Cumming claims his pet pooch helped cure Sturgeon’s dog fear

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SCOTTISH actor Alan Cumming claims to have helped cure Nicola Sturgeon’s lifelong fear of dogs after introducing her to his “very soothing” pet pooch.

Cumming, known for playing Eli Gold in The Good Wife, introduced Sturgeon to his dog, Lala, when she came to see his show at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Cumming, originally from Aberfeldy, Perthshire, recounted the story whilst conducting a question and answer session with students at Castlebrae Community High School in Craigmillar.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon actually came to see my show the other night. She invited me and my band for dinner at Bute House.

“Nicola came to the show and then came to the bar for a drink, and Lala came to that. Nicola is actually terrified of dogs. I didn’t know that, it’s her Kryptonite, it’s the one chink in her armour.

“But she actually said because Lala is very lovely, and a very soothing dog, it’s the first dog then Nicola had ever felt safe with – isn’t that nice? Lala is a calming influence for world leaders.”

Cumming's dog Lala
Cumming’s dog Lala

Cumming is known for his love of animals and has a variety of pets, including two dogs, which he often brings on holiday from his New York home, and a pig.

He regularly posts about his animals’ exploits on social media, and wrote a 400-word tribute to his pig, Esther, on Instagram, yesterday, praising her “life changing smile” and “chipped pink nail polished toes”.

Cynophobia, the fear of dogs, is thought to be the third most common animal phobia, after fears of snakes and spiders.

Responding to a Twitter user in 2015 who claimed she had an aversion to dogs, Sturgeon wrote: “A fear rather than an aversion. It’s not the dogs’ fault”!

The Scottish Government confirmed today (Friday) that while Cumming did eat at Bute House, it was a private dinner and taxpayers’ money was not involved.

A spokesman said: “This was a private dinner with no cost to the Scottish Government.”

During the same question and answer session at the school, Cumming, who strongly supported the campaign for Scottish Independence in 2014, also said that he would consider returning to Scotland, to live on Barra in the Outer Hebrides if Donald Trump were to become President of the United States of America.

Cumming, Sturgeon and Lala
Cumming, Sturgeon and Lala

He said: “I really like New York. I feel like it’s a little country in itself which floats off the coast of America. It’s a very scary time now because Donald Trump is a really frightening person. Just before I came here it felt like he could actually win.

“Sometimes, I’m really terrified of living in America. Trump has been encouraging violence at his rallies. That’s what Hitler and Mussolini did.

“I have a flat back here so I feel like I’m back and forward. I can see myself moving back. I have this fantasy, mainly because my life is so crazy at time, about ending up on a really remote island in Scotland.”

Cumming's pet pig, Esther
Cumming’s pet pig, Esther

Cumming has previously voiced his love for the Outer Hebrides on social media.

When asked on Twitter in April, “Where is your favourite little spot in Scotland?” Cumming replied “The Outer Hebrides”.

He has publically ridiculed Donald Trump in the past.

After arriving in Edinburgh for his show on August 16, Cumming took to Instagram to post a picture of himself wearing a cap bearing the text “Make America Gay Again.”

This caption appears to mock Trump’s campaign slogan – “Make America Great Again”.

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