The top 10 dog names in New Zealand have been counted and there is no Rufus in sight.
But a quick trip to the beach revealed that Wellingtonians may be more original than elsewhere in the country.
According to pet data from AA Insurance, the top 10 names this year are Luna, Bella, Coco, Charlie, Molly, Cooper, Poppy, Nala, Milo and Bear.
But Coco was the only dog with a name in the top 10 on either Lyall Bay or Island Bay beaches on Tuesday morning.
The miniature schnauzer, a rescue dog from the charity HUHA in Wellington, was out for a walk with her owner, David, who said she definitely fit her name.
“She’s pretty cute and cheerful, very affectionate. They’re a great breed.”
Amanda was in Island Bay with her retreiver collie cross, Mabel. Mabel isn’t on the list, but she does know a Bella – Amanda’s mom’s dog.
“Bella’s crazy,” she said. “She’s a bichon/shih tzu, and she’s a happy little one… she’s hilarious. She’s got a pink jeweled collar and hair [full] name is Bella Petronella.”
Loca man Kevin considered Molly, fifth on the list, before settling on Millie for his 10-month-old Labrador.
“I played with a few names,” he said. “Maya, Molly, Coco – being a chocolate lab.
“I was just saying them aloud in the car [on the way to pick her up]and Millie thought, and I think she fits in.
Some Wellingtonians chose names that were slightly more unique.
Shazz chose her dog, a huge mixed breed with a lumbering gait and fear of water higher than his shoulders, Tilq Al Kabiron, which means “Tilq the Great” in Arabic.
“The name just came up. I just started calling it Tilq,” she said. “And I really liked that orca Tilikum, he has the colors of Tilikum.”
For many families, choosing a name was a democratic matter.
Helen Casey and her husband took that approach when they named their Australian Shepherd Fergus.
“My husband and I wrote lists, and Fergus was on his list and my list,” she said.
“It’s a good Scottish name, because I’m originally from Scotland.”
Helen said Fergus spent much of his time with her in her studio, only getting into paint occasionally.
Further down the beach, Harriet was throwing sticks for her family’s golden retriever, Rizzo, named after the Grease character.
Harriet may have been about to start a family feud.
“Well, like my mother [sees] this she will be mad at me, she claims it was her idea, I claim it was mine.
In the end, each family member’s name was put in a hat. Harriet’s was drawn and she chose Rizzo.
Whether she thought of the name first, we’ll never know, but where she pulls sticks from the surf, Rizzo doesn’t care anyway.