Glasgow 2014: Scottie dogs steal show at ceremony
THE show-stealers at the opening ceremony for Glasgow’s Games were bearded and immaculately turned out in tailored tartan jackets.
Spectators around the world cooed in delight as Scottie dogs led the athletes into Celtic Park for the launch of the sporting extravaganza.
Some 40 Scotties took part with many “recycled” to accompany more than one of the 71 nations taking part.
Within minutes social media was abuzz with an outpouring of affection for the cute pooches with many saying they hoped to get one as a family pet.
The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for a Scottie called Hamish, who proudly led out Team Scotland.
Andy Murray’s mother, Judy, posted a photo Hamish with the Scottish athletes, with the message: “Scottie dogs in tartan coats at CG opening ceremony. Barkingly brilliant.”
And Scottish MP Jackie Baillie wrote on Twitter: “Just love the Scottie dogs! Can I have one please?”
With its characteristic sturdy stature and thrawn nature, the animal is perhaps quintessentially Scottish.
But the people who fell in love with the dogs after seeing them at the lavish opening have been warned they are not that easy to find and to buy a pup would set you back around £450.
Isla Reid, secretary of the Scottish Terrier Emergency Care Scheme, a UK-wide charity that rehomes about 100 of the dogs every year, revealed her ten-year-old rescue dog Mr Beau travelled from Fife to appear at the star-studded opening.
The dogs took part in a series of rehearsals that included emergency measures to deal with “accidents”.
Ms Reid said: “He was a right wee star on the night. He led Malawi, which I was quite excited about because Scotland has strong links with Malawi. He also led Northern Ireland, so we went round twice.”
She said Scotties are considered the most relaxed of the terrier group but are seen as being “dour”. She said: “By no means do I mean to be insulting but they’re often compared to Gordon Brown because they’re sort of dour and don’t show their feelings.
“They’re not for everybody because they can be wilful and if they’ve been treated badly they can react badly – because they’re insulted.”
Lynn Allardyce, owner of Pet Behaviour Scotland, said: “Scotties are lovely wee dogs, but they can be a bit grumpy. Terriers have a good temperament, but they can be a bit nippy and are very, very stubborn, which is often said to be a Scottish characteristic.”
Another performer at the ceremony, Jock, caused hysteria among fans when he visited a pop-up Irn-Bru store in Glasgow’s Merchant City yesterday.
Adrian Troy, head of marketing for soft drink producer A G Barr, said: “With his natural talent, star quality and rugged good looks, Jock led the athletes with pride and he’s the real ‘bone supporter’ of Glasgow 2014.”
The Scottish terrier, also known as the Aberdeen terrier, was bred to hunt small game such as rabbits and vermin in the Highlands.
The breed has long been a favourite with American presidents – Franklin D Roosevelt owned several and was inseparable from his beloved Fala. George W Bush had two black ones, Barney and Miss Beazley, during his time in office.