Tuesday, July 01, 2008


This story has been altered a little so as to protect the not-so-very innocent.

Once upon a time at a police dog handling and training barracks near London, there lived a young police officer and his dog, both learning how to be a crack Police Dog Unit.
They were both diligent and intelligent and were very soon top of their class, which you'd think that seeing they and the rest of the trainees were all well out of the playground and old enough to be mature about such matters, would be a Good Thing.
Most of the rest of the trainees were happy for them, but humans being humans, there were of course a couple of class jokers who decided that the star pupils needed to be taken down a peg or two.
Now, one of these jokers was a very, very good ventriloquist and mimic: his bird calls could charm any feathered thing out of trees or holes, and his talent for passing off his voice as someone else's was legendary amongst those who had been at the wrong end of one of his prank phone calls*
So began the Plan To Scupper Top Police Dog Unit Trainees.
From then on (we shall call the human Shaggy and the dog, Scooby) Shaggy would command Scooby to sit and wait, then go round the back of a building leaving Scooby awaiting the call to came to him.
That would be about the time that PC Scupper would call out to Scooby and in a very, very similar voice to Shaggy's, would give the command to go to Shaggy.
This sort of prank was played up to at least three times a day, and carried on for about a week until Shaggy found out what was going on.
Shaggy went to a superior officer and confided to him what he'd found out and suggested a little plan to get his (and of course Scooby's) revenge.
The superior officer listened intently with a gleam in his eye, and gave Officers Shaggy and Scooby a weeks home leave, with the excuse that the handling had dropped to such low levels they needed a break to recuperate.
Now, for those of you not in the know, police dog handlers will often have their very own set of commands only known between dog and human, so that in the event of an emergency, the dog will have learnt only to listen out for those 'second' commands, and no-one else will be able to break the 'code'.
The real reason Officers Shaggy and Scooby went away was to learn this together.
The week passed and Shaggy and Scooby came back to the barracks, all ready for class first thing Monday morning.
Now, PC Scupper didn't have a clue that the commands had been 'changed', and was still up for some fun at the 'Class Swot's' expense.
A training session began wherein Shaggy whispered a command to Scooby and went into a nearby building leaving Scooby waiting patiently outside for the next set of orders.
PC Scupper got as close as he could to Scooby before calling out the old command to 'Go to Shaggy'.
Sadly, this happened in the days before CCTV and YouTube was around, and there is no record of what happened to poor PC Scupper except for that of 'Word of Mouth'.
Scooby heard the old command, and instead of going straight to Shaggy, began to search out the person who had given the old command.
When he found PC Scupper hiding in a corner sniggering to himself, he began to bark and growl, which rather unsettled Scupper for some reason.
PC Scupper gave the old command to 'leave' at which Scooby attached himself to Scupper's testicles by his teeth, not hard enough to draw blood, but with no doubt as to what would happen if PC Scupper tried to move.
PC Scupper tried to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth except for something which apparently sounded like 'Mummy'.
Officer Scooby had a lot of patience and would wait all day for his next command, which didn't come for another 30 minutes or so, just enough time for the rest of the class and a certain Senior Officer to come and take a look and have a laugh.
PC Scupper never tried that trick with a dog again, and also needed a change of trousers when Officer Shaggy finally gave the release command.
Good, good dog, Officer Scooby.

*The joker's favourite was to pretend to be a superior officer and get people out of bed and cleaning things at 3am.