Of all the jobs that a dog could have, the most honorable is definitely that of a police dog. One hopeful German Shepherd puppy was determined to follow in the footsteps of his family and become a member of the Queensland Dog Squad in 2016. Everyone had high hopes for this pup but in less than a year, he was dropped from the academy. Some were disappointed at first but it turned out that this pup was destined for something greater.
An Adorable New Recruit
In April 2016, the Queensland Police in Australia were excited to announce the arrival of one of their newest hopeful recruits. He was a six-week-old German Shepherd puppy named Gavel.
The adorable little guy was about to embark on 16 months of police dog training to assist in tracking and catching criminals as a member of the Queensland Dog Squad. Unfortunately, Gavel never graduated from his training and faced an uncertain future. What could possibly have gone wrong?
He Came From A Line Of Police Dogs
When Gavel first arrived at his foster home, his handlers were hopeful that he would succeed on the force. After all, it was in his blood to become a police dog.
“Gavel comes from a long line of pedigree… if the family bloodline is anything to go by, in 16 months Gavel will be tracking and catching criminals as a proud member of the Queensland Dog Squad!” the Queensland Police shared on social media.
He Had The Right Traits
The Queensland Police had complete faith in their newest recruit. The young pup had a temperament that implied he would be a fast learner.
“He is confident, with no nervous tendencies and shows willingness to retrieve, a prey drive, ball drive and can be motivated by food for a reward,” Queensland Sergeant Hansen announced in a press release. “Police dogs can be taught many skills but they need to have these basic traits already in their personality.”
Gavel Made His Official Debut
People were certainly excited about Australia’s new hopeful police dog after Gavel made his official debut. Gavel accompanied Governor de Jersey and his wife at a reception held in honor of the Queen’s 90th birthday back in 2016.
It was the first time Gavel formally met important politicians, judges, business and community leaders, as well as former governors. One person who was quite fond of Gavel was former Governor, the Honorable Leneen Forde, who also kept German Shepherds when he lived at the Government House.
Gavel Lived At The Nicest Place In Australia
Gavel was certainly a special pup from the get-go. While most police-dogs-in-training are fostered into the home of a Queensland Police officer, Gavel was formally presented to Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, and his wife at the Government House.
It was there that they decided to keep Gavel while he was in police training. He was going to live at one of the most prestigious addresses in Australia, so everyone thought that Gavel was going to have it easy.
He Was Acting Soft
Gavel definitely had a whirlwind first week at the Government House. Governor de Jersey spent a lot of time familiarizing Gavel with his new surroundings and preparing him to get used to meeting new people. But it often seemed that Gavel would have rather rested, showing his softer side by playing with flowers and toys.
Gavel was displaying a mellow demeanor but things were just getting started for him as he was about to start his training.
The First Few Months Wouldn’t Be Easy
Gavel was fostered at the Government House for a year, within which time he was to undergo most of his training. The first few months were dedicated to socialization and obedience training, which was expected to be difficult for him.
Gavel had plenty of room to let out his wild tendencies whenever training got a little “ruff”, as the Government House sat on 40 acres of land for him to exercise and run around.
He Still Had A Lot To Learn
At ten-weeks-old, Gavel still had a ways to go. Governor de Jersey told 7NEWS Brisbane that he still had to learn to sleep through the night and that he was still very much a puppy. Regardless, they were hopeful that Gavel would come around to maturity.
In between his training, Gavel would attend receptions and meetings alongside Governor de Jersey, meeting everyone who came through the Government House along the way.
He Didn’t Make The Cut
By the time Gavel only had a few months left to complete his training, the Queensland Police had decided that he wasn’t going to become one of their newest police dogs. It was a shock to everyone who had high hopes for Gavel but eventually, they had to face the facts.
The Queensland Police Squad released a statement lamenting that Gavel “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line.”
What Was Going To Happen To Him?
The Queensland Police Squad released Gavel from his police dog training in February 2017, just six months shy of his graduation. Many of Gavel’s fans were saddened by the news and others were concerned.
