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The Christmas Dog – The Scottish Terrier

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362 – The Annual, 2016-2017


Soon that happy time of festivities will be upon us all again and I don’t know if it is simply part of growing older but every year Christmas seems to arrive earlier and earlier. The candle inside my hollowed-out pumpkin has barely been snuffed out before the box of dusty decorations are being dragged down from the attic, the air is scented with cinnamon and the Christmas tree is being selected!

Animals play a very important role in the yuletide celebrations and a number have developed strong associations with it, for example, the Robin, the Donkey and of course, the Reindeer but what breed of dog does one automatically think of when one thinks of Christmas?

Just recently Pugs have become very popular; their highly expressive faces often appearing on our Christmas cards but, traditionally, I have always thought of the Scottish Terrier as being the ultimate Christmas dog. There is something about his shape, those heavy eyebrows and that big beard (somewhat reminiscent of a canine Santa) that, when teamed with the warm colors of some Scottish tartan, just scream ‘Christmas is here!’

And it is something advertisers through the ages have also capitalized upon with his whiskered face appearing on many Christmas cards and his iconic silhouette decorating rolls of wrapping paper. The breed is also featured in numerous Christmas advertising campaigns, notably for Black and White Whisky (where he is featured alongside his buddy, a West Highland White Terrier). He is also quite often to be found decorating the front of those large tins of Christmas biscuits and shortbreads, once again, often in the company of his West Highland White pal.

But this little fella has far more claims to fame than his image just decorating Christmas cards and tins of shortbread, for this dog comes from a long and proud lineage and one born out of fierce controversy and passionate argument and all of this has molded and gifted us a breed of unique character and personality – something that has been appreciated by the great and the good worldwide. The thirty-second President of the United States, Franklin D Roosevelt, was certainly a fan of this plucky terrier; his beloved Scottie ‘Fala’ is included alongside his statue in Washington DC and that presidential favoritism was repeated by the forty-second President, George W Bush, and his much-loved Barney, who could often be seen running around the White House gardens. That famous expression, ‘What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog’ was inspired by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s favorite Scottie. And what other breed can lay claim to being immortalized as a Monopoly piece?

Click here to read the complete article
362 – The Annual, 2016-2017

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  • November 2020