I've never named a single dog. Except for Zap, whom Dan named long before I entered the scene, they've all been rescues, and it didn't feel right to change something that fundamental, especially when the dog had been through such upheaval. Even if the name made me cringe.
Devo was named by his first owner. It's allegedly a common name for whippets, although we've only met one other. I got it right away, as does almost everyone who was an adolescent in the early '80s. I can't tell you how many strangers have urged our dog to "whip it good." He's even been serenaded.
The reference tends to be lost on older people; many just assume it's the male form of diva, which Devo is anything but. Alas, explanation doesn't always bring enlightenment. My mother once returned from a trip and announced: "I heard 'Devo' by The Whippets on the airplane!"
Our little rocker is 14 today and still whipping it good, albeit very sedately. Having ceded primary security duties to Sparkle, Devo's grown into an elegant old man, docile and sweeter than ever. He's spending this beautiful day dozing in the sun in between walks, looking forward to tonight's cheeseburger.