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What's in a (dog's) name? How we (and Hoda) choose

April 10, 2013 at 10:26 AM ET

As Hoda recently found out, choosing your pet's name can be of monumental significance… or incredible silliness.

She put quite a bit of thought into choosing the right moniker for her new rescue cockapoo.

For some families, naming a dog is an opportunity to do something symbolic, or ridiculous. Take some of the pet progeny Hoda encountered, whose names ranged from the somewhat normal ("Finneas," "Pete," "Basil") to "Morpheus" and "Chew Barka."

Dog trainer Andrea Arden told Hoda that it's a good idea to keep the name short and sweet. But most important, just as your dog might, trust your instincts.

The perfect name for Hoda's new dog came to her early, but "I quickly learned that everyone has an opinion," she said. "So I backed down and named him 'Charlie' until Kathie Lee set me straight."

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Kathie Lee arranged a surprise call from a certain country music singer (and judge on 'The Voice), who gave his blessing -- and his wife's, and Hoda bestowed the name she loved on her new puppy.

But Hoda's not the only TODAY talent with a pet pooch. Think you can tell which dog (and which dog name) belongs to which anchor? The answers are below -- see how you do.

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Answers: Zara-Natalie; Pepper-Al; Jules-Matt; Blake-Hoda

Julieanne Smolinski is a TODAY contributor who has named all of her houseplants after TODAY anchors.

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