Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!
July 31st is Harry Potter’s Birthday! We’re celebrating our favorite bespectacled wizard with stories from Healthy Paws pets who share some very special names with the iconic series (sent to us via owl, of course). There’s the cat who must not be named, the pup with the lightning bolt on his forehead, the gentle giant, the ginger best friend, and many more magical pets! Without further ado, here are some pups and cats fit for Hogwarts.
Miniature short-haired Dachshund/Maltese Mix
Pet parent Amy says, “Albus Dumbledore, or Alby for short, is a bundle of energy – from chasing animals around the yard, getting into whatever kind of trouble he can get into, or cuddling when all of his daily adventures are through!”
Amy found Alby after going to adopt a different dog and discovering the puppy was already taken. “I was feeling really discouraged but instead of heading home, I took one last look around. There was this very energetic, very funny looking dog bouncing around his cage. When I walked over, this little 18-week baby started biting at my fingers. As soon as I picked him up, he nestled his head into my neck, and that was it. I realized right away that he had a little beard and looked like a little old puppy. Being obsessed with Harry Potter, I knew he had to be Albus Dumbledore! When he’s in trouble, he’s Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore!” Alby’s always up for a ride in the car, or for a game of catch in the backyard (of which he magically knows how to sneak out!).
Severus Snape & Fawkes
Snape is a brown & gray tabby cat; Fawkes is an orange tabby cat
Severus Snape and Fawkes are brothers in pet parent Kat’s household. The two snuggle-bugs, plus another kitty named Angel, are thick as thieves, but came into Kat’s life in completely different ways. “Severus was found by a good friend who was working in Putnam county at the time; he jumped into his work truck passenger seat looking for a warm place to nap!” explains Kat. After running it by her landlady, Kat found herself the proud owner of a Severus Snape. Well, “When I saw him, I had planned to name him Rocky Raccoon (after The Beatles song) however the next day I received word that Alan Rickman had died. Severus Snape was my favorite character, the unsung hero of the whole series, and thus my little raccoon-looking fella became Severus Snape in honor of Alan Rickman.”
Fawkes came later: “I was up visiting my family…when I saw what I assume was [his] mom lying next to the road, I stopped and ran over hoping she was still alive but sadly she was not. As I walked back to my car, I heard the tiniest little turkey noises coming from where I had been looking, and there was this little orange poof yelling as loud as he could!” Kat rushed him to the nearest shelter where she discovered that he was only about 7 weeks old. “I had just [lost] a cat so I had no plans to take him home. I asked if they can take him (they’re a no kill shelter) and they said yes but several kittens had passed away recently due to some unknown virus. Right there, I had a decision to make – I realized, there was no decision, he was meant to be mine.” The little kitten was dewormed and given a few preliminary shots before Kat returned home. “I had to leave him in my bathroom each day until he was fully vetted, so I would sit in there to hang out with him. I put on the Chamber of Secrets one day while we were playing with a string toy, and he stopped when he saw Fawkes and ran right up to the laptop and put his paw on the Phoenix! And that’s how he got his name, my little Phoenix.”
Snape has had some health conditions such as Luxating Patella and has had to put in some behavioral work, but Kat says he does know a few cool tricks, “he’s got a lovely petrifying spell for yummy bugs and the wonderful ability to levitate so he can get to those high up places with his brothers!” Fawkes’s special magic comes in the form of melting our hearts: “every night he kneads a stuffed dog (or he can’t sleep) then puts his paws in my hand and we sleep foreheads together.”
Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger & Harry Potter
Ron is a Standard Poodle; Hermione is a Maltipoo
Harry was a Poodle (Rest in Peace)
Diane’s daughter, Tess, desperately wanted a puppy over a decade ago, and they conceded, calling him Harry Potter. “Our family would spend many years calling this 20-pound white poodle her ‘bodyguard’ because he never left her side and was fiercely protective of her. In those years as a teenager when she was taking care of him, I realized that he was the one taking care of her too. Harry Potter wasn’t a dog or pet to Tess, but truly her best friend.” She continues, “Harry Potter was known for being brave, loyal, and quirky. He had an eccentric personality and unusual traits which he would pass down to the younger dogs in his life. He changed the lives of many. But most importantly, he taught one little girl how to love.”
