There are countless names that we give our dogs. Some have personal meaning, others simply sound cool. The sources for these names are often determined by popular cultural trends at the time. Favorite songs, singers, actors, and story characters’ names have an allure that we often find relevant to the nature of our canine companions and the relationship shared with them.
It’s all in the name
Amongst these choice names is a favorite that faded and returned years later- Layla. While Layla is how the name is most commonly spelled out, there are other variations, such as Laila and Leila (the original). Regardless, the meaning of the name is quite basic- dark beauty.
Quite a popular name in the early nineties, it was notably made famous by the singer Eric Clapton on the track “I Am Yours” released in November 1971 as part of the group Derek and the Dominos’ album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Since then, the name Layla has rapidly risen as a favorite choice for girl dogs around the world, from America to Australia. Easy and smooth to say, it rolls off an owner’s tongue easily and becomes a popular conversation starter for pet owners everywhere. You may even get the occasional friend who sings out a few lyrics when they see your pup.
The original story
However, the name wasn’t originally made famous by Eric Clapton. Although some say that his song was specially written about a girl he was in love with, there was an extra incentive behind the story that was created by the Persian poets long ago.
The original story is known as Layla and Majnun, written during the 12th century by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi. Often, the character Layla is referred to as the Moon Princess, and in some translations, the name also converts to “one who is born at night.”
The story goes that Layla was a beautiful girl with whom the poet Majnun had fallen madly in love with sometime during the 7th century. Majnun’s love for Layla was intense, leading to some of the village people to label him as mad (from where the name Majnun comes from). But Layla’s father had forbidden the marriage between the two lovers and promised her to another man, ensuring that the two were separated forever. This left the poet broken hearted, defeated, and eventually went crazy. Although it is a melancholy history, it does give the name Layla a real “heartbreaker” persona, for those who know their dog is the most beautiful pup in the world.
The poet’s story is often credited as the sole reference to what Eric Clapton was originally singing about, though only he knows for sure. For pet owners though, it doesn’t really matter what he was alluding to in the song. When it comes to naming our dogs, the true meaning is derived from our own hearts, our own reasons, our own stories, and the life experiences that we have with our dogs.
While the name Layla might be a popular name all on its own, the actual reason for dubbing this name unto our four-legged-friends is unique to each one of us. Each dog, each relationship, each personality demands a name with a reason behind it. No matter how simple or how popular, your dog’s name is special in its own way.