Politicians and their pets: Harry Cartmill and Corey
Harry Cartmill, Labour councillor for West Lothian, introduces us to Corey the dog.
Breed? German Shepherd
How long have you had him? Since he was three months old
Where did you get him? I adopted him from Dogs Trust West Calder. I lost my 10-year-old German Shepherd, Chubb, very suddenly in early December 2012 – adopting another dog was the last thing on my mind after this deeply unexpected death. But as an active volunteer with Dogs Trust, a mere two weeks later I was called by the manager to say a boisterous German Shepherd puppy had been handed in and would I be at all interested in him. After some consideration, my aunt and I drove up from Bathgate in a snow shower and just fell in love with this pup.
What can he do? He is a wonderful companion, both in the house and on our days on the golf course or hill climbs together.
What do you love about him? He was there for me during family bereavement and when I received gruelling, but thankfully successful, cancer treatment. I was determined that, despite being so ill, I would recover and again scale peaks like Tinto Hill and Ben A’an and play golf accompanied by my best pal Corey. I genuinely feel my recovery was boosted by his presence – just seeing him when I finally got home from hospital was deeply moving and his genuine encouragement made me get out in the sunshine and build my strength.
What special talents does he have? He attempts to vocalise – really! Sometimes almost forming words.
What’s his best trick? He does an amazing crocodile impression when eating spaghetti.
What are his most annoying habits? He is not the most friendly with other dogs.
What’s the worst thing he’s done? Knocked over ornaments when someone has come to the door.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? A pet parent.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? I bought him a Christmas tank top.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?
My late parents had a beautiful fox terrier called Kim before I was born. She lived till I was nine years old. As an only child, Kim was just the best companion I could have asked for.
What was the first pet you ever had? I had a Dutch Chain rabbit called Beauty.
What would be your dream pet? Corey is thus!
If you could be any animal what would you be?
I’d be a swallow. I’d enjoy our spring, summer and autumn weather here in Scotland, then escape our dreadful winter in South Africa – who’s cleverer, us or the swallows?