Auscape / Getty Images To raise awareness of its Name a Puppy campaign, Guide Dogs has shared 10 of its favourite festive dog names – because a name is one of the most special gifts you can give to the charity's incredible dogs this Christmas. Every puppy named through the Name a Puppy campaign will help the charity reach the needs of more people living with sight loss. Since the charity's formation in 1931, 36,000 lives have been transformed through a guide dog partnership, a number made possible by public support. Sal Chapman, Guide Dogs' national Name a Puppy manager, said: 'A name is one of the most special gifts you can give to our life-changing pups. It gives them an identity and will be the single most important word they'll learn, as it's a signal that tells them ‘the next message is for you'. "We're so grateful to everyone who raises vital funds through Name A Puppy. Your generous support helps provide independence and freedom for people living with sight loss for many years – not just for Christmas.'Learn More
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Guide Dogs say: "Santa's sleigh might struggle without Prancer, Cupid, or Donner - but there is a guide dog named Blitzen. There has also been a Dasher and a Dancer, and there was once a guide dog called Rudolph too!" "Hopefully, the festive season will go with a bang for guide dog Cracker, who is enjoying their first Christmas since retiring," said Guide Dogs. "Holly has a rich history: Druids thought it brought good luck to hang it in your home while the Romans used it as a decoration during their winter festival, Saturnalia. Many Christians see holly as a symbol of Jesus Christ with the red berries representing his blood and the spiked leaves representing his crown of thorns.
"Be careful as holly berries are not good for dogs, but it makes a great name. One guide dog born in a December litter was named… you guessed it, Holly." Guide Dogs say: "We couldn't talk about holly without mentioning ivy, which appear together in the classic Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy. Plus, there are several guide dogs who have been named Ivy through the Name a Puppy scheme.
"As well as being one of the key plants used in wreaths and other decorations, wearing ivy while drinking alcohol was once thought to prevent a hangover from your Christmas tipple." "December is, arguably, the merriest time of year (as we don't tend to use the word merry except in relation to Christmas)," said Guide Dogs. "The popularity of the word merry may have come from the famous carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas or Charles Dickens' frequent use of the phrase in A Christmas Carol.
"There are a few dogs called Merry in the Guide Dogs family, including a guide dog mum who has recently retired after bringing several little life-changers into the world." Guide Dogs said: "Robin is a popular name for guide dogs with several dogs named Robin over the years. At the moment, Guide Dogs has Robins at every stage of the journey: from puppy raising to training to qualified!
"According to an old story, robins gained their iconic red breast when one little bird flapped its wings to stoke the embers of a dying fire that was keeping Mary and Jesus warm in the stable and was burned in the process. Today, robins commonly feature on Christmas cards standing out against the white snow." Guide Dogs said: "Did you know that parsnips taste better and sweeter if they've been grown during cold weather? So, we think it's fitting that someone chose to name a sweet little dog named after this iconic winter vegetable." "Making Christmas pudding is an age-old tradition originating in Medieval times," said Guide Dogs. "But did you know there is also a young guide dog named Pudding?" "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. It could be a white Christmas this year for the owner of guide dog Snowball." "Guide Dogs' supporters must love the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree as there are four dogs named Sparkle in the Guide Dogs family: two are working guide dogs, one is a guide dog mum and two cute little pups are still with their puppy raisers. What's more, one of them was born on the Winter Solstice! "