Scottish terriers or Scotties as they are affectionately known, were an integral part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony Glasgow last Wednesday night at Celtic Park with many saying they were the stars of the show!
Two of these dogs came from Fife, Freddie and his owner Peter Duncan from Lower Methil and Isla Reid and Mr Beau from Crail. Both were rescue dogs from charity Scottish Terrier Emergency Care (STEC) which was contacted by the Commonwealth Games organisers, who were looking for the breed to take part in the event.
The 41 dogs who took part made history as this is the first time that live animals have appeared in the opening ceremony.
After carfeul vetting, Freddie was allowed to take part although he and his owner were sworn to secrecy!
Peter said: “We were first contacted by the Scottie charity as it had been approached by the organisers of the Commonwealth opening ceremony looking for dogs. After careful selection, we found out that we were takign part but couldn’t say anything!
“We went through weeks and weeks of careful training as the 41 dogs taking part had to get used to the sights and the sounds as well as each other so there were many dress rehearsals.
“I had my outfit specially made along with Freddie’s jacket which we were allowed to keep. He represented the British Virgin Isles and, as there were more countries than dogs, some had to go twice, but Freddie’s job was over and done with and he got a well deserved rest.”
Despite being a minor celebrity now, Freddie seems to be taking it all in his stride.
“He was on his best behaviour throughout the whole thing,” continued Peter. “We’ve had Freddie for five years now and at first, he was a bit of a rebel but he’s well behaved now. He’s a bit older at 8 so has calmed down a bit. He doesn’t seemed bothered by all the fuss that people are making of him.”
The family already has links to the Commonwealth Games as daughter Laura Duncan was a Baton bearer who Highland danced her way along Anstruther.
“With my daughter already being involved and now Freddie, we’re linked to the Commonwealth this year.
“It’s great that Fife has played a part in such a big event and that we have also in some way been involved.”
Good friends of Freddie and Peter, Isla and Mr Beau also took part and it was Isla that rehomed Freddie with Peter and his wife Sharon.
Isla said: “My Mr Beau came into the rescue centre after a difficult start in life.
“He came to me from Liverpool with a bit of a reputation, which made him impossible to rehome, so I kept him in order to attempt some rehabilitation.
“That was six years ago, and somewhere along the way we fell in love with each other.
“I never thought in a million years that Mr Beau would ever have been able to appear at the opening ceremony, but he strode out with the best of them, representing Malawi then Northern Ireland.”
Freddie and Mr Beau were the only two rescue dogs at the games and as Peter said: “You never know, perhaps the Queen will give up her beloved Corgis for a Scottie dog!”