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Bella and Lucy are top pet names

Way back in 1999, we adopted a chocolate lab named Molly. Only within about two minutes of meeting her, we knew she wasn't a Molly. This dog was serious and clingy and scared of her own shadow. So the day we adopted her, we changed her name to Mocha and she stayed Velcroed to me for the next 10 years.

When Mocha died and the house and our hearts were too empty, we gave a shout to our friends at Lab Rescue, who sent us photos of a beautiful black puppy named Sadie who appeared dripping wet and running at full speed with a toy in her mouth that was twice the size of her head. This pup, who was full of herself and ready to push every boundary we could lay down, was a Molly -- spunky and lively and loud.

So we named her that (and nicknamed the little imp Labrigator) both because it fit and as a little tribute to our first sweet girl, who could never be replaced.

And here, we get to the point: people choose pet names based on all sorts of things, from personality to sentiment to simply liking the way the name rolls off the tongue. Just like human names, dog and cat names come and go in popularity. Pets Best recently released its list of most-popular pet names for 2013, and if you have a dog named Bella, Lucy, or Max, or a cat named Jack, Lily, or Oliver, you're in very good company: They top the lists for the year.

Pets Best attributes the popularity of Bella to the best-selling "Twilight" book and movie series, and says other names are classics that move around on the list from year to year.

For 2013, Pets Best say the top dogs names were:

1. Bella
2. Lucy
3. Max
4. Charlie
5. Daisy
6. Molly (I was just ahead of the trend)
7. Buddy
8. Lola
9. Maggie
10. Bailey

And if your constant companion is a feline, you may have named him or her:

1. Lucy
2. Jack
3. Max
4. Bella
5. Lily
6. Oliver
7. Charlie
8. Lucky
9. Sammy
10. Leo

My next dog's name? I'm currently in love with a little guy named Johnny who's up for adoption at Lab Rescue. We'll see what happens there.

Where did your pet's name come from? I'd love to hear! Comment below.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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