POLITICS

McGuinty's campaign dogged by four-legged friends at stops in Toronto, Cobourg

09/13/2011 04:06 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:23 EST
TORONTO - Comedian W.C. Fields could have warned Premier Dalton McGuinty about this one: Never work with children or animals.

McGuinty was upstaged Tuesday by a friendly 12-year-old canine who was just too adorable to resist.

The Liberal leader was visiting the Samco factory in Toronto when he made friends with Jewel, a border collie mix who belongs to Samco owner Joe Repovs.

McGuinty emerged from his tour of the plant with Jewel in his entourage, and joked that she was the new mascot.

The dog, wearing a red bandana with Snoopy on it, followed McGuinty through the factory, weaving between the crowd of photographers and staff.

Almost everyone stopped to pet her, including a clearly smitten McGuinty, who has a dog of his own named Mikki.

The premier noted Jewel was "trying to steal the scene." But he seemed happy to share the stage, even as the dog wandered, tail wagging, into a photo with some Liberal candidates in front of the campaign bus.

Jewel also made a point of cozying up to some of the Ontario Provincial Police officers assigned to McGuinty's detail. Security melted.

The premier's dog day didn't end there. Another four-legged friend showed up later at a stop at Burnham Family Farm Market in Cobourg, east of Toronto.

Casey, a golden retriever-pit bull cross, came out to the orchard to watch McGuinty pick apples. She mostly kept her distance, however, preferring to lie in the shade while the premier hobnobbed.