Jane Lynch gives her adopted senior dogs human names like Kevin, Millie & Bernice

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Last summer we talked about Jane Lynch and her girlfriend, Jennifer Cheyne, adopting senior dogs so they have a loving home for their final years. Because they only have their precious pups for a few years, they’ve been fortunate enough to welcome many into their home. While appearing on The Tonight Show, Jane and Jimmy Fallon bonded over the fact that they both have dogs with human names. Jimmy has a (girl) dog named Gary and Jane is mom to Mildred, but she’s also had Kevin, Millie, Benjamin, Olivia and Bernice. The reason Jane names her pets “people” names is because she knew she’d never have kids to name, so she gave all her baby names to her fur babies instead.

The first dog I had in college was named Kevin. We’ve had many dogs because we adopt seniors and we only get to keep them for a few years. We have many human names because I knew I wasn’t going to have kids. Right now we have Millie/Mildred, we had a regular Millie about three dogs ago, Benjamin, Olivia, Bernice just passed away.

[From The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon]

I just checked Jane’s IG and I believe Mildred is the only dog at home right now. Millie and Bernice were the two she posted about prior. Millie passed in 2019 and the last shot of Jane with a dog was with Bernice, who Jane told Jimmy recently passed. It would be hard to only have a few years with a dog but if you know that’s all you get going into it, I bet you can make the mental adjustments you need. It’s is such a loving act Jane and Jennifer are doing for these dogs. If I have the resources for the medical care later in life, I hope I can make this same pledge for either dogs or cats.

As for the names, I love them, and I love her reasoning. My dogs also have human names but that’s because they are named after humans, so it’s not quite the same. My boy, Truman, is Pres. Harry S. Truman, but his rescue name was True (and my friend’s dog is named Harry) so we decided to call him Truman. And the girl is Dorothy, but she’s named Dorothy Gale after the protagonist in Wizard of Oz. But the effect is the same when you are talking to them them and the telemarketer on the phone doesn’t realize it isn’t a human child being told not eat the couch pillow. Or when you casually mention to a neighbor who doesn’t know you well that you are so embarrassed that your sweet Dorothy peed on the mailman. The look is priceless.

And speaking of adopting dogs with human names: how about adding Oscar or Jin to your family? I’m very fortunate to volunteer on the adoption team for the DoVE-Project, who rescues dogs from the meat trade in Korea. These two are not only truly special but already in LA. Check out their IGs below and click their names for their Adopt a Pet pages. You can hit DoVE up on Insta or me up on Twitter with questions and please pass these on to anyone you think might be interested.

Meet OLIVER! Oliver’s been leaning into LA Lyfe by working on himself and getting in touch with his true Good Boy side. Now he’s happy to strut about town, stopping for the occasionally puppacino and gossip – which makes him a perfect fit for a CBer:

Jive with Jin, our peace seeking pup. He’s earned top marks from our trainer and is looking for a safe and calm home, preferably without young children as Jin thrives in mellower environment (I hear ya, Jin). We can always send more pics and video if anyone is interested.

Look at Mildred hanging out with Jane’s girlfriend Jennifer!


Photo credit> Avalon, Instagram and You Tube

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25 Responses to “Jane Lynch gives her adopted senior dogs human names like Kevin, Millie & Bernice”

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  1. Chill says:

    All of my cats have human names. My current kitten ( a year in March) is named Miss Elizabeth Bennett AKA Lizzy!

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      OMG I love Jane Lynch so much.
      I read her bio which ended with her marrying Laura Embry and I’m so happy for her that she’s found a human and doggie babies and is looking so happy.

  2. Jilly. says:

    Oh please someone adopt Jin! I wish I could!!!! What a cutie!

  3. SarahCS says:

    What a wonderful thing to do and I love the names and the thinking behind them. I also always enjoy the stories which do the round online when people share a mix up because they refer to their pet and someone else thinks its a child (there’s a great one with a woman getting her hair cut and mentions getting her dog from daycare and then trying to think of all these things to say to the lady doing her hair who assumes its a child, they talk about his allergies and all sorts).

    I had to have a little sit down on Saturday after having a massive rant at my bf because his brothers family is buying another puppy from a local breeder. Fortunately he was kind enough to take it and nod along so I haven’t irreparably damaged my relationship with them!

  4. Still_Sarah says:

    I adopted a street cat when I worked in Saudi Arabia. I named her Miss Kitty. It just fit. I re-homed her when I had to leave. I fostered a small kitten that I just called Kitten. He grew into a tiny tyrant who would harass Miss Kitty. I felt the need to apologize to her for bringing such a truant into the home!

  5. Lucy2 says:

    Ever since I was a kid, all of our pets have had human names.
    I really love that they are adopting senior dogs! It does have to be very difficult, but even more rewarding.

  6. L84Tea says:

    We adopted a dog last year that the rescue agency named Hildy. I thought it was a cute name and wanted to keep it, but I also gave her a formal name to go with it. She is Fraulein Hildegard Schmidt (after a character in Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’), but we still call her Hildy.

  7. fifee says:

    Our two mutts have human names, Millie & Ethel. My two mutts as a kid/teen were Ben & Gus. One of my now deceased cats also had a human name, Mario. Theres just something about giving a pet a human name that tickles me.

