This is the story of “Trusty”, a large alsatian who became the Force mascot and was considered to be an unofficial member of the Bermuda Police Force.
Article written by Betty Smith (we are not sure of the newspaper)
An Alsatian named Trusty is perhaps the only canine aristocrat in the Colony who left a happy home to “join” the Bermuda police force. That’s just what Trusty did.
Perhaps he inherited his instinct for living dangerously and adventurously from his grandmother, who was one of the first dogs to land on the Normandy beach with the British troops in the last War (World War Two).
Trusty’s real name in ‘Trusty Night of Normandy’. His childhood was exactly like that of any other well-cared for puppy. He was born at the Dockyard here, and at the age of six weeks went to live with his new owner, Miss Jocelyn Motyer, at “The Willows” in Pembroke.
He was loved, cared for and pampered. Once he went in swimming shortly after he had a distemper shot and he fell ill. He didn’t grow much after that, but he is nevertheless a good size - about 65 lbs.
BEGAN TO WANDER
Time went on. Trusty began to wander from home. Then one day word came back that he had been picked up by the S.P.C.A. He had been missing for two days. He had never before spent a night away from home although he had gradually been staying away more and more during the day.
He was taken home in a taxi but left again 2 hours later. He was never home regularly after that and once, when he was gone for six weeks, it was believed that he went on a cruise on one of the ships of the British Squadron here. Then Trusty “joined” the Police Department.
ON THE ‘BEAT’
Constable L.M.(Nobby) Clark told the story of Trusty’s early days on the Force: “I was on the beat, and he used to follow me around. He used to go to the billets and I’d feed him. Mr. Motyer told me that if I didn’t give him away or have him destroyed I could keep him. He used to stay with me until I got married. I took him home with me to Paget but he wouldn’t stay. He left the house by 10 o’clock at night and by midnight he was on duty at headquarters.”
Constable Clark added that Trusty is strictly a “beat” dog. He doesn’t ride in police cars although sometimes he used to ride in the old police van which had no back door.
Trusty selects one constable at a time and hangs around with him until the constable leaves, or changes duty. He gets along fine with the English dogs brought here. His main time for “work” is at night.
“He’s a lot of company for a fellow on a beat,” said Clark. “He goes up dark alleys alone. You can tell him to go look up a dark alley and he’ll do it.”
Trusty lives in the Police barracks where he sleeps and is fed. He selects one particular room. Once in a while he returns to “The Willows” and prances into the yard barking as though he had never been away.
But he seems to have decided that his real career is with the Police Force.
The following article was published in the Winter 1960 edition of the Bermuda Police Magazine:
Death of Force Mascot
“Trusty”, the unofficial member of the Bermuda Police Force, died on the night of September 19, 1960, at the ripe old age of almost 13 years. It had been noticed that for some time he was not his usual self, but as this had happened in the past with no disastrous results, no-one was duly alarmed.
The animal, a large alsatian, was a most unusual one. He was born in March, 1948, of two local pedigreed parents, the female of which had seen service on the Normandy beaches as a war dog during the Allied landings.
As a pup he was owned by Mr. W.E.P. Motyer’s daughter, Jocelyn, and spent his puppyhood at the Motyer residence, “The Willows” in Pembroke. However, like other dogs, he started to wander abroad in the City of Hamilton and it soon became apparent that he would follow a police uniform anywhere. He was returned to his home on numerous occasions but inevitably turned out again and soon formed a strong attachment for Inspector (then Constable) L.M Clark of Central District.
In 1950, Mr. Motyer, realizing that the dog was very happy roaming around with the Police, gave him to Inspector Clark, and “Trusty” became a familiar sight in the streets of Hamilton following along at the heels of a patrolling constable or lying at the steps of the Central Police Station (then located on Parliament Street where the Government Administration Building is now located). At other times he could be found curled up at the feet of the officer directing traffic at the Heyl’s Corner junction.
Many tales are told of his activities during his years of “service”. Unlike his official colleagues of the Dog Section, “Trusty” had no regular tours of six hour duty. He could be found at all hours of the day and night, and religiously turned up at the Central Station in time to attend the changing of beat patrols so that he could accompany a fresh officer on patrol.
At night he had an uncanny knack of knowing where the conference points were and, should he decide to transfer his attention to another officer, he would occasionally appear at the point at the prescribed time. Needless to say, his presence was much appreciated by night duty patrols as it inevitably broke the monotony of the long night hours!
Anything could, and often did, happen when “Trusty” accompanied an officer on night patrol. Sometimes he would wander off quietly into the darkness and all would be silent. Then a vociferous bark would pierce the stillness of the night air and it became evident he had located one of his lifelong enemies - a cat. The chase would commence and the hapless feline had a tough time getting away without a good fright which must have scared some of the proverbial nine lives out of its body.
Occasionally, however, the crafty feline would have the last word as was witnessed on one occasion. On a bright, moonlit night “Trusty” was contentedly trotting down Queen Street with the officer of his choice when he spotted a large tabby crossing the road. Uttering his usual bloodcurdling howl, he started off in pursuit to the south. The tabby, realizing that he was being overtaken at a rapid rate, headed for the harbours edge - “Trusty”, intent only on his enemy, was oblivious of the danger into which he was heading.
At the last moment the tabby did a sharp ninety degree turn and “Trusty” realizing his error too late, slammed on his brakes and dropped to his haunches to slow down - too late, however, and he plunged into the waters of the harbour. The indignity of being outsmarted by a cat was bad enough, but to take an unnecessary bath (he hated water) nearly broke his heart and he was very subdued for the rest of the night.
Occasionally he became a source of embarrassment to the officer he followed - sometimes a weary bobby would slip into a dark corner and indulge in a crafty smoke, only to have the patrol Sergeant suddenly discover him. The explanation for the Presence was very simple - “Trusty”, having searched in vain for cats, had come back and stretched out on the roadway opposite the “hide” and of course the game was up. However, “Trusty” more than made up for his mistakes and on a number of occasions valiantly assisted the officers in the execution of their duty.
When he was around, the usual price for laying forcible hands on a man in blue was to lose the seat of the trousers or to find oneself lying on the sidewalk with a ferocious animal glaring down with bared fangs.
About two years ago it became apparent that his youth had gone and “Trusty” gradually slowed down his pace and began to spend more time around the Central Station. As time went on and his excursions on the beat became less frequent it was decided to “retire” him to the Police Mess (at Prospect) which is located about a mile from Hamilton. Even then he occasionally made the trip to town, dragging his rear leg which was apparently rheumatic. On arrival at Central Station his spirits picked up when he saw one of his “favourites”, and with tail wagging he would renew his friendship.
Of late, however, he remained around the Mess and spent his last dog days in the company of his favourite officers, accepting their pats and showing his gratitude with a lick of the tongue.
When it was learned that he had died there were many heavy hearts in the Force but it was accepted that it was probably best as he had been suffering in his last days.
“Trusty”, who was the only dog allowed in the Police Mess in accordance with Mess Rules, was buried in the grounds outside.
We are not suggesting that "Trusty" had any undue influence is assisting the career of young P.C. "Nobby" Clark but, of course, "Nobby" went on to become Commissioner of Police!
Commissioner of Police L.M. "Nobby" Clark