Guisachan Gathering1It’s an annual festival in Inverness-shire, Scotland called the Guisachan Gathering and it celebrates the birth of the Golden Retriever breed. Sponsored by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland, the first Gathering was held in 2006.

This year, 222 dogs, a record, came from around the world to pay tribute to the man who first bred them here in the mid-1800s, “made the pilgrimage to the tiny conservation village of Tomich, next to the Guisachan Estate, about a 200-mile drive north from Glasgow. Some came from as far away as Australia. Others traveled the length of the United Kingdom to attend. And there were also Spaniards, Danes, Austrians, Japanese, Italians, Canadians and a contingent of about 50 Americans on hand, among others.”

Guisachan Gathering

Guisachan was the home of Dudley Coutts Majoribanks, the first Baron Tweedmouth, from 1854 to 1894. It was here he famously bred the first golden retriever. Crufts catalogue, considered the historical British authority on all things canine, cites Lord Tweedmouth’s stud book. Tweedmouth notes the mating took place in 1868 between a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever named Nous and a somewhat rare, and now extinct, Tweed Water-Spaniel named Belle. That breeding produced four yellow puppies: Crocus, Cowslip, Ada and Primrose. It took another 64 years before the breed was officially recognized in the United States by the American Kennel Club. (PBS)

It’s a three day celebration that includes kilts, haggis (frozen for hurling), whiskey, tug-of-war and of course showing off the beloved breed, the beautiful Goldens.

Can you imagine?  Ah, what a great time that must have been…. 🙂


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