THE Scottish Parliament is never short of occasions when it comes to debating a bone of contention.
And for some politicians, their bark can often be worse than their bite.
But yesterday there was cause to, well, paws for thought.
Because the Holyrood Dog of the Year competition was the main order-order of the day.
The overall victor was Leo, a Cocker Spaniel owned by Maurice Golden, MSP for West Scotland.
Leading the opposition in second place was Dogs Trust dog Chloe, a Pomeranian competing alongside Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.
Alfie, a Beagle owned by Mark Griffin, MSP for Central Scotland, settled in third place.
This is a democracy, though, with a public vote to see who else could capture a lead.
And it saw Golden Retriever Buster crowned winner in that category with David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy.
The dog impressed the public with his charming nature and devotion to his owner and his constituents, who voted in their droves to see him scoop a victory.
The competition, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, took place in the Scottish Parliament Gardens, Holyrood, where the winner of the paw-blic vote was crowned alongside the overall competition winner.
The MSPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public.
Following a well-fought social media battle, Buster emerged victorious, showing he really is the people’s pooch after receiving a staggering number of votes via the Kennel Club’s website, beating 11 paw-litical opponents to scoop the title.
The public were asked to vote for the political pooch they deemed to be the most deserving based on their top dog credentials through their canine CVs, which includes a series of questions put to MSPs and their dogs.
Buster’s owner, David Torrance, said: “It’s been a fantastic day and Buster and I are delighted to have won this award.
“Events like Holyrood Dog of the Year are a great opportunity to raise awareness of using appropriate avenues when purchasing pets, as well as the need to train our pets to be happy, respectful members of the family.”
“Everywhere we go Buster gets lots of attention so I’m over the moon that he has proved so popular amongst the dog-loving public.
“We will definitely be back.”