  8. Case says:

    My cats have human names! I’d honestly never consider naming my pets Fluffy or Fido. I have too many fictional characters I like that I want to name pets after to ever do that, lol.

  9. Other Renee says:

    I love that she adopts senior dogs in need of a loving home for their final years. I don’t know that I could handle the repeated heartache. All my dogs have had human names including their middle names.

  10. margedebarge says:

    I have always loved the idea of adopting senior pets to give them a warm safe home at the end of their life. My husband is a bit more soft-hearted than me though, especially with animals. I’d be capable of loving them but understanding when it’s time to move on, where I think it would hit him like a ton of bricks every time. I could probably talk him into it but I don’t think it would be right. For now I’ll just keep supporting senior rescue groups.

  11. Mireille says:

    I had a big bushy Maine Coon named Bobby. My siblings and I thought we named him Bobby as short for Bobert. But come to think of it, it was more like Bobcat, because he was the biggest cat in the neighborhood.

  12. Scarlet Vixen says:

    My two doggos are Ginger and Barry Allen. We had a retired greyhound for several years named Silas (best dog ever, altho very gassy-lol). My niece currently has a hairless sphinx cat named Morty (‘The Wrinkled’). Just off the top of my head, we’ve had: Emma, Kevin, Stu, Katniss, Alfred, Dean, Claire, Albus, Hazel, and Mercedes (the Burmese python). I love human names for pets! Altho the best pet I have EVER had was named Tiki (after the Tiki room at Disneyland)–she was my childhood dog (and second mother-lol) and I still miss her dearly.

  13. Sunshine says:

    I love this! I have an animal called Lucille, and we have had cats in the past called Bob and Cheryl. I love human names for animals.

  14. KimmyChoo says:

    My current doggo is Oliver. We’ve always named our dogs “people” names – DeeDee, Nolan (after Nolan Ryan), Festus (my dad and I were big Gunsmoke fans).

    Funny story – my mother-in-law had a spaniel named Maddy. My daughter’s name is Maddy. When we’d go to their house, my MIL would call for “Maddy” and my daughter would say “me or the dog?” Sometimes my daughter would bark to be funny. Sadly, my MIL’s dog died several years ago. I think she wants another one but I don’t think my FIL is totally on board. So when she comes to our house, I make sure my Oliver gives her cuddles.

  15. AMA1977 says:

    We currently have Bailey, and our first dog together was Max (such a Good Boy.) Growing up, my family had Reuben, Charlie and Mollie. My parents had Bear after I moved out, but he was rehomed to them by friends of friends who were moving overseas and he came with the name at age 3, so they kept it. People names FTW!!

    Hecate, thank you for featuring those sweet doggies! I hope someone snaps them up, they look like they are lots of fun and good companions. We are nowhere near LA, have crazy kids, and Bailey is decidedly an Only Dog kinda girl, but I hope they find the homes they are meant to have and get to live out their lives in puppy luxury!

  16. Christine says:

    I’ve always given pets human names. I’ve had a Nick, Emma, Chloe, Sam, Libby, Abby, Mia, etc. The only non-human name is what I gave my fish: Deadpool, because he’s red and black and murdered all the other fish.

  17. L84Tea says:

    I once knew a guy who had 2 dogs named Walter and Sally, I thought those were the cutest names. :-)

  18. Ange says:

    When I adopted my cat we thought it was a girl so we named her Kiko, after the the first vet visit we realized he was a he which my kids found hilarious. They decided to change his name to lil’ chungus which I didn’t know was based on the big chungus meme. Its such a stupid but funny name and it fits him to a T.

  19. L says:

    I have 3 dogs. Only two with people names: Frank (pug) and Morty (chihuahua mix). My third is named Shushu (shitzu mix). I didn’t name her, she previously belonged to an elderly lady who’s since passed away. She gave her that name. I didn’t want to change it in honor of her memory.

  20. Jane Wilson says:

    My dogs have always had human names.
    Charles, Sadie, Chloe, Lily, Charlotte, Elizabeth and Audrey.
    I love it that Jane does the same!

  21. Charissa Dawn Sherwood says:

    Our first dog was named Adelaide ( she sadly passed in 2014 after 13 years, and we have Astrid the cat and Petunia the dog. In the past we’ve also had guinea pigs named Marley and Hendrix.

  22. The Recluse says:

    I had two wolf-dogs over the years named Maggie and Fonda. I have/had three shepherd mixes: Bart, Rocket and Billy. A papillon-border collie mix named Dodger, named after the Artful Dodger and a Corgi named Wamba, after a character in Ivanhoe. I like literary names. Our current Corgi is named Bucky the Bwca (a Welsh house brownie who can be helpful or not, guess which one applies to him!).

    • The Recluse says:

      And for too short a time we had a Bernese Mountain puppy shepherd mix named Waldo, but he was ill and it broke our hearts when he didn’t make it. He was such a sweetheart.

  23. Lissdogmom02 says:

    Love the names, my dogs have Star Wars ish names Benny Hanna I call Han & Chewmaneul I call Chewie. Both rescues, & such good dogs. I’m sure Jin will find a good home.