The French have come up with an ingenious method for vets, and anyone else who wishes, to know the age of an animal. Each year is given a letter of the alphabet. For example, 2016 had the letter ‘M’; the year before was ‘L’ and next year was ‘N’. Everyone with a dog or cat is expected to choose a name that begins with the letter of the year. You simply type ‘nom de chien’ into a search engine and up pop lists of masculine names for you to choose from. One list offers 600 names beginning with ‘M’. If you have a ‘chienne’ the list could only offer 570 female names from which to make a selection. However, the list of female names scored them according to their popularly. ‘Molly’ was the most popular while, ‘Mitzi’ hardly got any votes. How embarrassing to find that your parents have named you with an ‘M’ name in 2016 and that your name is one of the most popular names according to animal owners! For a female dog, the names proposed in 2014 included Joy, which got 93 votes, Joya (25), Joyce (86), Joye (3), Joyeuse (19) and Joys (15). How enriching to find that your name is quite highly rated, for a dog! (See CHILDREN’S NAMES)

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