Puppy love adds to appeal of event

Owners and their charges pose for a group photo by the Old Ginger statue. All the Dandie Dinmonts alive today can trace their breeding back to this one dog born in Selkirk in 1842.
Owners and their charges pose for a group photo by the Old Ginger statue. All the Dandie Dinmonts alive today can trace their breeding back to this one dog born in Selkirk in 1842.

More than 60 Dandie Dinmonts graced the grounds of the Haining Estate in Selkirk on Saturday for the breed’s fifth annual derby.

Owners came from far and wide to put their diminutive dogs through their paces in a variety of races held at the birthplace of the rare breed, and many others went along to witness the spectacle.

A dog gets off to a flier in the derby.

A dog gets off to a flier in the derby.

Organiser Shona Allan said: “We had the youngest-ever competing Dandies, at about 16 weeks old, and both were adorable and caused a big fuss.

“The owners of these puppies have been extremely lucky as there are only 100 Dandie Dinmonts are born every year.

“One of the reasons why they are so rare is because of the lack of publicity, and puppies cannot always find homes.

“That’s one of the main reasons for holding the event.”

She added: “For the second year, we also had a stall at Selkirk’s farmers’ market, and the Dandies drew a big crowd.”

Next year’s derby will be a mighty event, she reckons.

Shona said: “James Davidson, or Dandie Dinmont as he was called by his peers, died in 1820, and next year will be the bicentenary of his death.

“We will be celebrating his life at Oxnam Kirk, where he is buried.

“Francais Somner, a famous Dandie breeder, is buried in Kelso, and we are also going to celebrate his life and his love of the Dandie Dinmont terrier.”