Dog’s Name: Benjy
Owner's Name: Michelle Thomson
Political Party: Independent
Owner's Constituency: Edinburgh West
Breed (all breeds and crossbreeds welcome): Border Terrier
Colour: Grizzle & Tan
Describe your top five doggy personality traits:
- Very affectionate & loving.
- Intelligent & Inquisitive.
- Great fun and loves to play.
- Friendly to all.
- Sniffer Extraordinaire!
What are your top doggy achievements to date (e.g. training classes, awards, tricks etc.)?
- Top office dog for Edinburgh West – meeting constituents and putting them at their ease.
- Attending a range of outdoor events in my capacity as the ‘Team Dog’ of Edinburgh West.
- Keeping the team happy.
- Being loyal, loving and affectionate to all.
- Top ‘welcome’ wag and smile.
What would you do if you were PM for the day? Any dog related issues you would tackle for your four-legged friends?
- More action needs to be taken against puppy farmers. This is a cruel and inhumane act.
- More action needs to be taken against organised dog-fighting. Harsher penalties as well as education to help people realise how distressing this can be for us.
- I would encourage more businesses to participate in ‘Take your dog to work day.
Why is it essential that all children in the UK are educated about safe interaction with dogs?
Small children don’t realise dogs are human too – they have moods, fears, and have days when they are tired and can feel a little frazzled.
What advice would you give to children about safe interaction with dogs?
Learning to read our moods is really helpful - it takes time to build a relationship where we are happy with our tails being pulled!
Why should you be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year 2016?
I am considered to be a good-looking Border Terrier and my ‘1,2,3-aww’ factor is very high. But it is really in the constituency I have become a firm part of all the events, especially those outdoors. I am a critical part of the team – a friendly wag and a sniff helps put all at their ease in no time at all. You won’t get a better MP dog!