Nine dogs are in the running for the coveted title of ‘Ambassadog’, or International Canine Ambassador, VisitScotland revealed earlier this week.
The search began in March when VisitScotland received applications from over 200 dogs from all corners of Scotland – from as far as Shetland!
Competition was so fierce that the original shortlist of six was lengthened to nine and there’s a large variety of potential winners. They include a city Pug, a mountain climbing Jack Russell and an adventurous Shetland Sheepdog.
VisitScotland will now work alongside recruitment agency Denholm Associates, TV personality Kaye Adams, and Dogs Trust to pick the winning Ambassadog from the finalists.
Helen Campbell, Head of Global Brand and Marketing Communications, VisitScotland said, “We have been astounded by the quantity of applications for the search for Ambassadog, as well as overwhelmed by the quality – it has been a very tough job to shortlist! It’s also been amazing to see the passion that owners and their dogs have for the spirit of Scotland. They are all ambassadors in my book, we just have to take the next step in finding our ultimate Ambassadog.”
The hopefuls will attend a final interview this month in front of a judging panel. The successful dog will have a ‘nose’ for the best food and drink, a ‘tail’ for adventure and be able to take in everything Scotland has to offer – all to be documented on social media.
George, Golden Retriever (age 1) from Glasgow
Owners: Emma and Victoria Rae
A loveable, energetic pup with a big heart, George was put forward for the role of Ambassadog by student Emma and her identical twin sister, Victoria. Although only a puppy, George has already had plenty of adventures across Scotland from the west end of Glasgow to one of his favourite places Loch Lomond where he likes to get his paws wet. He currently has 14.8k followers on his Instagram page @golden_george_
Cassie, Patterdale terrier/collie cross (age 3 ½) from Haddington, East Lothian
Owners: Andrew and Carol Duff
Rescued from a stray-shelter in Romania, adventure-loving Cassie has found a new lease of life with her owners Andy & Carol in East Lothian. From the Tyningham beach to the Lammermuir Hills, Cassie has walked them all. Cassie also treads a paw behind Andy, an Outdoor Instructor, along more adventurous journeys over all of the 4000 foot Munros; as well as helping Carol, an artist, find inspiration among local sights. Cassie has her own dedicated Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cassietherescuedog
Cluanie, Jack Russell (age 4), from North Kessock near Inverness
Owner: Micky Jones
Little Cluanie found fame as the Jack Russell who conquered Ben Nevis in a kilt. Alongside his human companion, Micky, a foreman for Morrison Construction from North Kessock in the Highlands, he has also conquered 59 of the Munro range in the last two years. Cluanie and Micky regularly raise money for the Highland Hospice and received a medal last year as the only dog who has completed the 26.02 Great Glencoe Challenge. Cluanie loves nothing more than posing for the camera – he even featured in a recent issue of Dogs Monthly! You can follow Cluanie’s adventures online including his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Cluanie
Blaze, Border Collie (age 4), from Portree, Isle of Skye
Owner: Steve Millar
A local celebrity on the Isle of Skye, Blaze has conquered many a Munro and raised over £1,000 for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue through sales of his 2014 calendar. Blaze loves to entertain the tourists and residents with his tricks. He is just as happy in the water… or on it canoeing, as he is up mountains, or getting towed around by bike in his ‘Blazemobile’ buggy. His adventures are recorded on twitter.com/Blazespage
Fenton, Shetland sheepdog (age 4), from Lerwick, Shetland
Owner: Kaylee Robertson
Fenton is a dog that loves to explore – from the wild seas and rolling hills and other places of interest or beauty in Shetland, including the burn of Lunklet, Bannamin beach and the Noness cliffs. She also loves to travel, via boat or air to Inverness and on into the rest of Scotland. Fenton lives with her owner Kaylee, an ambulance technician and amateur dog photographer, and three other dogs. Fenton’s adventures are recorded on Instagram under the Hobbitpaws name.
Manny, Border Collie (age 11 months), from Dalgety Bay, Fife
Owner: Vicky Gorn
The youngest of the bunch, Manny isn’t short of charm and loves an adventure – from the Fife Coastal Path to Torridon & Westray in Orkney. One of her favourite spots is the Bridge of Lochay Hotel in Killin where there wasn’t a shortage of cuddles for this well-travelled pooch. Manny also loves a weekend spent watching her human friends play sport, whilst also enjoying the odd agility class. Check out Manny’s adventure’s at facebook.com/manny.gorn
Sydney, Pug (age 4) from Edinburgh
Owner: Kristyn Lavery
A small dog with a big heart, Sydney loves to charm the folks around Edinburgh on her walks up Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Pentland Hills. Calling themselves ‘Scotland’s adventure couple’, Sydney and her owner, Kristyn, a nurse, love nothing more jumping into the car and head off on another adventure – be it to sitting by the River Teith enjoying a delicious hake supper or driving to Loch Etive in Glencoe. Clearly a pug with endurance that is destined to go far!
Casper, West Highland Terrier (age 3) from Edinburgh
Owner: Samantha Grant
Since he was a puppy, Casper the Westie has travelled far and wide across Scotland, most recently to the Isle of Mull (one of his favourite places) with other trips to Onich, Portpatrick and a paw-trek across a section of the West Highland Way from Kinlochleven. He is called ‘Casper the Castle Explorer’ by his mum Sam as he loves a sniff around castle ruins, including ruins Machrie Moor on Arran. Casper has his own blog ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug’ https://theweewhitedug.wordpress.com
Bertie, Fox Terrier (age 6) from Aberdeen
Owner: Dr Gail Riekie
Officially named Granddach Beinn Allign (after the Torridon Munro), but better known as Bertie, this fox terrier divides his time between Aberdeen and a cottage on the shores of Loch Torridon. He has travelled extensively all over Scotland with his owner Gail, a geophysicist, from dog-friendly cafés in Aberdeen to Glen Tanar and Morven on Deeside, quaint villages of East Neuk and an epic ascent of Maol Chean-dearg. His adventures are chronicled on the blog www.bouncingbertie.blogspot.com