Not legally so far, but all of my friends know me as Boomer, and here's my story (the little version).
I saw a movie when I was 11 called The Shaggy DA, a Disney movie about a lawyer who gets changed into a large Sheepdog because of the curse on an old ring that he had come in contact with. I loved that movie, and thought how great it would be to transform into a Dog just like that. It affected me somehow, it was just an idea filled with strong emotions for whatever reason. I started to ‘play Dog’ and just thought it was a fun game.
A few years later a TV show called Here’s Boomer began on NBC. I loved the Dog and I loved the show, and was raving about it to everyone. I got called 'Boomer' and 'Puppy' by friends, and I really took to the name. As I met more people through my little high school radio station, at jobs and in social groups, everyone just started to know me as Boomer The Dog and to call me that. I had adopted that name, and even carved it on a rock after I got out of school.
Yes it is a tribute to the goodness of that little Dog from the TV show, and it’s also become part of my identity over time.
I’ve thought about changing my given name to Boomer The Dog over the years, but because of being busy with other things and plain old procrastination, I put it off time and again, until finally I’d had enough and decided to make the effort to change it, and move forward.
It’s taken a while, I started about 7 months ago, going to the courthouse to get their name change kit, paying the $128 fee, having fingerprints taken for a background check to see if there were any judgments against me, turning in the forms, getting my hearing date, submitting the forms to the court, and publishing legal notices in two papers about the proposed change of name.
Now usually when a change of name petition gets a hearing date, it passes without much fanfare. I went to the Motions Court a day before my hearing and watched two cases, and they went through in 5 minutes, both of them, basically have your papers read, get signed off, you’re done, go downstairs.
Mine was different, because I have a more unusual request, the judge wanted to know more, so an evidentiary hearing was scheduled. I had to go in front of the judge and let the court know why I wanted to make the change. The question seems to be whether the name is seen as bizarre or that having a name like Boomer The Dog might be harmful in some way.
I’ve thought about this a lot, and I don’t believe that it will harm anyone, and not me with the way my life is. I’ve used Boomer The Dog for years, and the only places I don’t have the name would be on my legal ID and bills, but that’s about it. A name change would simply make it official and allow me to be Boomer The Dog everywhere. I might have gotten publicity over my request, but it’s not a stunt to make the media, and it's not a joke.
I don’t have a family or kids or anyone in that kind of situation who could be affected, and in fact the change of name would be understood by anyone who is close to me. In my life, it’s absolutely normal to be Boomer The Dog.
I believe that everyone should be able to choose the name that they would like. We didn’t get a choice when we were born, we were given names. Since we can build the identities that we choose to carry on in life with, why can’t we choose a name that goes along with it, recognized by everyone, even on official ID?
There are plenty of other cases I could point to.
In November 2010 a guy in Eugene Oregon got his name changed to Captain Awesome, being inspired by a character with that name on the TV show 'Chuck'.
A man who took his band’s name, his name has been changed, and he’s now known as ''The'' Dan Miller Experience”. There’s a Virginia Beach man, Wiserman Always Fifty. Those are just two of the dozen or more that can be found easily with a search on ‘unusual name changes’.
My petition to change my name was denied in late 2010. I filed an appeal to the court's denial, which I lost in the Summer of 2011. It's not the end though, like any smart Dog, I have some new tricks to try, thanks to those I've met through this case as it's gone along. I'm hoping for the best, and thanks for all of the support I've been getting in my efforts to have my name changed!
It's come up in a few articles that I'm trying to change my name to the 'NBC mutt's name'. It's not just that, I'm inspired by his name, not trying to take his identity.
Phone: 412-921-0256, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Rocky reminds me to work woof on my site.