When Jenji Kohen created Orange is the New Black, a new precedent was set on television, one that embraced diversity like few others before it had, and what’s more, it all centered around women, who are more often marginalized in mainstream media than featured in starring roles. Through well-written dialogue and a sprawling storyline, the series was able to highlight a significant cast of characters who all have idiosyncratic personalities. And with them, came the undeniable opportunity to steal their names for use as dog names, as it would be nearly criminal for a diehard fan not to take advantage of — pun intended.
Orange is the New Black Dog Names in Pop Culture
While most dogs’ self-appointed jobs usually entail keeping the house and yard free of strangers (and often the sidewalks as well), squirrel patrol, making sure their dinner bowl is empty and routinely displaying the finer details of their self-cleanliness, some dogs have much more significant duties, including Piper, the Airport Dog.
Piper, a (sadly) now-deceased Border Collie, was the best friend of owner Brian Edwards, the Airport Operations Supervisor at Traverse City, Michigan’s Cherry Capital Airport. It took a year and a half of what Edwards called “passive training” to get Piper adjusted to helping him with wildlife control, including getting him comfortable with the various and intense engine noises, but once Piper got used to the work, he quickly became a natural.
Piper’s duty is not only rare, as very few dogs work in the field, but incredibly important. Bird strikes are not only somewhat common in aviation, but they can be deadly. By example, the US Airways Airbus A320 that crashed into the Hudson River in 2009 was the result of a flock of geese being ingested into the engines, causing engine failure. So instead of sending out people to clear the runway area or relying on the updated engines designed to withstand larger birdstrikes, Edwards instead employed Piper, who leapt out of a moving truck to chase the birds out of the area. It was Edwards’ hope that instead of just shooing the birds away, having Piper chase them down would eventually teach them that there is a regular predator in the area, making it an unsuitable landing spot.
Piper even had a full rig of gear to suit up in, including specialized RexSpex dog goggles (doggles?) that not only protected his eyes from harmful UV rays, but also kept his vision free and clear of debris that may have been swirling around the airport landing spaces. He was also outfitted with a special harness with a handle, a pair of earmuffs to protect his hearing, as well as customized boots that helped with traction and protection from the cold, as the work certainly did not stop in winter.
But on top of his duties as a wildlife mitigator, he also served as an ambassador for the airport, and in the process, gained nearly overnight notoriety after one of the GIFs of him out on the runway went viral. Since then, numerous private and commercial pilots have come out in support of him and his work, many reaching out to Edwards directly when he was offered an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the Reddit forums.
But maybe just as important as both other jobs, Piper also played a role much more familiar to most dog owners, the role of Chief Morale Officer, which he excelled at in great capacity thanks to his lovable personality and endless dedication to his work and his owner up until the time of his passing.
Orange is the New Black Dog Name Considerations
Thanks to a character list that spans several pages on the Internet (let alone what it might actually take up on regular paper), Orange is the New Black has a ton of unique personalities, which, unless your dog wears an orange jumpsuit, will likely be the easiest way to find some common ground between them. Start by making a list of your dog’s character traits, then try to pair them up with someone from the show.
For example, if they seem entirely sweet one minute, then lose their mind the next (or have crazy eyes), then Suzanne or Warren would be perfectly suitable. If they are generally easy-going and playful, then Tasha, Taystee, Hayes, and Maritza would all be solid choices. For those who are a bit more hard-nosed and like to maintain order (say, by barking), then Salvatore, Caputo, Red, Sam, or Healy would be great picks.
For inspiration, don’t hesitate to re-watch the show to see if anything stands out that reminds you of your dog, or vice versa after you’ve created their personality trait list. There are also plenty of other resources online that outline each character individually, which may also help you pick something appropriate. Whatever the case, keep your options open until the right one strikes, at which point you can finally lock it up.