When Gavel the German Shepherd grew up, the people around him wanted him to be a police dog – however he had other ideas.
Instead of catching criminals and sniffing out explosives, Gavel preferred belly rubs and cuddles making him much too friendly for police work.
His handlers at Queensland Police Service in Brisbane, eastern Australia, decided in February that Gavel was just too sociable to become a successful police dog.
So they decided to cut him from his 16-month training program.
But Gavel wasn’t disheartened – because as one door closed, another opened.
Throughout his training Gavel had lived in the Queensland governor’s office residence, So Gov. Paul de Jersey couldn’t see this puppy leave.
Instead he decided to make the puppy, that he had first met at 10 weeks old, a permanent part of the family.
In February, Gavel was given the prestigious title of Vice-Regal Dog in recognition of the hard work and determination Gavel had put into his training.
A spokesman for the Office of the Governor explained that Gavel has become a “values and much-loved” part of the Government House Life.
“It was intended that he would undergo a training and socialisation programme preparing to become a Queensland Police Service Dog.
“But like many aspiring QPS Dogs, Gavel did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line.
“Not all dogs display this, and Gavel proved himself to be quite sociable.”
His new position comes with a whole host of responsibilities including welcoming the building’s thousands of callers, attending functions and formal ceremonies with the governor and even sitting in on briefings.
Gavel even wears a specially-made Government House coat emblazoned with the Governor’s Personal Standard and the brolga, the official bird emblem of Queensland.
“He is better suited to life as a ceremonial dog and will instead now spend his working days at Fernberg,
“Gavel on occasions sits in on briefings with the Governor,” he said.
“Gavel has also demonstrated his capacity to uphold the ceremonial importance of his role at State of Origin time.”
“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.”
“We hope Gavel’s with us for a long, long time into the future,” the Governor told 7 News Brisbane.