Mark Ruskell and Bert

Dog's Name: Bert.

Owner's Name: Mark.

Political Party: Green.

Owners Constituency/ Region:  Mid-Scotland and Fife.

Breed (all breeds and crossbreeds welcome):  Greyhound.

Sex: Male.

Age: 4.

Colour: Brindle.

Describe your top five doggy personality traits.

I’m an effective table clearer. My people always make a mess and the little ones never finish their meals, with my tall legs and long snout I can clear most surfaces in a whisker.

As a greyhound I’ve got the second fastest acceleration of any land animal on the planet. A straight path is all I need to take off, although I like to stop and wait for my people to catch up.

I’m sleepy and cuddly. As an ex-racing greyhound I’m enjoying my retirement in a nice warm house with lots of attention. My human mum has been off work recovering from an operation for the last few months and I love coming up on the bed to keep her company.

I like to watch rugby matches and bike races where the little ones compete. I need to be kept on a lead though otherwise I join in. I can also keep little hands warm on Winter days under my coat.

I enjoy meeting people. I love it when new people come to the door and sometimes my human dad takes me to polling stations where I always get more attention than he does.

What are your top doggy achievements to date?

I raced professionally for two years and still have the ear tattoos to prove it.

I had a nasty break in my wrist from racing but have recovered enough to still be able to run short distances.

I’ve learned that cats are not all evil and in time we can live peacefully together.

I went on a protest to protect greenbelt for dog walking and ended up on Reporting Scotland the same day Ruth Davidson rode that Bison.

I’ve helped to make my human family complete.

What would you do if you were First Minister for the day?

Bute House has a lovely sofa. I’d tuck my legs up and have a good sleep on it. Then later I’d run rings round Charlotte Square Gardens.

What dog related issues do you think need tackling in Scotland for your four-legged friends?

I think back to my racing days and know many of my fellow racers who disappeared after they were injured. More needs to be done to give them as lovely a retirement as I have.

A lot of dogs are being bought by people tapping at computer screens, they can’t properly see where the puppies live and if they are happy or not. That needs to stop.

Some people called breeders don’t always look after puppies and their mums. There are people from the council who need to check that they are OK.

Some people want to train us using electric shock collars. I’d rather have a biscuit instead.

For now, every puppy in Scotland has a tail. Tails are very useful for staying upright. If your tail gets hurt then, like a leg, it should be treated, there is no need to cut it off.

People need to help other people learn how to look after us, that also means making sure we can be tracked down if we get lost or are stolen.

Which three dead or alive celebrity dog owners (political or otherwise) would you invite to your fantasy doggy dinner party?

I fancy a run and a good sniff round Holyrood Palace gardens, so maybe the Queen could let me party with the corgies.

Rick Stein could do the food in memory of his faithful pal Chalky.

Like me, David Cameron is retired and his dog days are over. He used to like hugging huskies, he could always pat a greyhound instead.

Why should you be crowned Holyrood Dog of the Year 2017?

As a working dog, I’ve seen it all and had my fair share of troubles. But I’ve landed on my feet and now I’m absolutely spoilt rotten.

If I win I’d like to use my new found status to help promote the re-homing of other dogs with heart breaking back stories and secure world peace.

Click here to vote for Bert

Related Topics

Holyrood Dog of the Year
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