Politicians and their pets: Derek Bibby
Derek Bibby, a Labour councillor in Renfrewshire, introduces us to his dog Monty
Breed? Golden Retriever
How long have you had him? Since 2012 when he was 12 weeks old
Where did you get him? Houston – from a local breeder
What do you love about him?
He is the friendliest of dogs. He is everybody’s pal, gives you unconditional love and is great with kids. He is an approved therapet and has visited people with autism and dementia.
What special talents does he have?
He is a bit of a dancer and has developed a style based on 70s disco music. He definitely outshines his owner. He can also bring shoes and slippers to you and knows the difference between outside and indoor shoes.
What are his most annoying habits?
He is constantly seeking attention when you are trying to have a conversation on the phone. He also thinks that every chair and bed in the house is his domain, getting there about 10 seconds before his owner. He would always win a game of musical chairs.
What’s the worst thing he’s done?
When he was younger, he tried to dig a hole in the kitchen wall which required redecoration. I am not sure whether this was part of an elaborate escape plan from what he considered to be a tyrannical living situation.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner?
No doubt about it - a pet parent. You have to encourage, train and nurture them not to wreak too much havoc around the house – a bit like bringing up children really.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?
We dressed him up as an elf to assist Santa at a Christmas fete. Sadly, no pictures survive and neither do the knitted woollen blue boots.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?
Being terrified by a next-door neighbour’s giant tomcat which used to menacingly patrol the pavement outside our house, striking fear into everyone in the street.
What was the first pet you ever had?
A budgerigar named Joey.
What would be your dream pet?
I was recently bought a share in a racehorse as a birthday present which probably means I own a hair of its tail, so a classic thoroughbred of my own would be the dream pet.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
This is going to be entirely unoriginal, but a dog’s life would suit me down to the ground.