Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Christine Grahame’s pointer Mabel is crowned Holyrood’s dog of the year

Christine Grahame with her winning dog Mabel (Dan Barker/PA)
Christine Grahame with her winning dog Mabel (Dan Barker/PA)

Edinburgh has its new top dog after Mabel, a German shorthaired pointer, was crowned Holyrood’s dog of the year.

Dogs were put through their paces outside the Scottish Parliament and judges from the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club also put MSPs through theirs, quizzing them on key canine welfare issues.

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, came out on top with her one-year-old hound Mabel, but the politician was humble in victory.

“There aren’t winners here today because I think the dogs are all wonderful,” said the former deputy presiding officer.

“I think the issue is about highlighting animal welfare, dog welfare, and the fact I’m bringing a Bill forward in Parliament to make sure when people acquire a puppy, just like Mabel, (they) do their homework first and they make sure they’ve got the right household, they can afford it, and have the right lifestyle.”

“I want to stop people from buying online or from puppy factory farms. (Mabel) is a puppy that was in a super litter, was brought up properly, she’s in a happy household, all dogs should have that in their lives.”

Edinburgh is known across the world as the home of Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal Skye Terrier who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his master John Gray until he died himself in January 1872.

And, a short walk away from where his statue continues to attract the interest of the capital’s tourists, the annual competition celebrated the unique bond between dogs and their owners.

Judges at the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition (Dan Barker/PA)

Owen Sharp, the chief executive of the Dogs Trust, said it had been a “brilliant opportunity to celebrate dogs and to just make a great fuss of the great dogs in the lives of parliamentarians and staff around Holyrood”.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision, there were some fantastic dogs and some fantastic MSPs, but Mabel won for a couple of reasons,” he said.

“Firstly, (she) was very clearly a big part of the team in Christine’s office – it’s not just about MSPs dogs but about dogs which are part of the team but, also, Christine’s doing some really brilliant work to highlight many, many aspects of dog ownership in Scotland so we felt it was a really fitting winner of Holyrood dog of the year.”

Coming in second was Pam Duncan-Glancy, MSP for the Glasgow region, with her cockapoo Tony. And taking third place on the podium was Dogs Trust dog Ollie, who was being looked after by Clare Adamson.

Mabel may have won round the judges but Bluesy the greyhound, being looked after by MSP Mark Ruskell, won the public’s affection.

“It shows the real public interest there is in greyhound racing and bringing an end to greyhound racing, and reforming it, but I think it also shows just what a great breed greyhounds are to be rehomed as well,” the MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said.

“They make amazing family pets, they are so chilled out, they’re great with children, so it’s really nice to highlight just how important greyhounds are as a breed as well.”

It is the fourth dog of the year competition in Holyrood. Emma Harper, Maurice Golden, and Jeremy Balfour have been named victors in the past.