“Mélanie Joly is minister of Canadian heritage and master of a dog named Naboo. The Labrador retriever/Bernese mountain dog has shadowed her to Centre Block, restaurants and a meeting with the Prime Minister.
“Je t’aime,” the minister of Canadian heritage tells the dog at their shared ofﬁce one winter evening. He is hazardously cute—his eyes all up in their sockets and paws all plump in their pads—such that Joly can’t help but bend beneath the coffee table to haul him up by his warm armpits. “When I’m with Naboo, I can be a normal person,” she says.
Joly has been fostering Naboo since last summer, while he waits to enter training as a service dog. The MIRA Foundation bred the dog to assist a person with visual impairment or autism, and until the dog was old enough for training, Joly co-parented with a friend, commuting between Ottawa and her Montreal riding with 55 lb. of domesticated joy. […]
(The dog’s birth certiﬁcate reads Naboo 17, named after a planet in Star Wars mixed with his year of birth.) […]”