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Politicians and their pets: Douglas Ross

Murphy - Image credit: Douglas Ross

Politicians and their pets: Douglas Ross





How long have you had him? 

Since a puppy.

Where did you get him? 

The neighbouring farm to where I grew up.

What can he do?  

Eat!  His own food, crumbs on the floor, rubbish at the side of the road, wastepaper in my office – pretty much everything.

What do you love about him? 

He is very friendly and gentle, especially with our 18-month old son Alistair.

What special talents does he have? 

My wife took him to agility classes when he was younger, so he is quite good at that.

What’s his best trick? 

Looking innocent after stealing food or tearing up the mail in search of food.

What are his most annoying habits? 

He has been known to find dead animals on the beach and, as I’ve said, he will eat anything….

What’s the worst thing he's done? 

The number of times we thought we’ve placed some food or a packet of biscuits far enough back on the kitchen worktop only to come home and find just the plastic wrapping left. It gets very frustrating.

Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner?  

I’d like to say owner…but since he gets his own Christmas present, advent calendar and a candle in a carrot (his favourite treat) for his birthday, others may disagree!

What’s the most exorbitant thing you’ve ever purchased for your pet?  

He was very ill a number of years ago and now lives with a terminal condition.  Despite being insured, his vet bills still cost a fortune but we still have him at nine years old (something we didn’t expect when he was diagnosed) so it’s been money well spent.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?  

I think we’ve covered that with the candle in the carrot and the advent calendar.

What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?  

Cows on the farm.  They were all I was interested in when I was younger and I think they are part of the reason we now have a black and white dog.

What was the first pet you ever had? 

I used to show calves so each year I would pick a new one and that would be my pet as I trained, clipped, washed and eventually showed the calf each summer.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?  

I’d stick with a dog.  They are very loyal and become part of the family.

What would be your dream pet? 

I always wanted a Dalmatian, so I would say we have ours.

If you could be any animal what would you be? 

We went on safari for our honeymoon and I really enjoyed watching the giraffes.  I think I would pick them as they are tall, fast and very graceful on the move – the complete opposite of me!

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