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Pope gives sniffer dog a pat of thanks

By on Monday, 20 September 2010

A screenshot of the encounter from Sky News

A screenshot of the encounter from Sky News

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday stopped to give a police dog an unexpected pat while thanking some of the 2,000 members of the West Midlands Police who had helped to protect him during his visit.

After meeting the seminarians of England, Wales and Scotland at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield, the Pope saw Jake, a black Springador who acts as an explosives sniffer for the police.

Wading through a crowd of public servants the Pope was greeted by the dog, who appeared to enjoy the attention.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said: “It was a pleasure to meet his Holiness and very kind of him to take time to extend thanks to all the officers involved in the police operation.”

“This has been a hugely complex operation. It has involved agencies from across the public and private sector and been months in the planning.  I’m pleased to say it has been a resounding success.”

The Pope expressed his gratitude “for all the hard work of preparation” for his visit before departing for Rome from Birmingham International Airport.

  • Kate

    aww what a lovely story i'm not a catholic but seeing the pope pat the dog really touched me

  • Corbus

    Sky news just couldn't stop breaking news about the damage wreaked by the sex abuse scandal. Make no mistake it is the ultimate human failing and should be crushed out of any institute.

    But I got such a warm glow when I saw the Pope stroke the dog; which in turn responded so enthusiastically. Dogs know good people, they read them with that canine sixth sense. Very nice moment.

  • Rory

    They say the cats in Rome used to follow him when he was a cardinal… and the Swiss guard used to get annoyed when they came into the Vatican Gardens. Is there any video of the encounter with the pooch?

  • johnny sprite

    To Rory forget the video. There is a book on about how the Cat views Benedict. Its written from the cat's perspective. Buy the book instead

  • Jane
  • The Catholic Herald

    Rory, you can watch a video of Benedict XVI meeting the police dog here (at 1:12):

  • RJ

    Nice touch to say thanks to the security people.

  • Rory

    That was just lovely…thank you! I am especially grateful since we barely got to see anything in the US (except for Catholic television).
    …and Johnny I have see the charming book!Thanks!

  • Catchthemoment

    I went to Birmingham and was at the open air Mass celebrated.

    It was an amazing joy.Did not even notice the rain.

    The police officers were a credit to the nation.All smiling and a pleasure to have around us.

    The whole day was one I shall treasure the memory of.

    The Mass was special and lifted up the spirit.

    I think the photograph above is very apt and tells a story of love and cherish.

  • Ratbag

    What a richly deserved 'lovey' from The Holy Father! :-) Lucky dog!

  • BSP

    Great shot of Pope Benedict and the officers. The pooch was happy too. Pope Benedict enjoys pooches.


  • LiberalTraditionalist

    God bless his Holiness for showing us all that he has the human touch.

    Just to provide some form of “political balance” Central TV ran a slot on Pope Benedict's dialogue with “Pushkin” – the Birmingham Oratory's cat.

    Everyone behind the scenes in the local councils and emergency services did a grand job on behalf of us all and they are due a mighty vote of thanks.