Goldie, a fully trained guide dog for the blind, faced allegations of being a disgruntled employee who regularly humiliates his owner with practical jokes and embarrassing stunts. Goldie’s pranks had initially seemed tame, they included hiding the remote controls for the radio, putting the premium brand dog food in the shopping trolley and hiding when it’s raining, preventing owner Billy Nelson, 54, from going out. However, it was only after Mr Nelson married his Korean wife, Mi-Cha, that Goldie’s jokes became a little more cruel, almost sinister. Goldie seemed to become jealous and annoyed when made to sleep in the shed, instead of Billy’s bed.
Seemingly bent on revenge, Goldie repeatedly led his owner to a gay bar instead of his local pub, embarrassed him when Billy asked a hairdresser for a pound of sausages and once fled leaving his owner marooned at the beach. Mr Nelson said he also got him in trouble with the police. ‘He took me to what I thought was the busy crossing at the high street, and we waited ages, almost an hour. However, I was informed by the policeman that arrested me, that I had apparently been staring into the local school playground for the entire time. They held me for four hours. I had no idea how all those packets of sweeties and children’s magazines came to be in my shopping. I knew Goldie was a prankster, but a shoplifter too?’
At home things took a dangerous twist, with Billy being convinced that Goldie tried to push the electric radio into the bath, but thankfully it fused allowing Billy to exit unharmed. The most serious incident came when Billy felt two large paws on his shoulders just before tumbling down the stairs; luckily he escaped with just a broken arm and some bruising. ‘It was a close escape,’ laughed Billy. ‘I was joking to Mi-Cha that we nearly made an early claim on that insurance policy she suggested I take out.’
Goldie became very hostile towards Mi-Cha, never leaving Billy’s side, growling at her constantly. Billy had booked him to a special dog boot-camp to get retrained but before he could take him, Goldie vanished. Mr Nelson lamented, ‘looks like he just ran away, the cowardly bastard. Mi-Cha said that there was not really any point replacing him. She’s happy enough to take care of me, and her brother being here too is a great help, they’re very close. She’s a great cook, that stew we had last week was very different. She uses a lot of salt though, must just be a traditional thing. We’re going mountain climbing next week. Very exciting.’