The Secret Life of . . . Wilkes, the Brittany Spaniel!

wilkes and storyAs I’ve said so often on my blog, I love my readers!

I heard from one of them, Autumn Fenton, on Facebook today. Autumn told me that she named one of her dogs ‘Wilkes’ after CeeCee Wilkes! I think that’s a first. I’ve named a couple of my own dogs after my books (Chapel after the Chapel House in my first book, Private Relations, and Keeper after Keeper of the Light), but I’ve never before had the honor of a reader naming a pet after one of my characters. I love it!

Wilkes is the handsome Brittany Spaniel on the left, and the name of the Maltese on the right? Story. Don’t you love it?Ingalls

Continuing the theme, here’s a picture of another one of Autumn’s Brittanies. Meet Ingalls. Yes, Ingalls. I’m sitting here with a big smile on my face as I type up this post.

Now, I think we need to meet Autumn herself. Here she is, decked out in a reproduction of the green drapery dress from Gone With the Wind. Autumn wrote to me, “Along with several other ‘Scarletts’, I wore the dress in 1989 autumnin Atlanta and other places to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film.” She also told me about the six week camping trip she and her husband enjoyed, visiting all nine locations of the Little House books. “Since my husband never read the books as a boy, I read them aloud to him as we drove west.” I have to say, her husband sounds like quite a guy!

I’d love to hear how some of you come up with names for your pets. Are you inspired by literature when it comes to naming your pups and kitties?

Thank you, Autumn, for sharing your pictures and for your great sense of humor. I hope Wilkes lives a long and happy life.


  1. Margo on August 10, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Autumn’s doggies are adorable!…I love their names too.
    Diane, as you know, we rescued Kramer from a shelter and his given name was Cramer with a “C”…he was 11 when we adopted him and decided it was only right to keep his name, however we changed the spelling and went from “C” to “K” so he would be ‘ours’…he is now 15 and the name Kramer fits him to a tee.
    We also rescued our 2 bulldogs before Kramer and kept their given names of Leo and Libby.
    When I married Gary he had a German Shepherd named Lexie and I’m not sure how he came up with the name.
    As a child growing up on an acreage, we raised Collies and their names were Lady, Lad, Sunny, Cinnamon and an Irish Setter named Scarlet…don’t recall how we picked those names but each one fit their personalities perfectly.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on August 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Kramer is 15! Oh what a lucky dog he’s been to be rescued by you and Gary.

  3. Brenda on August 10, 2010 at 10:48 am

    My kids named mitsy who lived 17years
    We had pepper a schnauzer who lived 13
    I had Molly a tiny little toy schnauzer
    I gave her to a friend after this divorce because I work all the time broke my heart but by her pics she thrives
    My granddaughters named her Molly Ariel
    Sure you know the Ariel from Disney
    Iuss her

  4. Brenda on August 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Still love iPhone even if keys ate hard with arthritis
    Hope your diagnosis okay
    Any help with your ra

  5. Margo on August 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks Diane…Gary and I are the lucky ones (-O:

  6. Cathy on August 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    We have a cat named Wilson. I got to name Wilson because being a former teacher, it can be tricky dealing with name association. I love the name Will and so do many parents. So, I added son to the end. We also had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Murphy (my husband loves that name) and my daughter added O’Malley from a game that she plays. Our other cat is Case Grande. My husband is a Geotechnical Engineer and Case Grande is the founder of that branch of engineering. Glad to hear that you made it through the tests.

  7. Brenda on August 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Cathy isn’t it funny how we associate names with students?

  8. Diane Chamberlain on August 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Cathy, I love the thought that went into those names!

  9. Autumn on September 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Just had to comment that Ingalls recently earned a new nickname: “Comma Girl”. When she becomes super excited, she walks sideways, twisted up into a cute little curlicue.

Leave a Comment