The old axiom that “nice guys finish last” may often be true of humans, but probably doesn’t apply to dogs.
This has perhaps never been more evident than in the case of Gavel, the German Shepherd and former police dog trainee who was fired for being too friendly for the job — only to receive an even better position instead.
Last year, when he was just a puppy, Gavel started training to be a police dog in Queensland, Australia. “In 16 months Gavel will be tracking and catching criminals as a proud member of the Queensland Dog Squad!” said a police press release at the time.
However, Gavel’s handlers found that he was too sociable — that he “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line” — and thus the German Shepherd’s days as a police dog came to an end.
See Gavel’s journey from police dog trainee to official Vice-Regal Dog of Queensland, with the governor by his side, in the photos below:
But then, in February of this year, Gavel received a promotion befitting his superior social skills and joined the governor of Queensland's office as the official Vice-Regal Dog.
In this new role, Gavel's duties include taking part in ceremonial occasions (while sporting a custom-made uniform), welcoming guests and tour groups at the Queensland Government House, and serving as a companion to the governor himself.
Indeed, as the office of Governor Paul de Jersey told the BBC, Gavel has "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."
Next, meet Sergeant Stubby, World War I's most decorated dog soldier. Then, read up on Diesel, the French police dog who died in the line of duty while hunting down suspects in the 2015 Paris terror attacks.