Politicians and their Pets: Wendy Chamberlain and Tamlyn and Tirran
The Lib Dem chief whip and MP for North East Fife introduces us to Tamlyn and Tirran.
Which is which?
Tamlyn the dog and Tirran the cat
Tamlyn’s a chocolate roan Show Cocker Spaniel and Tirran is a tabby British Shorthair.
Four and four months
How long have you had them?
Tamlyn since he was a puppy and we only got Tirran eight weeks ago.
Where did you get them?
Tamlyn came from a breeder in Tillicoultry and Tirran from a breeder in Falkirk.
What can they do?
Tamlyn does the basic dog tricks of paw, rolling over and lying down when there’s a treat on offer – usually all at the same time regardless of the command given! Tirran’s already managed to find a way up on to kitchen worktops.
What do you love about them?
Tamlyn is basically a big sook – desperate to either sit or lie across you. Tirran, in between bouts of running about mad, is already very much a lap cat.
What special talents do they have?
Tamlyn has a very impressive howl when prompted by YouTube videos of dog noises.
What’s their best trick?
Our old cat, Hobbes, who we sadly lost at the start of this year, was a bit of legend in the village – he would visit the local café and ring the bell at the ice cream hatch for attention.
What are their most annoying habits?
Tamlyn’s a typical food-orientated spaniel, which means it’s hard not to continually fall over him in the kitchen.
What’s the worst thing they’ve done?
Tirran has already destroyed a set of leather kitchen bar stools in his efforts to get onto the worktops.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner?
They are definitely part of the family, but on balance I’m an owner.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?
Tirran has taken to sleeping at night on my pillow when I’m there. My husband is unimpressed but I’m trying to convince myself that despite the fact I spend half the week away from home, this shows I’m Tirran’s favourite.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?
My police officer dad taking my sister and I to see a lost collie puppy at the station followed by some unsuccessful lobbying for him to come home with us.
What was the first pet you ever had?
A cat called Pixie when I was toddler. I had a bad habit of hugging her at the top of the stairs and then letting her go… We visited my grandparents in Argyll and she stayed there, much to her relief probably!
What would be your dream pet?
I’m pretty happy with the two we have.
If you could be any animal what would you be?
I’m rather obsessed with red pandas, they look pretty chilled.