If you have a dog and live near a beach, chances are you’ve frequented it with some level of regularity. For anyone who doesn’t, beaches are often more than simple destinations, they are symbols of sun, fun, and relaxation, elements that can’t be obtained just anywhere, let alone all in once place. Because of it, there is a certain connotation of endless warmth that emanates from nearly every beach picture, name, or reference that leaves many of us drawn to their timeless allure, which is exactly why giving your dog a beach name is the perfect way to connect their exotic looks or warm personality with idyllic beach vibes.
Beach Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
Although beaches are often associated with vacations, warmth and relaxation, that doesn’t mean they’re without risk, which is why many of those that are more well-developed and populous are equipped with lifeguards to protect the patrons who choose to frequent them from wildlife encounters and unforeseen undertows. But despite the training it takes to be a professional, that doesn’t mean all lifeguards have to be human.
Enter Bilbo, also known as the “Baywatch dog”, who patrolled the beaches of Cornwall on the southwestern tip of the United Kingdom. The Newfoundland, who eventually grew to a whopping 196 pounds, may not seem like an ideal candidate between his hefty weight and just-as-weighty coat, but in fact, the breed was built for swimming. They are equipped with a double coat that keeps them from getting cold, which is especially important in the often chilly waters that surround the area, webbed feet for additional water traction, and incredible endurance, along with a natural ability — and in this case — an interest, in swimming.
At only 14 weeks old, Bilbo joined his owner, Steve Jamieson, in lifeguard training. By six to twelve months old, he was already accompanying them in their swimming drills and his enthusiasm quickly made his potential apparent. During training, Bilbo was taught to keep an eye out for those in the water who needed help, signaling with a universal sign of distress by raising one arm up into the air. Once he saw them, Bilbo would take a flotation device out and swim nearby until they could grab onto it — instead of him, in true lifeguard practice — and as soon as he felt the tension on his harness, would swim them back to safety at the shoreline. In his time, Bilbo directly rescued three different people and helped to prevent numerous others from suffering the same trouble, quickly becoming beloved by the residents of the local area for both his abilities and loving nature.
Unfortunately, for a time, bureaucracy got in the way when legal action was taken to ban dogs from UK beaches in the summer, a decision that quickly had fans and followers of Bilbo up in arms after at least two years of success and numerous programs about beach safety in which Bilbo was the unquestioned and beloved spokesdog/mascot. Thousands of signatures flooded in on petitions and helped overturn the ruling, at least in his case, allowing him to return to his home base of Sennan Beach, to continue on as an official “working” dog.
After over ten years of service between actual lifeguarding and beach safety awareness programs, Bilbo passed away in 2015, but left behind a legacy that chronicled the significant potential of man’s best friend, work, love, family, and all.
Beach Inspired Dog Name Considerations
Given the vast expanse of beaches worldwide, let alone the names associated with them, there is certainly a lot to consider when trying to pair your dog up with something appropriate. There are many ways to go about it, as both your dog and the beaches themselves have unique characteristics that can be used to generate ideas.
On the surface, you can always choose something simple, such as pairing up your dog’s origin or breed type with a complementary beach. For instance, if you have an Australian Cattle Dog, calling them Bondi after Bondi Beach would be suitable for obvious reasons the same way naming your Alopekis dog, Elafonissi, after the Greek beach, would. Color works in the same way, as many beaches have distinct looks to them, including their sands, rocks, and water, which can be an easy-in if you have a dog that happens to come in black, red, or cream.
But then again, if you’re looking for a bit more depth, you can always try to play off either your dog’s or a beach’s unique features. If they are particularly slow, Tortuga (meaning turtle), after Tortuga Bay Beach in Ecuador would be a great fit. For the same reason, if they love to burn around at top speed, maybe Rabbit after Rabbit Beach in Italy would be more suitable. Of course, there is certainly depth that can be reached far beyond that, such as naming your dog after a particularly fond memory of somewhere, or tied to the meaning of the beach name itself, as many are given culturally-relevant names with historical significance. Whatever you choose, don't hesitate to do a bit of research, as you're bound to find something tucked away in your personal history, your dog's or some of your favorite beaches.