Dog Names that Start with Wi in Pop Culture
In 2005, Aimee Hurt, the co-founder of the Working Dogs for Conservation was searching shelters for a new sniffer dog to help her conservation efforts, and she met Wicket, a one-year-old black Lab that barked consistently and was literally bouncing off the walls of her kennel. She had been there for six months, and when Aimee approached the shelter director, she was told she didn’t want that dog because that dog was crazy. Crazy was just what Aimee was looking for, however; dogs with a strong play drive are the most successful as sniffer dogs with Working Dogs for Conservation, as dogs are rewarded with time to play when they find their targets. Aimee had been right to choose Wicket, she was in the field in just eight short weeks, a record in the organization. When searching for animals, she hunts by air scenting rather than by keeping her nose to the ground.
In 2009, Wicket had learned to consistently locate about half a dozen scents ranging from mammals to invasive weeds and would do so for just a few minutes of fetch. By 2014, the number of scents that Wicket could identify had swollen to twenty-two, including endangered snails in Hawaii, invasive insects in Minnesota, the scat of a mysterious vole in Northern California, and transplanted zebra and quagga mussels throughout the Great Lakes. She was featured in several articles about ecology and helped to raise awareness about the ecological problems that she was sniffing out. Wicket, along with her other fellow sniffer dogs, helped to open conversations about important subjects, helping more people to better understand ecological issues like the danger that Emerald Ash Borers bring to the ash trees that they infest.
When researching moose populations in the Adirondack Mountains she and another sniffer dog by the name of Camas found one hundred and forty-one moose scats, so many that they had to raise additional funds before they could get them all analyzed. By the time Wicket was retired in 2017, she had learned to track a record-breaking total if thirty-two scents and was able to locate items in environments from dense forests to open fields. She had also traveled a total of over 100,000 miles, riding in bush planes, kayaks, motorboats, and even on the back of an elephant, searching out scents of threatened or invasive species in not only eighteen states within the United States, but also seven additional countries.