Top Ten political pets

Written by Justin Cash on 11 September 2013 in Culture
Best in show or first to go? This month Total Politics looks at some real political animals

A little-known fact about former deputy PM John Prescott: he was once awarded the North of England Zoological Society’s gold medal. Even a giant of the political world like Prezza shouldn’t take on this Asian elephant, though.

Moo-ving on up
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie here grapples with… Maggie, a Charolais calf. A meaty photo op during her 1979 election campaign or was she just cowed by the press?

Guiding light
Former home secretary David Blunkett’s guide dog Sadie was a much-loved companion until her sad passing last year. Blunkett even once sustained a broken rib while trying to safeguard her from a cow that charged at the pair in the Peak District.

Leader of the pack
Teeth set to sink into politics, Charlie Elphicke MP’s Norfolk Terrier Star takes home the gold at Westminster’s Dog of the Year competition in 2012. Just time for a fur-tive prize-winning ceremony before the paw-parazzi swoop in…

We shall fight them in the pouches
Winston Churchill was one of a kind, but so was his kangaroo Digger. The only albino of the species in Europe, Digger arrived at London Zoo courtesy of the Australian Stockbreeders Association.

Photo above from Angus MacNeil MP 

E-Ewe exit?
When SNP MP Angus MacNeil isn’t campaigning for Scottish independence, he likes to tend to his 15-acre croft. The cutest advert for Scottish independence you’ll ever see, this dressed-up lamb is one of his current herd of around 30 sheep.

Paws for thought
Norihisa Satake, governor of Japan’s Akita region, struggles to hold onto Siberian cat Mir. The slippery feline was a gift from Vladimir Putin, in return for a Japanese dog presented to the Russian president in gratitude for aid during the 2011 tsunami.

Picture purr-fect
Chief Mouser at the Cabinet Office, Larry was brought into Downing Street to catch rodents – although he didn’t nab his first mouse for a good few months. Life in office has clearly taken its toll: last year, Larry got into a fight with the Treasury’s moggy Freya.

(First) Lady and the Tramp 
The Obamas’ Portuguese Water Dog Bo has become a favourite with the American public after being snapped around the country accompanying the First Family. Rumour abounds that he travels in his own separate plane, but we suspect that’s all bark and no bite.

A candidate’s best friend
This adorable photo of White House hopeful Herbert Hoover with pet dog King Tut was wheeled out during his 1928 presidential campaign. Hoover went on to win the election the following year, becoming the 31st president of the United States. Coincidence? We think not.

This article is from the August 2013 issue of Total Politics

Tags: Issue 61, Life, Top Ten

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