The controversy began immediately.

I knew that, as dad’s dog, that dad should name the new puppy. But my family is notorious for coming up with tired, cliche names for their pets and I wanted this puppy to have a wonderful name!

He looked about the color of waffles and syrup, so I started calling him Waffels, which was quickly voted down by co-workers and family alike. My dad liked to play golf, so I suggested Divot, which was voted down as well. My brother Mike suggested Chewbacca, because the puppy’s face looked like Chewbacca. This was popular (and eventually ended up being the puppy’s middle name).

My eventual top vote was Nacho, in honor of the puppy’s Mexican dad, the Chihuahua. Also, because his ears stuck out like tortillia chips, and he sometimes acts like a “dip”. Plus I thought it would be funny to go around introducing him as “This is Nacho Dog” which sounds like “Not your dog” if you say it with enough “street slang” edge. This name was very popular amongst my co-workers, but my dad voted it down. (I still think he would have made a very good Nacho.)

My dad said that his nickname at his work has always been “Sparky” – this was news to me – and he thought the puppy should be called Sparky. No one else liked it but my dad, but it was his puppy so Sparky Chewbacca it is.

Besides being called Sparky, we call him Spark, Sparkles, and when I pet him I call him “Puppy Sparkle and Shine” in a sing-song voice like one would use when talking to a baby. “Who’s the cutest puppy? It’s Puppy Sparkle and Shine!”