I think it stems from seeing a movie "Eight Below" about some dogs that were left behind in Antarctica. One of the dogs is at the edge of the ice and this huge face full of nasty teeth (accompanied by terrifying music, I'm sure) lunges out of the water at the dog. It was a leopard seal. (I don't remember whether the dog escapes or not.) The fear and shock of that moment has made me for the first time in my life actually dislike an animal. BUT this video has put the voice of reason and some perspective back into my view of leopard seals. It's not long, well worth watching.
I have a confession to make: when Joni starts to get overtired and a bit out of control, like a very tired child, she seems to become a lunging head full of teeth going for shoe laces, jeans or whatever is in reach. At those moments we call her 'Leppy' (short for leopard seal) and ask her nicely to go to her bed for a rest. I feel a lot better about that name now. She answers to Leppy almost as well as Joni. 🙂
Thanks to Steve who applied this leopard seal therapy session by sending me this link.