Introducing Inspector McSniffers

April 04, 2022

By Courtney Mahaney 


What connexion can there be between pioneering cave diver Sheck Exley, Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, and Charles Dickens? Behind every Dickens Project Assistant Director, there has been a canine office assistant. While you may not have had a chance to meet this lemon beagle who can be too big for his britches, you have certainly felt his presence on Zoom. And if you listen carefully, you may even hear his snoring from under the desk!

Inspector Sheckleton McSniffers (named after two explorers and one Inspector Bucket) is a near-constant work-from-home companion. He frequently provides alerts to the delivery of mail and parcels, reminders to get up from the desk to stretch, and all-around comic relief. His favorite stress reduction strategies alternate between snuggling and play breaks.

Once work ends, Sheck looks forward to adventuring with his family, playing “find-it,” rough and tumble play, and formal obedience training. In fact, on the two days following the 2021 Dickens Universe, he completed the first two of three required legs for an AKC’s Companion Dog obedience title. He earned fourth place (beating out three golden retrievers and a border collie!) and the “High-in-Trial Hound” award.

You may be wondering, what’s so special about this dog? The quick answer is that he soothed the ragged edges of grief and healed my heartache after losing my beloved red tabby, Cedar, a few days before the 2019 Universe. Sheck shared the gifts of joy and love when I needed them the most. Once the pandemic loosens its grip, he will be trained as a therapy dog to brighten days for many others. 

Until then, he’s perfecting his secret handshake (bump, bump, high-five, high-five, two up top, and a wave) and learning to wink on command.

How do dogs wear britches?