PHIL IN THE BLANK: Dog with no name

The new bronze pooch is an excellent addition to Depot Park, something for adults to admire, kids to play on, and flesh-and-blood hounds to be confused about.
It’s a fitting tribute to James and Gini Schultz, and all the other volunteers serving the community, especially in the downtown park.
The metal mutt doesn’t have a name yet, and the City of the Village of Clarkston is having a contest for the public to select one for it.
It’s a bold move.
People have a history of taking naming contests like this and not taking it seriously at all, “mining it for LOLs” as they say on the internet.
In 2007, Greenpeace launched a contest to name a humpback whale it was tracking. The winner, “Mister Splashy Pants.” The environmentalist organization went with it, and as far as I can tell, Mr. Pants is still swimming the South Pacific, which is good.
In 2009, Kraft Foods Australia also accepted a contest winner for naming a more spreadable version of Vegemite, “iSnack 2.0.” Apple phones were especially big back then.
Mountain Dew’s 2014 “Dub the Dew” campaign to let the Internet name a new green apple flavor was less successful, with “Diabeetus” as one of the top vote getters with a name suitable for publication.
The City of Austin had a naming contest for its Solid Waste Services Department in 2011. The winner, which was also not used, was the “Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts.”
My favorite is the British Natural Environment Research Council’s internet contest in 2016 to name a new $288 million polar research ship. The winner was “Boaty McBoatface.”
The council declined to name the ship as the people desired, instead going with RRS Sir David Attenborough. They did name one of its sub-sea vehicles “Boaty McBoatface,” though.
The city wrote up some suggestions on their contest flyer, with names like “Bark Clark,” which I think Bart would have appreciated, “Fred,” “Barker Holcomb,” “Depot Dog,” and “Clarky.”
Good luck with that.

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