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Choose the name of VCH’s newest superbug sniffing puppy

Vancouver Coastal Health is adding a couple puppies to its staff.

The two English Springer spaniels are part of the C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program. They’re going to be mentored by Angus and Dodger, Canada’s top dogs in the field. C. Difficile is a superbug that attacks people with compromised immune systems.

Since 2016, the canine scent detection teams at VCH have searched hundreds of hospital areas for C. difficile. They’ve also visited 30 Canadian health care facilities to share their infection prevention expertise. 

“Our province is a safer place for patients and families thanks to Angus and Dodger’s special talents and keen sense of smell,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “As their pack grows in numbers, these new pups will learn how to prevent the spread and infection of C. difficile in health care facilities and we are grateful for this innovative approach to protecting the public.”

The pups are three months old and hail from Trenton, Utah.

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One of them is named Rockey’s Travelling Girl Gone Abroad, aka “Traveller.”  It’s a tribute to Ron Gaunt, a former police K9 handler in the U.S. and a leader in the sport of nose work who was known as the “Travelling Man.”

Her brother, however, needs a name which VCH is leaving up to you. You can vote for your favourite name online here.  There are four finalists to choose from: 

Puppy name Context for name
Olaf Olaf is short for olfactory sense, which is what dogs use to help smell
Clouseau Inspector Clouseau was a detective and looked for clues, which is what the new puppy will be doing when sniffing out C. difficile
Finn Huck Finn was a curious explorer, just like this little puppy is
Magnum Investigator (Magnum PI)

 The winning name will be announced in early November.

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