Jessica Wu Barlas loves the “Harry Potter” series so much that she wouldn’t accept her then-boyfriend’s marriage proposal until he read, and appreciated, the books as well.

By the time Jaffer Barlas devoured the sixth book, the duo were on their honeymoon.

So, of course, when the Seattle couple headed to Oregon last year to pick up their new puppy, they had several magical monikers in mind: Neville Dogbottom. Minerva DogGonagall. The list went on. And while Jessica and Jaffer may have had their favorites, it was the puppy who picked, perking up when they called him Albus Dumbledog.

The name earned the Labradoodle a spot among the “20 Wackiest Pet Names of 2019,” a list compiled by Nationwide from its database of insured pets and put to a public vote. And while Albus wasn’t top dog — that honor went to a retriever named DJ Skribbles and Bits — the Barlases were still excited to have their tribute recognized.

Jessica wasn’t always so enchanted with Harry Potter. When the books came out, she was a teenager and dismissed them as “just kids’ books,” she said. But when she was a sophomore at Western Washington University, she gave the first one a try, quickly gobbled up the next three and joined the masses in breathlessly anticipating each new release.

“I remember pre-ordering the books, and waiting in long lines at the local bookstore to pick it up,” she said in an email. “By the time the sixth book was released, my friends and I created a challenge to try to read the entire thing within 24 hours.  I was successful in the challenge, but I wouldn’t recommend it because, as enjoyable as the book is, it’s over just as fast.”


Barlas said she loved seeing the characters grow from children to adults and evolve as each school year passed.

“I related as a college student experiencing the world around me changing and growing more complex the older I grew,” she said.

Albus Dumbledog may not wield the awesome wizarding power of his namesake, but he is excellent at his current jobs: being a greeter at the Barlas’ South Lake Union chiropractic clinic (Jaffer is the doctor, Jessica is the office manager) and giving kisses to their six-month-old daughter (who has a muggle name: Natalie).


Here are Albus’ contemporaries on the list of Wackiest Pet Names of 2019:


  1. DJ Skribbles and Bits
  2. Stella Bean Dip
  3. Big League Chewie
  4. Ruff Bader Ginsburg
  5. Bilbo Beggins
  6. Nostradogmus
  7. Albus Dumbledog
  8. Grampaw
  9. Indiana Bones
  10. Captain Morgan Freeman


  1. Jean Clawed Van Damme
  2. Boba Fetticini
  3. Henry Hissinger
  4. Avocato
  5. Wu Tang Cat
  6. Schtinky Puddin
  7. Hairy Pawter
  8. Reece Whiskerspoon
  9. Dave Meowthews
  10. Alclawchino