Politicians and their pets: Amy Callaghan MP and Alfie
The SNP's East Dunbartonshire MP Amy Callaghan introduces Holyrood to Alfie the Maltese terrier...
What can he do?
He doesn’t know any tricks. He can just about fetch now. That was his lockdown achievement.
What are his most annoying habits?
He has serious attachment issues which has only got worse over subsequent lockdowns. He follows me or my partner everywhere.
What’s the worst thing he has done?
He chewed up a brand new pair of shoes. That was really annoying. I’d just come back from inter-railing with these shoes and I wore them almost every day and got them really comfortable and he chewed them all up.
Pets are often used in medical recovery situations, how important has yours been in yours? [Amy suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2020]
Alfie’s been with me as I’ve achieved some of my goals coming out of my rehab journey which has been amazing. Yesterday, he was beside me as I achieved one of my goals of walking on sand. So that was really important. Dogs in general are really important as thera-pets. Alfie and my family dog, Rufi, really helped us recover as a family.
Has his approach changed towards you during your recovery?
I would like to say yes, but I think we’ve just become even more intensely close because we’ve spent more time together.
Does he do anything useful to help like bring you your slippers?
I wish, unfortunately not.
When you leave for Westminster, is it hard leaving him?
Of course, but it’s amazing coming home to him because he is so full of love and attention.
Lots of politicians have had their Zoom meetings invaded by their pets, has yours behaved?
He barks through so many of them, I’m usually having to mute myself. It’s so frustrating. He’s usually at my ankle. He’s very impatient, he doesn’t like Zoom very much. It gets him a bit distressed because he’s not the one getting the attention.
Do you have any plans for your dog?
Hopefully he’ll be part of our wedding next year. I like it when people have their dogs as part of their weddings. Although Alfie’s quite poorly behaved, goodness knows how we’ll train him for that.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner?
I’m a dog mum.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?
Alfie had a SNP jacket during my election campaign – which he refused to wear!
What would be your dream pet?
Probably Alfie, he’s my ideal better, as in, if he was a bit better behaved.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
I’d be a Panda, because they get to chill.