Anyone who knows even a little bit about me inevitably knows my love for dogs—all animals, really, but mostly dogs. Throughout my time in Scotland I’ve discovered that the country shares my enthusiasm for the loyal canines.
There are dogs everywhere in Scotland. And I’m loving every minute of it.
Whenever I leave St. Louis, I like to take photos of all the cute pups I see. It soon became impossible to document every dog I came across in Scotland because of the sheer abundance of them, but I still managed a decent bunch.
On the Isle of Arran, I was charmed by how frequently I came across farmers walking through fields of sheep with a border collie close at their heels. And on the ferry over to Arran, we sat in an area with a bunch of dogs that were travelling to the isle with their families.
There are a lot more dog-friendly establishments here than in St. Louis, too. I’ve found that it is more common to see an “assistance dogs only” sign in windows prohibiting dogs than those encouraging dogs, because it pretty much goes without saying that most places are dog friendly.
Parks are full of people playing fetch with their pets. Dogs ride in the passenger seat of cars. I even passed a couple walking their dog at two in the morning. This country loves their dogs.
Going beyond just the dogs I’ve seen in real life, I’ve seen plenty of evidence of beloved dogs from the past. When we toured Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, quite a few of the paintings on the walls were portraits of Victorian-era people with their dogs looking noble at their side. Not just one or two paintings, either. I’d say probably 25 percent of the paintings showed dogs, and there were paintings covering the walls. There were even some sketches and watercolor paintings of dogs fighting bears or other dogs. That’s totally not cool with me, but I thought it was noteworthy.
I guess this is a silly blog topic, but I’ve been thinking about all the dogs in Scotland since the beginning of this trip. I’m thinking about dogs most of the time, really.