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by Kirsteen Paterson
12 May 2023
Councillor John Alexander: Politicians & their Pets

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander with 'diva' Millie

Councillor John Alexander: Politicians & their Pets

Pet's name? Millie

Breed? Shih-Poo

Age? Nine

How long have you had her? 
We got her at eight weeks – as soon as she was inoculated. She was absolutely teeny and had a handlebar moustache.

Where did you get her? 
From a breeder in Barry.

What can she do?  
She looks after our two boys. You’ll frequently find her sitting at the foot of their beds or under the table while they eat. They call her their sister. She’s the most sociable dog you’ll ever find, she acts like she’s a puppy.

What do you love about her? 
Everything. In this job it can be quite stressful and there’s nothing like her jumping up on you after a tough day and just destressing.

What special talents does she have? 
Her special talent is running me ragged.

What’s her best trick? 
Bringing a bit of life to any situation. She can also dance on her back legs if you have a treat in your hand.

What are her most annoying habits? 
She’s a yelper when somebody new comes in the house. She’ll be all over them, jumping up at their legs and yelping until she calms down.

What’s the worst thing she’s done? 
She hasn’t done anything all that bad, but if the boys have left the table, she’ll climb her way up and finish off their food.

Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? 
A pet parent. The boys are five and seven and she’s nine, so we call her our firstborn.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? 
I’m not claiming any responsibility, but she has a whole collection of outfits and jackets for when it’s cold, things that look like cows and princess outfits. She’s a bit of a diva.

What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? 
Picking up my first dog, Benji. I was about five and we went to the pound and I was so petrified of all these dogs barking. He was cowering in a corner looking sad and I told my mum and dad, “that’s the one”.

What was the first pet you ever had? 
Goldfish. We’ve had a whole selection over the years  – hamsters, budgies, a mouse, a couple of cats...

What would be your dream pet? 
The boys really want a snake. I wouldn’t say that’s my dream pet; I’m happy with a dog.

If you could be any animal what would you be? 
Probably a cat because they look like they get a really easy life.

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