Why are there no dogs called Snoopy?

I recently asked this online. My friend Craig replied:

Same reason as so few people are called God, Poseidon, Zeus, Apollo, Demeter etc. Snoopy is the God of dogs.

True, unless you’re polytheistic on the God of dogs question. You’d then have to include Scooby Doo, Shep, Belle, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Lassie, Nana, Snowy, Toto, Gnasher, Beethoven, Eddie from Frasier, Grommit, Deputy Dawg, Muttley, Montmorency, Sykes from Midsomer Murders and Tootsie from Emmerdale.

I could go on. That was a rather subjective list.

I obviously know an Eddie – ie. my Eddie, named after the Frasier dog. I also know a Scooby who lives up the road. But, oddly, I’ve never knowingly encountered dogs with any of the other names.

I did once meet a BBC producer whose surname was Baskerville though. It turned out that she loved dogs and had changed her surname by deed pole.

As for people being named God or whatever, I once had a pal called Jesus (from Madrid) in my 20-something clubbing days in London. A non-Spanish friend phoned one evening to ask what I was doing.

‘I’m going to Heaven with Jesus,’ I replied.

There are also quite a lot of people called God, including God Gazarov from Brooklyn who had a contretemps with a credit agency which refused to believe that God could have a bank account. I kind of wish he’d been called God Perkins or God Sidebottom. It would have been funnier.

In 2015, five boys in the USA were named God and 1,500 given the name Messiah.

There were also quite a few babies named Goddess, Zeus, Thor, Lilith (a demon) and Lucifer. I guess Lucifer might have been an OK guy before ‘from morn to noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, a summer’s day and with the setting sun dropped from the zenith like a falling star.’

Some countries, notably New Zealand, are super-strict about baby naming. Names banned by the Kiwis in recent years include: Queen, Emperor, Saint, President, Baron, Christ, and Anal.

Meanwhile in the US, freedom of speech is, of course, everything. When a local bakery refused to decorate a birthday cake dedicated to a toddler called Adolf Hitler, the state intervened and said it was a valid name. New Jersey only bans obscenity, numerals and symbols. Just as well they didn’t call him K9 or R2D2.

As for banned names, Monkey was recently outlawed in Denmark and a French judge refused to let a French couple call their child Nutella.

It’s now been shortened to Ella, as in Nutella Fitzgerald.