Per­son Of Interest’s cal­cu­lat­ing ca­nine is a true doggy hero

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UK Broad­cast TBC, Chan­nel 5 US Broad­cast Fin­ished, CBS

Yes, this month our Best In Show is ac­tu­ally a dog. While this does look as though we’re scrap­ing the bar­rel some­what, in fact we have some very good rea­sons as to why Bear de­serves to be sin­gled out – and if you watch Per­son Of Interest, chances are you’re al­ready on our side here.

Bear isn’t an or­di­nary dog, see. He’s a mil­i­tary ca­nine, a trained killer, able to in­ter­pret and carry out com­plex com­mands at just a couple of words from his trainer – as long as the com­mands are in Dutch. Taken from his orig­i­nal own­ers by a nasty gang, Bear first ap­peared in the sea­son two pre­miere episode, when Reese re­alised what an as­set he was and got the dog to turn on the gang with one com­mand.

Af­ter this, Bear was an in­valu­able part of the team. He helped to get a ner­vous Harold Finch back into the out­side world af­ter suf­fer­ing from panic at­tacks. He went

un­der­cover with Reese. He dis­armed bad guys, kept an eye on jumpy vic­tims our he­roes were try­ing to pro­tect, helped to soften other­wise un­feel­ing char­ac­ters and reg­u­larly saved lives. In one episode, Bear knew to fetch a fire ex­tin­guisher when Finch asked for it, thus sav­ing both their lives – who trained him to do that? Good dog.

Bear was played for two sea­sons by a Bel­gian Mali­nois named Graubaer’s Boker, a dog as well-trained as his on-screen coun­ter­part (in 2014 he won the World Cham­pi­onship for Util­ity Dogs, the equiv­a­lent of a doggy Olympic gold medal). Later, Bear was por­trayed by dogs named Lola and Gotcha. Now the show has fin­ished, we’ll miss see­ing the ad­ven­tures of these furry guys – but in our heads, Bear is off help­ing peo­ple, like a for­mi­da­ble Lassie who won’t take any of your hu­man shit. Jayne Nel­son

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