Virtual St Mary's Institute for Historical Research

Where St. Mary's Staff and Historians live virtually.

Virtual St Mary's Institute for Historical Research

Where St. Mary's Staff and Historians live virtually.

Training Day for the Security Dogs

by Wayne Sefton


So today was a training day for the doggies in the Security Section. Now, a little bird told me (just don't tell Julie Jennifer I called her a bird, I still have the bruises from last time) that one of the new recruits has a 'slight' fear of dogs. Well, as my old dad used to say, the best way of dealing with fear is to face it. And what better way of beating a fear of dogs than with a couple of playful pooches like Ghengis and Attila?

Me and Julie took the doggies down to the south lawn where we'd arranged to meet with John, the aforementioned new recruit. Right from the off we could tell he was up for the challenge as he was already wearing the bulky padded suit that lets the dogs attempt limb surgery while keeping the Vic ... the wearer safe from dismemb..... from dis... from harm. He was so excited he was dancing from one foot to the other in anticipation and had even thought to bring a big stick to play with the dogs afterwards. And, to their credit, Ghengis and Attila seemed just as excited at the upcoming frivolity as they started barking as soon as they saw John in his padded suit.

Ghengis- "Oh goody-goody, new blood!"

Attila- "That suit won't stop us, it hasn't even got a neck guard on it!"

I turned to Julie. "Wow, the guys are playful today." Julie gave a sort of half grin - half frown. "But why did he bring a stick with him? He must know that Attila is liable to rip his arm off at the elbow while it's still holding the stick and then promptly batter him senseless with it. "

Attila- "Good luck walking when you wake up and find where I put that stick you big wuss!"

I looked at John and was impressed to see that he was already looking around and planning what he was going to do. I could tell he was excited, his eyes were like saucers. "Right, John? We're going to let the dogs go! Don't worry, the suit will protect you!" "I'm not sure about this boss!" He shouted as he started backing away "Everything will be fine! Nothing can possibly go wrong as long as you keep calm."

An ominous quiet settled over the lawn as the dogs, realising they were about to be released, stopped barking.

Ghengis- "How do you want to play this, full frontal assault?"

Attila- "Pincer movement I think."

Ghengis- "How about a cross charge? I'll break right on release, you go left. Half way to the target we'll swap sides before moving in for the kill. "

Attila- "Good call, it'll confuse the hell out of him."

I nodded to Julie. "Ok. And, release." We let the dogs go and they both started howling and barking as they crossed past each other at a dead run.

Attila- "Come here stick boy, you can run but you can't hide!"

Ghengis- "For a Hooman in a bulky suit he can certainly move!"

Attila- "And he dropped his stick. Hey, Hooman? You dropped your stick!"

John, seeing two sets of teeth baring down on him, turned and ran towards the lake. I cupped my mouth with my hands. "John! Don't run in a straight line, you're making it easy for them! Serpentine!" Julie and I started walking after them. I pointed to the stick on the floor. "Clever trick, throwing the stick so the dogs would chase that instead of him." "Hmm." Replied Julie with a frown. "You know, I'm not sure John's....! "

Attila- "Ghengis, swap sides!"

"Look at that!" I said excitedly. "They're changing sides to confuse him. Clever dogs!" John, realising he could no longer see Ghengis or, more importantly, Attila, who he seemed much more nervous of, gave a high pitched squeal and redoubled his efforts to get away. Then he saw Attila turning towards him from the opposite side. What he didn't see was an airborne Alsatian that landed on his back and bore him to the ground.

Ghengis- "Gotcha! GRRRRR!"

John tried to get his feet underneath him, but one of his legs was moving sluggishly on account of having a Doberman hanging from it. So, instead, he started rolling. "Get them off me!" "You're alright, they're just playing."

Ghengis- Affila, rag hif leg a vit, really ge I'm going."

Attila- "Hot af I told oo avout talking wif oor mouf fuww?"

Ghengis- "Oh eah, horry."

Julie raised her eyebrows. "They're making it look very realistic, aren't they?" "Is he going to roll all the way up that banking? It's a good twelve feet high." The lake, on this side of the field, was behind a high banking. On top of the banking was a narrow flat that was about a meter wide and then there was a short drop down a shallow incline to the water. "Dear God, it's going for my crotch! IT'S GOING FOR MY CROTCH!"

Julie's eyebrows went even higher. "Which one's going for his crotch?" "Probably Ghengis, he's got a wicked sense of humour that dog." There came a loud splash from the other side of the banking, followed by more splashes. "Don't tell me they dragged him into the lake?" I looked at Julie just before we climbed the banking, only to find two dogs serenely sat on the bank of the lake with their backs to us, watching while John thrashed and splashed about five feet out in the water.

Ghengis- "He's not for giving up all that splashing about any time soon, is he?"

Attila- "Nope. I can't believe you was going to bite him, as the Hoomans would say, where the sun don't shine."

Ghengis- "I wasn't actually going to bite him, I just made it look like I was."

Attila- "Well, it had the desired effect."

Ghengis- "What was that?"

Attila- "It made me laugh."

Ghengis turned towards Attila with a grin and then saw us standing on top of the banking.

Ghengis- "Hello, the other two have arrived."

Attila also turned and looked at us.

Attila- "Well, I suppose we'd better get this one out of the water."

Ghengis- "Yep, let the big white Velocichickens have their lake back."

Ten minutes later, the two doggies, me, Julie and a thoroughly saturated and bedraggled John were making our way across the car park heading for the dorms. "So," I said conversationally, "what do you think of our pooches now?" "Bloody terrifying, the pair of 'em. They're bloody maniacs." "They were only playing." I suppressed a smirk. Attila- "Psst, lick his fingers."

Ghengis- "Why am 'slurp' I licking 'slurp' his fingers?"

Attila- "Because 'slurp' if he thinks 'slurp' we're friends 'slurp' we can get him again 'slurp' next time."

Ghengis- "Good call 'slurp'."

There came the sound of small hooves on flagstones and a goat came around the corner of the building. We all stopped as the two dogs stood and eyed the goat. Julie looked at Ghengis and Attila. "Alright you two, it's only Pliny. Be nice and say hello." We all smiled benevolently as the two doggies barked once in unison. Ghengis and Attila- "SNOB!" Then the two dogs trotted happily off to their kennels.


The end