Politicians and their pets: Chris McEleny introduces Poppy
Breed? She’s a Cavapoo. A cross between a Poodle and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.
Age? 16 months.
How long have you had her? Since she was 12 weeks.
Where did you get her? Sunny Ayrshire.
What can she do? She’s very good at polling station duty on election day. In fact, our vote share in the EU election and general election were up substantially from previous elections – I don’t believe in coincidences. I particularly like that angrier voters that used to exchange some choice words have since stopped to talk and give her good girl claps.
What do you love about her? She’s just such a good-hearted dog that’s so happy every time she sees you. She also sleeps like a baby.
What special talents does she have? She has mastered the art of manipulation of humans. Compared to other dogs, she is the fastest in my scheme and has never been caught by another dog in a chase.
What’s her best trick? If I tried to teach her tricks she would stare at me with a slightly confused look of distain. I respect this.
What is her most annoying habit? We will see if we have a repeat this summer, but last year she took a real dislike to plant pots and would drag them, scattering the soil, all over the garden.
What’s the worst thing she has ever done? She got out her collar and chased a sheep then came back over the hill herding four them and one then backed into a reservoir and started to sink. I had to tie her to a pole and go in and drag the sheep to safety. I was ill for a week. It was November. It’s like she thought they were big fluffy dogs. Sheep worrying is really serious so she hasn’t been allowed up the hills since.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? Pet parent. She’s a full family member.
What’s the most exorbitant thing you’ve ever purchased for your pet? I bought her a parka jacket when she was a pup that lasted about a week before it was too small.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? Probably FaceTiming her if I’ve been on holiday. She also has her own playlist: “Alexa, play calming music for dogs.”
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? I had a goldfish that lived until it was about 11 or 12.
What was the first pet you ever had? Splash.
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? I wouldn’t want another unless it was a sibling for Poppy.
If you could be any animal what would you be? Probably a dog like Tramp, spending my nights dining on Tony’s Italian meatballs and by day standing up to the tyranny of the dog catcher.