Never underestimate the power of Hollywood.
That's the lead from this info-GIF which catalogs the most-popular dog names by state for the years between 2004 and 2012.
Peppered with predictable mutt monikers like Bandit (Utah, 2008), Scooter (Arkansas, 2004), and Max Power (j/k, tho a Simpsons fan can wish), the pastel-shaded data viz also includes a pop-culture wild card ensconced firmly in the top slot. Fueled by the runaway success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight franchise and its 17-year-old vampire magnet Isabella Swan, "Bella" has enjoyed a virtual lock on the canine (and to a lesser degree, feline) charts in every year since 2005 when the young adult novel was first published.
While the Team Bella phenomenon appears to have ebbed from its highwater mark in 2009 — one year after the property was adapted to the big screen — when it scooped a supermajority of states in a total electoral wipeout, its dominance remains unchecked a decade later. (Curiously enough, Bella wasn't the top dog that year in Washington State, where Twilight's story was set. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ )
Though the map graphic was cobbled together using pet profiles sourced from customers, reporting at other outlets like Dogtime, Rover, and People echoes the same findings, as does our very own master matrix of trending pet names.
But don't just take our word for it! Anecdotal evidence gleaned from surfing the #bella hashtag on Instagram reveals just how popular this houndy handle is. Literally dozens of dogs named Bella surfaced in a cursory search. A small and exceedingly cute selection are shared below.
Included in the mix is a stocky Bulldog waiting patiently for a teensy morsel of sandwich to fall loose...
Credit: alessiamacia/ Instagram
… adorable toys dogs that wouldn’t look out of place at an actual toy store.
Credit: frankenstein_thedog_monster/ Instagram
… an inquisitive, I-want-to-go-to-there dog.
Credit: bella_by_the_beach/ Instagram
A dog that really, really wants to know why everyone keeps asking him whoosa-good-boy...
Credit: kuchennykodeks/ Instagram
… and even a droopy-eared fluff dog of indeterminate origins. :)
Credit: bella_bella_bunny/ Instagram
For something of a lighter counterpoint, bounce on over Nationwide where wacky pet names are currently jockeying for position on a hilariously-LOL leaderboard.