Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blondes do have more fun........

“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are also human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, "Let's go!" and lead them on a great adventure.” 
― Dean Koontz

It began in 2006 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland and last year, 222 Goldens arrived to celebrate the breed.  The Friends of Guisachan plan for an even larger crowd in 2018 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the breed.  They hope to have a commissioned life size bronze Golden Retriever to place near the granite markers for Lord and Lady Tweedmouth.

Guisachen Estate, near the conservation village of Tomich, is located about 200 miles north of Glasgow.  It is the home of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, Lord of Tweedmouth who developed the breed in 1868.  At that time in history, many of the aristocrats were developing their own hunting dogs that were both practical and good looking.  Tweedmouth liked the golden color of a dog he had purchased and set about to develop a golden coated retrieving dog that also enjoyed the water.  He bred his original yellow wavy coated retriever that came from Lord Chichester's breeding with a Tweed Water Spaniel.  From this mating he kept the golden coated pups and started to carefully line bred and out crossed to develop the dog he wanted.  He continued this through 1889 while adding black Wavy Coated Retrievers, Tweed Water Spaniels and at one point, a Red Setter to improve upland hunting abilities and a Bloodhound to improve the tracking ability.

It took 64 years before the breed was recognized by the AKC but the breed has stayed a popular breed world-wide.  The breed is very versatile, have a coat like a gold coin and a happy face that seems to be always smiling without looking goofy.

The event last year lasted three days and was more than just a bunch of dogs milling around,  There was a dog show, tug of war tournament with teams made up of visiting coutries and the all important donning of the kilt for frozen haggis tossing.  The celebration planned for 2018 should be even larger and packed with plenty of types of fun.

 It is no wonder that all 222 dogs and their owners had so much fun at the gathering at their historic birthplace.


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