A local MSP is proud as punch of his prizewinning pooch who gave his rivals paws for thought at the Scottish Parliament.
Leo, a three month-old Cocker Spaniel, owned by Conservative politician Maurice Golden has been crowned winner of the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition.
The cute pup impressed the judges with his charming nature and devotion at the annual contest on Monday, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to raise awareness of animal welfare..
The event took place at the Scottish Parliament gardens at Horse Wynd, Edinburgh, where Leo showed dogged determination as he battled it out to defeat 10 ‘paw-litical’ opponents.
Mr Golden said: “I am delighted to win Holyrood Dog of the Year. Leo is certainly the cutest dog but the main reason we are here is to highlight the importance of animal welf are.
“The work the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust do for animal welfare is amazing and we all need to rally round to continue making a difference for dogs.”
The judging panel – Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, the Kennel Club’s Bill Lambert, last year’s winner and current sponsor of the event, Emma Harper MSP – spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.
Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, said: “What a tremendous day celebrating all the wonderful dogs at Holyrood today.
“It was an incredibly tough decision but Leo and Maurice really stood out for us and they should be very proud of their win.
Bill Lambert from the Kennel Club, added: “Congratulations to Leo and Maurice – the pair clearly had a strong bond which impressed the judges.
“All the MSPs and their dogs who took part were worthy winners and the competition is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the issues affecting man’s best friend and highlights the unique relationships between MSPs and their dogs”.
Second place went to Christine Grahame MSP and her Pomeranian, Chloe, from Dogs Trust, with Mark Griffin MSP and Beagle, Alfie, in third place.