Wild Goose Chase!

This morning reading the New York Times front page, I did a double-take on the headline:

Fraud Claims Dog Operative

I took this to mean - deceitful practices (e.g. fraud) had claimed a canine operative.  I didn't quite know what this meant - perhaps a dog, who was a secret agent, was undone by someone giving it poison dog treats.

Re-reading the headline, I understood it as intended - fraudulent claims were bothering an operative.

Which begs the question:
Does the term "Wild Goose Chase" imply a chase for a goose that got really crazy and out of hand?  Or does it refer to a relatively mundane chase for an undomesticated goose?  Does the "wild" refer to the goose?  Or the chase?!
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