I was reordering a prescription for our cat (really!) and I thought about bureaucracy that requires pets to have last names. The vet. The vet pharmacy. Instagram. And I realized that this is a choice.
Our cat has Deborah's last name because it was her's before we even met. But she rescued this car while she was married, so did the cat previously share Deborah's married last name and change it when Deborah took back her maiden name after divorce.
We are getting a dog soon, and while he comes with a first name that we are keeping, we get pick a last name since Deborah and I do not share a last name. He could get Deborah's name because she will more likely to take him to vet. He could get my last name to balance out the pet roster. When I asked Deborah her thoughts, she suggested considering a hyphenated name. Seems a little too far.
But in the end, since pets are not legally registered citizens, we can just pick anything we want, including just making up something. And if Deborah wants to confer the dog with an honorary doctorate when she completes her PhD, there's nobody to tell her no.