Politicians and their Pets: Douglas Lumsden and Alfie
Conservative MSP Douglas Lumsden, who represents North East Scotland, introduces us to his cockapoo, Alfie.
Pet’s name? Alfie
How long have you had him? Since he was a puppy.
Where did you get him? I had to travel to Richmond in Yorkshire to get him. He was from a home breeder who had two daughters so when we picked him up he loved playing and was a perfect fit for our family.
What can he do? Sit, paw, lie down. He also sings to bad piano playing. If you start playing random notes he loves to howl along. His favourite song is Hound Dog by Elvis.
What do you love about him? The welcome home from parliament he gives me on a Thursday night. He always grabs a shoe, jumps on the sofa and waits for me to go and pet him. Then he stays by my side for the rest of the night.
What special talents does he have? He can recognise bottles of prosecco and will bark until he gets to chase the cork.
What’s his best trick? Ringing a bell for a treat. I must point out that that means a counter bell, not a hand bell – he’s not that good!
What’s his most annoying habit? Moving shoes, socks and basically anything he can pick up. He doesn’t chew them, though – he just moves them.
What’s the worst thing he’s done? When he was alone in the kitchen once he managed to sniff out a bag of rowies. He got onto the kitchen table and scoffed the lot – all that was left was a ripped-up paper bag. Rowies are now kept in the cupboard well away from Alfie.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? I’m definitely a pet parent.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? When I was a child we had a pet dog called Dusty who loved sticking his head out the car window. One day he decided to jump out as we were driving on the A90. Amazingly he was absolutely fine.
What was the first pet you ever had? Dusty the dog.
What would be your dream pet? I must say, Alfie is my dream pet.
If you could be any animal what would you be? A giraffe so I would always have a good view at concerts.