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by Staff reporter
26 May 2023
Politicians and their pets: Cllr Kathleen Robertson

Kathleen, Tarka and Midge

Politicians and their pets: Cllr Kathleen Robertson


Border Terriers (terrorists).


Tarka is three and Midge is six months.

How long have you had them?

Their entire lives.

Where did you get them? 

Tarka was a lockdown pup from a veterinary colleague who is a breeder. Midge we bred ourselves.

What can they do? 

Tarka and Midge have both learned to sit, stay and come to me on command. Tarka has learnt to jump up on sofas and beds, Midge hasn’t – which is no bad thing!

What do you love about them? 

I was brought up with Labradors which are known as loyal, soft and great with kids. Border Terriers are exactly the same but more compact.

What special talents do they have? 

Tarka is a Therapet. Recently she has helped a Ukrainian boy staying with us overcome his irrational fear of dogs. Midge is now his best friend.

What’s their best trick? 

Very basic sit, stay and come. Knowing when someone in the house is eating a caramel wafer. They hear the wrapper before it’s even off the biscuit!

What are their most annoying habits? 

They have none!

What’s the worst thing they’ve done? 

Total destruction of any toy in their possession.

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

Pet owner. I can’t abide the term furbaby!

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

A Christmas reindeer suit! Fortunately it was too small and prevented all-round embarrassment.

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

Travelling on holiday in two estate cars to the west of Ireland with three dogs in each boot, one dog on each backseat and one child in the back of each car. Like a travelling menagerie!

What was the first pet you ever had? 

I always had dogs, but I guess the first pet I had sole responsibility was for a hamster.

What would be your dream pet? 

I already have them.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? 

An elephant – it never forgets and has a long life!

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