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Doggy dropout gets regal new job

BBC News logo BBC News 6/10/2017
Gavel the puppy. © Governor of Queensland via Facebook Gavel the puppy.

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.

"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 the governor 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.

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.

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.

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