Can a new pet save Boris Johnson?

Despite the fact that there has been a lot of controversy in his career, this week may well be a low point for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He suffered a major defeat in the unsuccessful vote of Brexit and is subjected to harsh criticism both at home and abroad.
Nevertheless, in the midst of this chaos, he chose for himself a new housemate who could be instagram: a 15-week-old Jack Russell Terrier named Dilin. Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds adopted him from an animal shelter and brought him to Downing Street 10 on Monday.
British media reported that the puppy was abandoned by unlicensed breeders in Wales because of its curved jaw, which made it unattractive to anyone looking for show dogs. “The prime minister has always been an avid advocate of animal welfare and believes in giving animals a better start in life,” said a representative of Downing Street.
But it is probably no coincidence that the battered politician chose this moment to bring a puppy indulging in the media into his life, said media researcher Joachim Trebbe from the Free University of Berlin to the German dpa news agency. The subconscious message, he says, is that, despite all the difficulties with Brexit, anyone who cares for a dog with a curved jaw cannot be a bad person: “It's about highlighting your human, compassionate side. He could also visit the hospital for that, "Trebbe said.
There is nothing unusual in a pet. According to the European Pet Food Federation, about 18% of households own dogs in the European Union. Some European leaders are certainly part of this statistic.
And yet, could there be something else that politicians often advertise their love for their animals, like all of us? Professor Trebbe thinks this: “From the development of social networks, we know that there is a tendency to disclose personal information in order to transform social competence into political competence. It’s like saying: “Look, I’m a normal person, like you, I have a dog and even rescued her from an animal shelter.” “When the camera catches world leaders screaming at their pets, they show a tenderness that is usually not visible on photos where they do their daily work.
There is a long history of world leaders putting their pets on display. For centuries, kings and emperors have portrayed their dogs in works of art. The four-legged favorite of the Dutch national hero Prince Wilhelm von Oranien (1533-1584) was even buried in a marble grave at the foot of the grave of his master.
In recent history, dogs of US President Barack Obama often appeared in the media. And Boris Johnson is not alone in taking a rescue dog home; French President Emmanuel Macron also brought a pet.
Is Dilin a dead cat?
For many, Johnson’s adoption decision is simply a distracting tactic. In fact, the prime minister himself described the strategy in a 2013 column for the British newspaper Telegraph, as an Australian friend told him.

“Suppose you lose an argument. The facts are overwhelmingly against you ... In these circumstances, it’s best for you to perform the maneuver that the great campaigner describes as “throwing a dead cat on the table,” he wrote. “The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout:“ God, buddy, there's a dead cat on the table! ”, In other words, they will talk about the dead cat that you want them to talk about, and they will not talk about the problem that causes you so much grief. "
Johnson is already sharing number 10 with a 12-year-old cat named Larry, who has lived there for eight years, surviving two previous prime ministers.
Ironically, the satirical Twitter account, written from the perspective of Larry Kota (@ Number10cat), attracted 324,000 subscribers. They follow the cat's caustic commentary on British politics, which also includes thoughts about his new housemate:

In the case of Boris Johnson, media researcher Trebbe is not sure if acquiring a new puppy was a good idea: “It can also be dangerous because Larry's cat, who lives on Downing Street, is already very popular,” he said. “Presumably, Larry appeared less often after the inauguration of Boris Johnson. If this is true, people can start saying: "Now he even scared a cute cat." Step by Step - How to take a screenshot Screenshot instructions for any operating systems