Judge Tells Pa. Man He's Barking Up the Wrong Tree With Name Change

A Pittsburgh man's petition to change his name to “Boomer the Dog” was denied in court late Wednesday afternoon.  

Gary Guy Mathews, 44, often impersonates the shaggy dog star of the hit 1980’s show, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has “realized his identity” through the "furry" lifestyle and wants to change his name to the animal he most relates to. 

The “furry” lifestyle celebrates giving human characteristics to animals.

Mathews made the case to change his name in a hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald W. Folino on Tuesday.

Judge Folino ruled the name change could cause some confusion in regards to business records and public documents. He posed the following scenario as explanation:

If the “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."

Mathews knew his chances for approval were slim.

"Doggone it, well I wasn't too confident about it going through at this stage, just from the vibe that I was getting in the courtroom," Mr. Mathews said in an e-mail to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Folino finalized his ruling by simply stating: "Although Petitioner apparently wishes it were otherwise, the simple fact remains that Petitioner is not a dog.

Click here to read more on this story from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.