If everything had gone according to plan, Gavel, a 16-month-old German Shepherd, would be finishing up his training right now, approaching graduation as an official Queensland Police Service Police Dog.
However, less than a year into the playful pup’s training, Gavel’s trainers decided that “he didn’t have ‘the right aptitude’ for police work,” explained the BBC.
Throughout his training, Gavel had been fostered at a very special address: Queensland’s Government House, which is the official residence of the governor of the northeastern Australian state.
When the governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, learned that his furry guest had flunked out of the police academy, rather than send the pup packing, the dog was given a promotion and new title.
In the doggo’s time at the Government House, “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,” representatives of the Governor told the BBC.
In Australia, “Vice-Regal” is a ceremonial title given to Governors, which relates to the island nation’s status as a part of the British empire, which is technically still ruled by the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. Unlike Gavel, it doesn’t appear as though the Queen’s famous corgis have a regal title of their own.
Unsurprisingly to us, Gavel has been a hit on social media since his first day at the governor’s Brisbane estate.
Gavel moved into the Government House in April of 2016, which was announced on Facebook with a precious video of the small furball clumsily chasing a tennis ball.
The German Shepherd was officially promoted to his Vice-Regal role in February, shortly after police in Australia decided that he “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line.”
Since that time, the dashing doggo has appeared in dozens of social media posts, where fans from across the world have heaped praise on the pup as well as the governor for his decision to grant Gavel a new role.
In one post celebrating Gavel’s time at the Government House, the governor received praise from a resident of Ontario Canada, Ameri Bugger, who wrote, “Great leaders know how to take advantage of every team member’s strengths – so great work for recognizing this wonderful guy’s ability to make an important contribution!”
Gavel now spends his time like a lot of social media mavens: posing for pictures, patiently greeting strangers, chasing tennis balls, and playing in the landscaping.
Occasionally, Gavel has even been in charge of helping Queenslanders learn their manners, like in this photo:
“Poking your tongue is generally discouraged at Government House – it is thought to be somewhat unbecoming (even when it’s ridiculously cute)…”
The next time you see a German Shepherd working with a police department, think to yourself that if a few things had gone a little differently, that dog could have been a special assistant to your governor.