Australia

Doggy dropout gets new vice-regal job at Queensland mansion

Photo of a German shepherd puppy, wearing a Queensland Police dog coat with his name, "Gavel", next to the police emblem Image copyright Governor of Queensland
Image caption Gavel had time to outgrow four uniforms before police decided he wasn't suited to the front line

Gavel the puppy was facing a tough change when he flunked out of police dog academy for being too sociable.

Instead of tackling hardened criminals, the German shepherd pup liked to meet strangers, and police in Australia felt he "did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line".

Luckily, he had been fostered at the official residence of the Queensland governor since he was six weeks old.

So the governor gave his four-legged friend a brand new job.

Image copyright Governor of Queensland
Image caption His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey gets acquainted with Gavel

"He has outgrown four ceremonial coats, undergone a career change (his official title is now Gavel VRD, 'Vice-Regal Dog'), 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," the office of Governor Paul de Jersey said.

A year after the puppy first arrived, staff shared Gavel's story and photos on social media.

Gavel's promotion came about in February, after his handlers decided he didn't have "the right aptitude" for police work, and gave him a trial as a ceremonial participant.

Image copyright Governor of Queensland
Image caption Gavel's new role involves much less predatory work

When he first arrived at his foster home last year, a press release from police said: "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!"

Sadly, it wasn't to be. But "at one of Brisbane's most prestigious addresses, it is unlikely Gavel will be complaining any time soon", it added.

Image copyright Governor of Queensland
Image caption Gavel is, Queenslanders are told, a fan of the Maroons rugby team

Citizens are assured that everything he lacks in crime-fighting aggression, he now makes up for in his duties of welcoming guests and tour groups to the grounds of Queensland's Government House.

He also partakes in special ceremonial occasions - and the job comes with a custom-made uniform featuring the state emblems of Queensland.

"We hope Gavel's with us for a long, long time into the future," Governor de Jersey told 7 News Brisbane.

Image copyright Governor of Queensland
Image caption The gubernatorial family's first official portrait

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