At the dog park about two years ago, I met a pair of women who were playing with their little pup. We were the only ones at the park at the time, so we made polite conversation. “What’s his name?” they asked me. “Peter,” I said. “What’s his name?” I asked them. “Weinstein,” they said.*
So as you can see, dogs can do worse than be named after Dr. Fauci. This is good, because according to a recent article from the Washington Post, many of them have, as of late, been bestowed the name of COVID-19 heartthrob and the country’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. According to Rover.com’s yearly list of popular dog and cat names, the name “Fauci” rose in popularity in 2020, as did, I am sad to report, Covi, Rona, and Corona.
The article quotes a somewhat shocking amount of dog owners who have decided to call their pups Fauci. “Turns out no one in the Netherlands knows Dr. Fauci,” said one Dutch American owner named Sera DiMario. “Or they think I’m saying ‘foutje,’ which is the Dutch word for ‘mistake.’ So, I’m often explaining his name is not mistake and he’s named after an American scientist.”
“He’s resilient with a happy face,” said Fauci owner Donna Shalala, former Health and Human Services secretary, adding that her rescue pup “has Tony’s personality completely. He only barks at huge dogs.”
And, okay — listen, regardless of how you feel about a bunch of dogs being named Fauci, and, like, what this means about white Karen neolibs, or whatever, an article about how a bunch of people have named their dog after Dr. Fauci is not the worst thing dogs have had to deal with with in media in recent months. That would probably be this article, which incorrectly states that there is somehow a lack of available dogs for adoption in New York City (there are a lot), or this one which incorrectly states that using aversive training methods does not negatively impact animals (it does). Or actually it might be this one, about how a woman euthanized the dog she adopted because the dog was not as easy to deal with as she would have preferred.
A bunch of dogs named Fauci … well, honestly, I doubt the dogs care about that at all.
*I know people lie a lot about things like this but this is actually a true story.