Politicians and their Pets: Jenni Minto and Jim
Jenni Minto, the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute, introduces us to her pet dog, Jim.
Pet’s name? Jim
Breed? Border collie
How long have you had him? Since August 2018, when he was 18 months old.
Where did you get him? Jim is a failed sheepdog. He is from the fantastically named All For Naught Farm near Ecclefechan. When taken to a field of sheep, Jim sat in the corner with his back to them and wouldn’t move. He was the farmer’s wife’s favourite, so they kept him – he didn’t stray from the farmyard. But they wanted a better life for him and through a friend of a friend of a friend we heard about Jim. He cost us a bottle of whisky.
What can he do? We say that Jim was the first in his family who went to university – he now lies on our couch and philosophises.
What do you love about him? His mad turns. I have a great film of him jumping into a pool, springing out, running round it, and repeating it. His sheer joy is so contagious.
What special talents does he have? He’s the inspiration for a children’s game. My husband’s grandaughter has a new game called Jim the Dog – she lies on her back and her mum has to tickle her tummy.
What’s his best trick? He doesn’t do tricks, but loves chasing a ball on Islay’s beaches.
What are his most annoying habits? Licking … and wanting his tummy tickled (see above).
What’s the worst thing he’s done? He can get quite amorous on Leith Links – he has a fascination with labradors.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? Definitely a parent. Jim is top dog in our family.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? Spent an inordinate time seeking out dog-friendly hotels, B&Bs and cottages.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? Beetles in a sandpit – it took days for my dad to coax me back into it.
What was the first pet you ever had? A spaniel called Sherry.
What would be your dream pet? I can’t see past collies.
If you could be any animal what would you be? Not so much me, but one of my friends said if she was reincarnated she would want to come back as my dog. I think it was the walks on Islay beaches!