The Westie Way

Don't be fooled by the West Highland White Terrier's ultra-cute exterior. He's no lap dog.

“Hello? My dog is lost, and I heard you have a dog that tracks,” said the voice on the phone.

“Yes, I do,” said Allison Platt, looking down at Sprite, the retired champion tracker and the first terrier ever to achieve the title in the scent-stalking sport. “Hey Sprite, we’ve got a job.” But when Platt and Sprite arrived, the man stared in disbelief. “You’re going to track with … a Westie?”

Disbelief soon turned to gratitude. The German Shepherd Dog had been gone 24 hours, but Sprite scented the dog’s bedding, then took off — on leash — through a suburban neighborhood, across a busy road, through a school campus, past woods with power lines, into a construction site, across another road, and into a stream bed. When the Shepherd bolted from the woods next to the stream, Sprite stopped sniffing and looked up proudly. Mission accomplished.

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