Somewhere in West Anchorage lives a pit bull named Palin.
The Force is strong in Muldoon, home to Vader the Labrador and two pug-nosed Yodas. Other Anchorage pet owners named their dogs for Alaska rivers -- 12 Deshkas are napping across the city -- or Alaska pastimes (like Dime Bag the Rottweiler).
All told, Anchorage pet owners have registered about 11,250 canines with Anchorage Animal Care and Control in the city, with most dogs per capita found in South Anchorage and on the Hillside. Labrador retrievers are by far Anchorage's favorite primary breed with 1,985 dogs, followed by pit bulls (611), German shepherds (467) and, appropriately, Alaskan huskies (403), registration records show.
The statistics are based on dogs currently licensed in the city, meaning "bandit" dogs without licenses are not included. (There are 27 licensed dogs in Anchorage named Bandit.)
Some of the pets have a name all to themselves, at least according to registration rolls. Professor Finbar the Labrador in Turnagain, for example; Korn Dog Joe the Rottweiler; and Stinky Pete, a West Anchorage Pomeranian.
Most others, however, share their name with dozens of neighbors citywide. Take a look at the 10 most popular dog names in Alaska's largest city:
Also one of the most popular dog names nationwide, Buddy is everywhere in Anchorage. At least 106 dogs, pugs and Malamutes, Australian cattle dogs and Cavalier King Charles spaniels share the name, from Government Hill to Girdwood.
In South Anchorage, Buddy the golden retriever mix recently turned 6 years old, said owner Jessica Sipes. A data processor for an insurance broker, Sipes said her U.S. Marine boyfriend bought the puppy while stationed in California.
Her boyfriend had adored an earlier dog named Buddy Bear who died of cancer at age 2, Sipes said. "He got Buddy and named him after Bear."
Want to see what breed and name are most popular in your area? Click on each zip code in the map below. The areas in red have the highest dog density and number of pooches per household in the city.