When Harry was 12, Diane got him a playmate – a little girl named Hermione Granger. “We had no idea at the time how fitting this name would come to be! She turned out to be a wicked smart, feisty little thing with wiry gray poodle curls. Hermione is always shocking us with a trick up her sleeve and her problem-solving ability. She learns tricks and new words after only 3 repetitions!” Hermione has shorter legs than a pure blood poodle and only weighs about 12 lbs., but she has kept up with Harry and later Ron, chasing, ear-tugging, and pinning one another down. Hermione usually wins.
The last pup to join the family was Ron Weasly. “Ron is a gorgeous apricot Standard Poodle with ginger ears and a velvety peach coat,” she says. She’d wanted a ginger-colored poodle for quite some time, and intended to name him after the red-headed BFF. “You see, we already owned the other two magical pups! Harry Potter and Hermione, so naturally, we needed one more to complete the trifecta.” Full disclosure: Diane’s son has a Luna Lovegood (an amiable Siberian husky).
“My favorite thing about Ron is his unwavering kind and gentle nature and ability to learn things very fast,” continues Diane. “Sadly, at only 4 months old, Ron Weasley was practicing the spell Aguamenti when it backfired and left him with a broken leg. Without any Skelegrow available he spent 6 grueling weeks in a cast. 24 hours after getting that removed, he tore his Achilles tendon and broke the ankle on the same leg! Ron’s young life hasn’t been easy, but he has the most loving family a pup could ever ask for!”
Silver Standard Poodle
“Her name absolutely popped out as the right one for her. Fleur is fearless, intrepid and gorgeous. She is ready to take on any dragon!” exclaims pet parent Molly. Fleur Delacour is currently training as an agility dog, and true to her breed (and her character’s namesake), she loves her work. “And she can make bunnies disappear in a flash.”
Pretty and poised, Fleur is also a very quick learner and independent thinker – “she keeps both of us guessing sometimes!” says Molly. “She is the dearest, most affectionate, most dynamic little girl in the world.”
Black & Tan Coonhound
“Hagrid is a rather large dog who stands easily at 2 ft tall and weighs around 75-80 lbs,” says pet parent Kristin. Hagrid did not always have his magical name; “He was in pretty rough shape when the shelter rescued him so they named him Haggard.” Kristin and her boyfriend thought the name was too negative for this gentle giant, so they began brainstorming. “I had been unpacking our things from a move and came across our Harry Potter books, and that’s when it hit me – this dog was the perfect embodiment of the name and character of Hagrid! Just like the character he has a friendly and outgoing personality, is loyal to his friends and family, and can be a bit intimidating and misjudged due to his size. We tested out the name with Hagrid to see if he would respond and he did. From that point on he was forever Hagrid!”
Kristin and her boyfriend count themselves very lucky to have found Hagrid (Haggie) at the Wayne County Humane Society in Wooster, OH. “[We’d] just moved to Ohio and I missed the familiarity of having a family dog around as a companion. We had our hearts set on a hound knowing how loyal, goofy and active of dogs they can be. Jake, my boyfriend, stumbled upon Hagrid’s profile at Wayne County and I knew I had to stop by and see him.” While driving to the shelter and waiting for a sign (which was delivered when Oasis’s song Wonderwall came on the radio and the chorus sang out, “Maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me”), Kristin felt suddenly at ease. “I knew as soon as I met him that he was the perfect dog for us and the next day Jake and I went back to officially adopt him. The rest is history.”
Hagrid’s extra special magic trick? “He is exceptionally good at making any food disappear! He is so ‘good’ at this that he taught himself how to open our kitchen cabinets. We now have magnetic child locks on all our lower cabinets and the garbage can is hidden from him. You’ve got to love the motivation of a scent hound!”
Bernese Mountain Dog
“Draco came home in mid-February around 10 weeks old,” starts pet parent Nicole. “It has been an adventure having him join the family and I’ve loved every minute of it. The first time I saw him he was just chilling out in the midst of all the other puppies playing around. I sat down on the floor and he crawled into my lap and stayed there for hours. I was sold from that moment on. He was my little buddy and would be my best friend after I brought him home.”
