Hollywood's blockbuster "Twilight" franchise has ushered in the dawn of a new, favorite pet name among animal-adoring Americans: Once again Bella was the No. 1 name for dogs in a survey released this month by Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation's largest provider of pet health insurance. It was also No. 2 for cats and No. 7 for exotic animals.
Considering that the first "Twilight" flick -- about Bella, a comely teenage loner played by Kristen Stewart who falls in love with a vampire classmate -- hit theaters in late 2008, the trend toward naming a beloved pet after the saga's lead character probably began with the fans who initially read the books.
The Top Ten
According to the VPI survey, the most popular names for dogs, from No. 1 to No. 10, are Bella, Bailey, Max, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Maggie, Daisy, Charlie and Sophie. For cats, the most popular names are Max, Bella, Chloe, Oliver, Lucy, Smokey, Shadow, Tiger, Tigger and Charlie. Popular exotic animal names are Charlie, Baby, Sunny, Jack, Kiwi, Bandit, Bella, Max, Sammy and Gizmo.
So it's clear that though Bella has struck a chord, pet owners have not adopted names like Edward or Cullen in similar numbers? (Charlie, the name of Bella's father in "Twilight," is the No. 9 name for dogs, No. 10 for cats and No. 1 for exotics, which include birds, lizards, gerbils, rabbits, etc. -- but that probably has nothing to do with the series.)
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