Snap-happy Whisky in the dog house

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 May, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 May, 1994, 12:00am

THE Governor's dog Whisky was last night in Agriculture and Fisheries Department custody after biting a workman at Government House shortly before lunch.

So Shu-fai, 21, was on his second day laying cables in the basement for a new computer system when he was bitten on the lower left leg by Whisky, who fled from the scene.

Mr So was later treated and discharged from Queen Mary Hospital but was unable to identify the offender. He was given tetanus shots and sent home, limping, to recuperate.

Mr So is expected to return to work today but Whisky, a Norfolk terrier, was last night lying alone in a cell at the Victoria Road Kennels, where he will spend the next seven days under observation.

The three-year-old terrier must show he is not rabid or dangerous under the terms of the Dogs and Cats Regulations if he is to be released by department vets. It is unlikely he will face the death penalty, which can be ordered in extreme cases.

Whisky was caught and tethered following an investigation co-ordinated by the Governor's aide-de-camp, Mike Ellis, that established that Whisky was seen scampering from the basement shortly after 11 am.

Soda, the Patten's other dog, had been sleeping upstairs all morning.

As Mr So was treated, Chief Inspector Ellis organised for Chris and Lavender Patten to be told in London while formally informing the Government House police himself in accordance with regulations.

Staff calmed Whisky, sporting a new trim for summer, and tethered him for removal by staff in a Government House van, escorted by two uniformed police officers. House rations of canned dog food and biscuits were also included.

A Government House statement last night confirmed the incident and said Mr and Mrs Patten had been informed in London. Daughter Alice is still in Hong Kong but responsibility for Whisky had been handed to a young house steward.

''They have passed on a message to the workman expressing their regret about the incident and their best wishes for a speedy recovery,'' it said.

Soda hit international headlines following a four-day disappearance shortly after the Pattens' arrival in 1992.