Nicole had always been a big Harry Potter fan because, “it was one of the first books that I learned how to read!” If she’d found a female pooch, she was dead set on naming her Hermione, but found Draco instead. “Draco was my second favorite character, not because he was the hero of the story or even one of the good guys, but because he was a character that was struggling to find himself and his place in the world. Draco was a character that got a raw deal. His dad was a scumbag and his mom was a bit of a pushover. Given better parents and a more stable upbringing the character would have been an entirely different person! That’s why I picked Draco for my puppy. This sweet little puppy was going to be like my baby and I am doing the best I can to make sure that he is happy, healthy, and loved.”
Draco’s got big plans for the future. Nicole says, “He is such an awesome little guy that I decided to enroll him in training classes to become a registered therapy dog, so that he could provide love, comfort, and snuggles to those that are struggling with mental and physical health.” He’s set to be certified by the time he’s a year old. His best magic trick goes right along with this: “it’s knowing exactly when you need the best hug.”
Rat Terrier & Jack Russell Mix
“I was really jet lagged from a trip and was awake at 3am looking for a pup when the posting popped up,” explains pet parent Alexis. “I responded immediately and didn’t hear back all day, so I thought I’d lost him. But my boyfriend and I ended up hearing back that night – the poster said they had a lot of people inquire but since we were the first one to send a message, we get to come see him!”
When Alexis’ boyfriend got to see him (“I was still in San Francisco then and since Harry was in Seattle, my boyfriend went to go see him alone”), he scooped him up instantly: “He was a scared little pup around 4 lbs., just shaking in the corner of a couch with screaming, rambunctious children around. Harry’s been our fur-son since!”
Harry’s the real deal, too – he’s got a telltale lightning bolt on his forehead! “We thought it might go away when he grows up, but he still has it!” The loveable Potter knows plenty of tricks: he jumps when you jump, he can stay, sit, lie down, play “dead,” shake, give high fives, dance on his hind legs, and control his ears to point in all kinds of directions! “He’s brought so much joy into our lives, and I cannot imagine our life without him. He’s a sweetheart who loves to cuddle and play more than anything.”
Voldemort & Bellatrix Lestrange
Voldemort is a black cat; Bella is a gray tabby
“This is The Dark Lord Voldemort, the cat who must not be named!” exclaims pet parent Kristy. “We adopted him when a friend rescued a litter of kittens and was looking for homes for them. Since he’s solid black, we decided he needed a super evil name, so we settled on Voldemort. When we brought him home two years ago he was tiny, now he’s close to 15 pounds!”
Additionally, Voldemort’s sister is Bellatrix Lestrange: “After we brought home Voldemort, he was so playful and active that we thought he should have a playmate/minion. One of the cat rescues has some of their cats at Petsmart and we got her there.” Kristy says both kitties have extra special magic: “Voldemort is aggressively cuddly – probably part of his world domination plan – and while he doesn’t know any magic tricks but he tries to help me sew. Bella is an expert at letting us know exactly what she wants. She will meow at me from across the room until I sit down so she can sit on my lap!”
“Harry Potter was a stray born in the shed under our front steps,” begins Marlita. “We heard him mewing and opened the door to find him left alone while mama was out for a bit. He couldn’t walk steadily yet! Luckily, we left him long enough for mama to return, trapped and kenneled them together until he was ready to wean.” Because he was the only cat of the litter, they realized he was The Cat Who Lived. “Plus, he lived in the cupboard under the stairs!”
Marlita reports that Harry was feisty from the start. “He scrambled up our legs as a kitten, paid no attention to any kind of limits or boundaries we tried to set, and quickly grew from the palm of our hands to a beast of a house cat!” Harry’s favorite activities include mousing, opening doors, stealing food, walking on railings, and shimmying under the covers. Furthermore, his mama got a special Hogwarts name as well: “We named his mother Minerva McGonagall. She turned out to be quite tame and was adopted by a friend of ours who now calls her Minnie. We decided she was Minerva because a) Lily doesn’t get to survive and b) Aunt Petunia isn’t much of a care giver. Plus, her markings looked a lot like Professor McGonagall’s when she shape-shifts!”
Some of Harry’s special magic tricks? “He can make a tortilla, ear of corn, brick of cheese, or waffle disappear. He can apparate from one place to another instantly, especially if he hears food.”