Now that he wasn’t in the running to join the Queensland Dog Squad, what was going to become of Gavel? Certainly, he was facing unemployment and many feared that the Government House might disown him after he proved he didn’t have what it takes.
He Was Destined For Something Else
As it would turn out, Gavel’s future wasn’t going to be hopeless. In fact, he was already in the prime position to take on the perfect job. After all, Gavel was technically Governor de Jersey’s dog since His Excellency had adopted him when he was just a young pup.
His first year at the Government House was actually preparing him for the real job that he was meant to have all along.
Gavel Is A Vice-Regal Dog
Instead of writing Gavel off as a useless dog, they found him a new purpose. On February 21, 2017, Gavel was instated as Australia’s first-ever VRD, or Vice-Regal Dog.
“He has outgrown four ceremonial coats, undergone a career change… and brought untold joy to the lives of the governor, Mrs. de Jersey, Government House staff, and the thousands of Queenslanders who have since visited the estate,” Governor de Jersey’s office said in a statement.
He Was Suited For His New Job
In his new position as Vice-Regal Dog, Gavel’s primary duties included welcoming guests at the Government House and playing with tour groups that passed by. One of his first jobs in his position was welcoming two dozen guests at a citizenship ceremony.
When he first adopted Gavel, Governor de Jersey said, “We hope Gavel’s with us for a long, long time into the future.” It seemed that this hope was going to come true.
Gavel Had A Special Uniform
Gavel’s new position as VRD came with its own perks. He even had his own special uniform to wear that made him look very official. “He wears a specially-made Government House coat, emblazoned with the Governor’s Personal Standard, the St. Edward’s Crown and the brolga, the official bird emblem of Queensland,” the Government House said in a statement.
Just because his overly friendly demeanor got him kicked off the force, didn’t mean Gavel wasn’t going to get to wear to cool threads.
They Made Him Sign A Contract
In order to seal the deal, Queensland’s Government House issued Gavel an official contract of employment. “I, Gavel, hereby agree to commence official duties in the position of Vice-Regal Dog at Government House, Queensland, effective from 21 February 2017,” the contract reads.
The contract was signed with a paw print. Now Gavel was contracted to appear at certain ceremonial occasions under his new title and indeed, it was one that he took to well.
He Went Through Four Coats In One Year
Gavel has definitely hit a growth spurt since his early puppy days in police training. In fact, he’d grown up so fast since becoming Vice-Regal Dog that he went through four ceremonial coats in less than one year!
A lot can happen in a year and for Gavel, he has certainly found his destiny at the Government House. He may not have been cut out for cut-throat police work but that only meant he was bound for something more special.
He Loves His Maroons
Outside of his duties as VRD, Gavel has also taken on extra-curricular interests, such as rugby. Gavel’s favorite team, of course, is the Queensland rugby league team, also known as the Maroons after the color of their jerseys. Being “Maroon to the bone” has since been added to his list of official duties as Vice-Regal Dog.
Gavel loves to watch his boys toss the rugby ball around, though we’re sure he’d love to join in.
He Loves Helping Out In The Yard
Gavel also loves spending time helping out around the house and in the yard. Here he is serving as a special helper for the Government House’s horticulture team as they prepare for their annual spring garden renovation program.
We can’t say what Gavel was really doing to help, other than being enthusiastically supportive as he trotted alongside his pals. Regardless, Gavel clearly enjoyed life in his new role at the Government House.
He Celebrated “Work Like A Dog” Day
Certainly, his help around the Government House and on the grounds made him quite a hard worker. That’s why on August 5th, the top dog himself greeted his fellow canines a Happy “Work Like a Dog” Day!
Not only was Gavel working hard in his new position as Vice-Regal Dog but he wanted to celebrate everyone who worked hard alongside him to make Australia the great country that it is.
He Advocated National Walk Your Dog Day
As Vice-Regal Dog, Gavel also has a responsibility to his fellow canines in Queensland. That’s why he took the time to remind his fans that October 1 – 7 is National Walk Your Dog Week.
Though it was originally started in America, pup owners all around the world have been advocating for canine behavior issues and obesity. Gavel may have the luxury of being able to be taken out every day and he wants the same for his fellow doggos.