Cavapoo puppy named Holyrood dog of the year

Holyrood’s dog of the year title has been won by Sadie and Jeremy Balfour MSP.

Judges crowned the nine-month-old Cavapoo winner of the annual contest, which aims to raise awareness of dog welfare among members of the Scottish Parliament.

Winning pup Sadie is regularly looked after by the Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour and his family as her owner works long hours.

Jeremy Balfour with Sadie won the 2019 Holyrood Dog of the Year, followed by Alison Johnstone's George and Monica Lennon's dog Cuillin (Tom Eden/PA)
Jeremy Balfour with Sadie won the 2019 Holyrood Dog of the Year, followed by Alison Johnstone’s George and Monica Lennon’s dog Cuillin (Tom Eden/PA)

Mr Balfour, entering his third Holyrood Dog of the Year competition, said: “She’s really good with children and she’s really friendly – my two girls love her.

“To win is absolutely brilliant, it’s been a really fun day.

“The whole point of the event is to publicise how good dogs can be for people and families and also about looking after a dog and issues like the impact of fireworks.”

Scottish Greens MSP Alison Johnstone MSP and her dog George were the runners-up, while Labour MSP Monica Lennon’s excitable one-year-old Labradoodle, Cuillin, was third.

Ms Lennon said: “Cuillin’s a very fun-loving puppy and he’s enjoying being part of the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition and meeting all the other dogs.

“It’s been a great opportunity to be able to talk about dogs’ welfare and talk about things that are quite scary for dogs, such as fireworks, so hopefully after today there will be much more awareness in Parliament and we will do much more to promote dog welfare.

“The Dogs Trust dogs don’t have a home at the moment so hopefully someone will come and want to be their family.”

MSPs with their dogs at the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition organised by the Dogs Trust and Kennel Club (Tom Eden/PA)
MSPs with their dogs at the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition organised by the Dogs Trust and Kennel Club (Tom Eden/PA)

The event is organised by The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, who brought along several dogs who need to find a loving owner.

Christine Grahame was one of the MSPs competing with a rescue dog and she said: “This is Rocky – a wonderful dog, three years old, full of character and looking for a home. He’s an absolute star.

“The important thing here, as well as getting these dogs rehomed, is to ask why do they need to be rehomed in the first place.

“People have got to think very carefully before they get an animal, although many of these dogs will have come from loving homes they may have been loving homes that couldn’t cope.”

Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard with his dog Copper at the Holyrood Dog of the Year contest (Tom Eden/PA)
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard with his dog Copper at the Holyrood Dog of the Year contest (Tom Eden/PA)

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard was a first-time entrant to the competition with his dog Copper.

Mr Leonard said: “This annual event tries to shine a spotlight on the importance of animal welfare in general and how we treat our dogs in particular.

“I’m here with the lovely Copper who never fails to give me an unconditional welcome every time I come home.”

The winner of the public vote was Labour MSP Iain Gray’s trainee guide dog Giles.

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