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by Staff reporter
09 November 2021
Politicians and their pets: Michelle Thomson

Michelle Thomson with Benjy the Border Terrier

Politicians and their pets: Michelle Thomson

The SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Michelle Thomson, introduces us to Benjy...

Pet’s name? Benjy

Breed? Border Terrier

Age? 12

How long have you had him? Since he was a pup.

Where did you get him? We got him from my husband’s cousin who lives in Yorkshire and who bred his mother and who also then kept Benjy’s brother and niece.

What can he do? He can make a ten-minute walk take an hour as each leaf on each bush must be sniffed and scent marked.

What do you love about him? How seriously he takes his welcoming home duties. I can leave for a walk around the garden but get welcomed back as though he hasn’t seen me for hours.

What special talents does he have? Sniffing out a black Labrador at a distance. Every one of them must be assessed as a friend or a foe since he was attacked by one as a young puppy. Most are foes!

What’s his best trick? Climbing ‘commando style’ up the stairs so as not to wake anyone.

What are his most annoying habits? Creeping around the kitchen table looking for scraps of food.

What’s the worst thing he’s done? Stealing sweeties left out in a bowl – he carefully unwrapped each one before eating it and we found a tidy pile of wrappers and an ill dog too!

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

What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet? Taking his entry in Westminster’s Dog of the Year competition far too seriously.

What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? First pet was Barney, a spaniel that we had as children but that got sent back because my mother said it was too much work along with looking after us three kids. We subsequently got another dog that we also called Barney and he lived until he was 18 years old.

What was the first pet you ever had? As above.

What would be your dream pet? Another Border Terrier.

If you could be any animal what would you be? A lioness

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