‘Furry’ man denied bid to legally change name to Boomer the Dog
Source: telegrahp.co.uk — Gary Guy Matthews’s canine character was inspired by a short-lived 1980s NBC television show “Here’s Boomer”, starring a heroic hound that helped people in trouble.
The 44-year-old unemployed computer technician regularly dons a shredded-paper dog costume to attend conventions of other “furries” – people who enjoy giving animals human characteristics.
But Ronald W. Folino, an Allegheny County judge, denied Mr Matthews’s request, saying the name change could cause “confusion in the marketplace”.
In his decision, Judge Folino said the name change could prove problematic if Mr Matthews were required as a witness to a crime.
“Consider the following example,” Judge Folino wrote, according to an exerpt quoted on the website of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Petitioner witnesses a serious automobile accident and telephones for an emergency medical response. The dispatcher on the phone queries as to the caller’s identity, and the caller responds, ‘This is Boomer the Dog’. It is not a stretch to imagine the telephone dispatcher concluding that the call is a prank and refusing to send an emergency medical response.”
Mr Matthews told the paper he had expected his bid to be rejected.
Name changes are common, and are usually approved as long as the petitioner can prove he or she is not attempting to hide criminal or financial problems. However, a judge may also reject an application for name change if the name is deemed probable to raise the “likelihood of unintended consequences” including being “seen as bizarre”.