What could be better than touring the beautiful castles, lochs and glens of Scotland? Touring it accompanied by a wee white dug, of course! (Translation: dug = dog in Scottish) This is exactly what Sam Grant does and writes about it in her travel blog Scotland with the wee white dug. I asked her about her travels with the gorgeous West Highland Terrier Casper…
What made you decide to set up a blog and feature your dog? Is it more about the travel or the dug?
I’ve been sharing images of Scotland on my Instagram feed since the early days of the app. It’s primarily a Scottish travel feed. I was encouraged by friends to start documenting my travels in a blog, so in Dec 2015 I started writing ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug’. I had absolutely no idea what to call it at first or where to start as I picked up blogging quite late in the day. When I took a step back to look at what I did it became clear – I travel around Scotland with my wee dog. I’d also noticed that when I shared an image of him on my Instagram feed it generated more likes and engagement than just Scottish scenery alone. So there it was, my unique selling point or USP and the thing that would make my blog easy for people to remember – the Wee White Dug. The Wee White Dug has grown as my brand and now has a Facebook page, dedicated Instagram feed and Twitter account. I’ve retained @bean_nighe to indulge my dog free photography hobby.
How difficult is it to get your dog to pose for photos? He looks like such a natural!
He’s a natural when the mood takes him but some photos require a fair bit of patience and bribery! Beefy treats helps as do silly songs and noises – ninja like reflexes to hit the shutter button are also a big bonus.
Have you found most Scottish places are pet-friendly? Or unfriendly?
Scotland is a very dog friendly country. There’s lots of great dog friendly tourist accommodation available where dogs are made to feel really welcome. It’s easy to travel with a dog on Scottish buses, ferries and trains too. CalMac the West Coast ferry operator are a particular favourite of ours. They have designated pet areas on-board where you can sit and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee in comfortable surrounding as you travel. There are also a lot of dog friendly visitor attractions in Scotland too. Casper has explored many from castles and gardens, to museums, galleries and pleasure boat trips. I’m also noticing an increase in dog friendly shops too.
Has your dog ever been ‘badly’ behaved? Done anything mischievous? Like torn up a hotel bedspread?
Luckily no, although Casper’s a wilful terrier who can be stubborn as a mule at times, he’s a good boy and travels well. I really appreciate businesses operating a dog friendly policy so I always make sure he behaves and we treat the place with respect.
What tips might you have for travelling with your dog?
Travelling with a dog should be fun. You can pretty much do anything you’d do travelling without one. Make sure you socialise them early and consider if the environment you’re taking them into is suitable for a dog. A nice bar meal is great but a noisy bar at night may not be such a good idea. It’s a bit like travelling with a child, you always need supplies – food, bedding, toys and lots of other bits and bobs.
Anything else that you would like to add?
I’d say if travelling with your dog is something you’re considering then go for it. It’s an amazing, fulfilling experience and it helps form a really strong bond between human and pet. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
P.S. I am Scottish originally (28 years in Australia now) and grew up with West Highlands and Cairn Terriers!
I’d love to travel to Oz one day. It looks a fascinating country. I love Cairns – I did suggest getting one to keep Casper company but my husband says no!!