As I have confessed, I had an early favorite among the dozens of names readers suggested for the newborn seal pup. Sure, it sounds like the name of a diner waitress smacking gum. Or the movie star's funny sidekick.
But she DOES have a dotty coat. I was also, naturally, taken with the Facebook suggestion to call her Patches. But our weekend judging panel of five noted that we can't appear to be preferential, and won't know if her coat will remain spotty.
Young and elders weighed in. Our friend Sonny who wears an eye patch suggested Rhambo, "so other seals won't mess with her."
We read and mulled all the entries, and talked ourselves into two runners-up and the winner.
2nd runner up: Wanda
1st runner up: Dottie
And the winner of two tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific, and two behind-the-scenes paid passes, is:
Sunshine, to be called Sunny for short. (Judge Sonny did not sway the voting, but having the namer be a child did). Will the 6-year-old boy winner's parent, JordanMD, please e-mail me for delivery/arrangements: email@example.com.
The Aquarium's Marilyn Padilla graciously offered the passes, and will be submitting our Patch entries for that time when the pup is named. But apart from Patch's winner, the ultimate naming will be up to the staff (they appreciate the public's enthusiasm).
Mother seal Shelby, and her baby girl, remain un-viewable by the public while the bonding continues. So if you missed it before, watch the Aquarium's newest seal make her first swim. (With a nudge from Mom, of course).
For more information call (562) 590-3109 or visit www.aquariumofpacific.org