he and his family are vampires. The pair then have an unorthodox romance and battle the forces of evil. And apparently the plot of film has captured the imagination of many families who view their dogs as special characters.
VPI's database indicates traditional pet names, such as Fido and Spot, have taken a back seat to people names like Bailey, Max and Bella. Of the nearly half a million pets insured by VPI, only 11 were named Fido, reflecting the current trend of owners giving their pets human names. Every dog name on VPI’s Top Ten Pet Names list doubles as a popular human name.
The popularity of people names doubling as pet names is a testament to the bigger trend of pet owners viewing their pets as members of the family,” Steinhoff said. “It’s now just as common for a pet to be named ‘Oliver’ or ‘Chloe’ as it is for a child.”
Rounding out the top 10 most popular names for 2012 are: Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Daisey, Maggie, Charlie and Sophie.
More reports about dogs and surveys:
Where does your breed rank in popularity?
 The secret to your dog's amazing sense of smell
Who's treated better - your pet or significant other?
Face it, you really do look like your dog
The trick to helping dogs and cats get along
Smokers willing to quit for sake of pets
The top 10 dog parks in America 
10 major cities that are 'purrfect' for cats
The canine is top dog in Britain
Pets are best medicine for sadness and stress
Pet parents come up with unusual dog names
More reports about dogs and surveys
The top 10 most popular names for 2011 were identical to the 2012 list ofBella, Bailey, Max, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Daisey, Maggie, Charlie and Sophie.
The top 10 most popular names for 2010 were: Bella, Max, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Maggie, Daisey, Charlie and Sophie. Chloe, which has been in the top 10 in 2008 and 2009, fell off the list in 2010. The top 10 most popular names in 2009 were: Bella, Max, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, Buddie, Maggie, Daisey, Chloe and Sophie. The top 10 most popular names in 2008 were: Max, Bailey, Bella, Molly, Lucy, Buddy, Maggie, Daisy, Sophie and Chloe.
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