My Dog's Name Is...

Sincere thanks to everyone who suggested a name for my puppy. My wife, sons and I read all 442 entries, voted, re-voted, lobbied, argued, voted some more, and came up with a short list on Saturday. Sunday we found we had turned against Saturday's names and we had to repeat the whole process. The final short list was:

    Deke  
    Cooper  
    Levi  
    Jed  
    Otto  
    Skeeter

And the winner is: Jed. It is short, sturdy, easy to yell. It goes well with Ike. I have never known anyone named Jed, so the name is a clean slate for this little dog to work with. And, it gives me an excuse to sing the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme song to the puppy.
Thanks to Scrap 5000, who sent in a very long list of names and trusted one of them to hit the mark. Accuracy is fine for rifle shooters, but we shotgunners know putting lots of pellets in the air is the key to hitting a target.

Levi finished a very close second. Thanks to Fred for the name. My friend Cody McCullough owned a Levi, one of the best of the many good shorthairs I've hunted over. I was tempted to name this dog after that Levi but decided ultimately he needed a name of his own. Because of the huge number of entries this contest generated, and because Levi and Jed essentially tied, I will look in my box of knives for a second prize to award to Fred.

To those of you who suggested "Petzal" as a name, Dave is a cat person, and I have made note of your entries. Should there ever be a "name Phil's cat" contest, you win.

I really enjoyed reading everyone's suggestions. Some other names never made the short lists but stood out for one reason or another:

Hank, after the hero of John Erickson's "Hank the Cowdog" series. I read a bunch of those books to my younger son as bedtime stories when he was in the second grade. My older son used to listen in even though he was too old for them, and all three of us laughed a lot. It's a good series to read to young kids. Another good bird dog name from those books is "Plato," who is the snooty pointer that appears as a minor character.

"Baldur" I like the names from Norse mythology (my wife does too, and lobbied hard for "Loki"). But, given the state of my hairline, I'd have gotten really tired of the "Bald and Baldur" jokes.

"Sam." My first shorthair was a "Sam," a gift dog I should have looked in the mouth. He was a very badly socialized dog who never liked anyone but me. He had such serious "steady to wing" issues he chased a low-flying Cessna for three-quarters of a mile. Equal measures of love and electricity over several years eventually made Sam into a wide-ranging, outstanding pheasant dog. For three seasons he was almost unfair to hunt with, then his health failed.

Again, to all of you, thanks. Scrap, you're the man. Fred, you're number two. E-mail your addresses to fsletters@bonniercorp.com and I'll get your prizes out to you.