Harry Potter & Dobby
Both are French bulldogs
“Harry may be small at 21 pounds but he is only 8 months old. Despite his size he has a very bold personality and doesn’t seem to fear any dog despite their size,” explains pet parent Brooks. “I always wanted a French bulldog and my wife found a breeder very close to us in Las Vegas. There were 8 other Frenchies to choose from, however, the one with the white lightning bolt on his collar immediately drew all of our attention.”
Harry’s partner in crime? None other than Dobby the House Elf. A Fawn Frenchie, Dobby helps Harry on their “quidditch team of two.”
“Harry is very loving and has a lot of energy. He likes to have his independence, but plays very well with others. He is loved by all. Our vet likes to tell us he is just a little bit sassy.” Even after Harry broke his leg, he still makes it out to games!
Diane received Lord Voldemort as a gift from her boyfriend’s mother: “[She] gave him to me for my birthday when he was a kitten, as my previous cat had died a few months earlier.” And here’s a sentence you never thought you’d read: “Lord Voldemort is 11 lbs. of fluff, personality, and love.”
This fluff monster has a “hilarious grumpy presence about him, plus being a smoky color made it seem apt. Lord Voldemort was decidedly more ridiculous of a name and won out!” Nicknamed Voldy, he is the most loveable cat Diane has ever had. “His special magic tricks include laying on top of your lap just as you were about to get up and do something productive, and then promptly falling asleep. Which in turn causes you to fall asleep, and then next thing you know, you never got around to doing your laundry. He is also very good at hiding, cheering you up, and sensing when you need some love and company.”
Voldy’s got a brother outside the Harry Potter universe – a 110lb Pit Bull named Ares. “They get along surprisingly well, and often even nap with each other!”
Maine Coon cat
Hagrid was the biggest cat of his litter; “he is a healthy 22 pounds, and I think at least half of that is fur!” says pet parent Jonathan. “He’s a bit of a grump, but is surprisingly gentle around children and kittens – so we figure he’s really a softie. They say that Maine Coons are the ‘dogs of the cat world’ and Hagrid is about as close to a dog’s personality as a cat can get.”
Jonathan and Johanna had the name picked out before they adopted the cat. “We wanted a giant Maine Coon, and we knew we would name him Hagrid. So, we went in search of a cat fit to be named after a friendly giant.”
Hagrid’s special magic comes in the form of communication and he even makes eye contact! “If you ask him a question, you could swear he is talking back – fixes you with his eyes and meows his response. It’s very funny!” Hagrid also has magical sleeping powers: “When he gets in bed around 8am on a Saturday morning with you, suddenly you find yourself sleeping for many more hours.” This big feline also loves outside: “we started putting him on a leash and taking him around in our back yard. He loves it!!
“Like buying a wand at Ollivanders, Neville chose me,” says pet parent Daran. “I had my heart set on a female dog. But as soon as I met Neville, he stole my heart. When I put him down to look at other puppies, he kept jumping on me and kissing me. He wouldn’t let me hold any other dog. I knew he would become the newest member of my family.” Daran had recently suffered the loss of her dog Harry Potter when he was only 3, so, she says, “it felt that it would only be right to name Neville after the other ‘chosen one’ after his older brother Harry died.”
Neville may be little, but he has a lot of heart and personality – just like his namesake. He’s very loyal, and “once you have earned his trust, Neville will protect you and love you for good.” He’s also a talented wizard: “Neville’s favorite magic trick is Treatus Disaparo! He will make any treat disappear and will do anything to get one. He even jumped on a high counter (3 feet high!) to get to a jar of peanut butter and opened the jar of peanut butter all by himself, standing 6 inches high without opposable thumbs!” His other specialty is a tip from our favorite house elf: “Neville loves the sock Accio charm in memory of his buddy Dobby. Neville will find a sock wherever it may be hidden and will bring it to his mommy. He will open suitcases to get socks and even take it out of the washing machine!”
A special thanks to all the wizards, witches, muggles and more in the Healthy Paws’ extended family who sent in their pet’s heartfelt stories. Not only were we overjoyed to receive them, we overwhelmingly felt JK Rowling’s theme of love and friendship wind their way through your own tales, making these pets truly worthy of their names!
Are you a Healthy Paws pet parent with a recovery story to tell? We’d love to hear it! Send your pet’s story along with photos of your four-legged family member to firstname.lastname@example.org