Politicians and their pets: Derek Howie and Gucci
Breed? Labrador/golden retriever.
How long have you had her? Four months.
Where did you get her? Guide Dog Association.
What can she do? She gets me out and shows me the way in a busy city – to the City Chambers, to the gym, to the shops, to the football, everywhere I need to go.
What do you love about her? She’s playful and a bit cheeky! In a field with other dogs, she goes wild.
What special talents does she have? She can bring an office to a standstill as everyone stops to pat her.
What’s her best trick? She can make any room gasp in awe at her cuteness.
What is her most annoying habit? Picking what clothes she thinks I should wear by leaving her gorgeous blond hair over them.
What’s the worst thing she’s done? Made a poop in the City Chambers.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? As she’s a guide dog, strictly speaking, she isn’t a pet, but she’s a fantastic working dog and a wonderful companion.
What’s the most exorbitant thing you’ve ever purchased for your pet? A pink Gucci collar that didn’t fit her.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? Taken her to a Raith Rovers match in mid-winter!
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? I have wonderful memories of Dinah, an Alsatian my family had since I was three. She was a very positive introduction to dogs.
What was the first pet you ever had? Dinah, the aforementioned Alsatian.
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? Apart from a dog, a friendly lap cat, the kind that doesn’t scratch and bite.
What would be your dream pet? I’ve heard that someone tried to train monkeys to do the same job as a guide dog. Can you imagine walking down Princes Street with a guide monkey?
If you could be any animal what would you be? A horse.