Friday, September 5, 2014

A Day at the Scottish Games with Two Greyhounds

Last weekend my husband and I attended the Virginia Scottish Games.

For anyone who isn't familiar with the Scottish Games festivals, these are annual celebrations including events such as terrier races, border collie sheep herding, clan kiosks, authentic food, whiskey tasting, and vendors selling kilts, tartans, tams, etc. In Virginia, the festival is usually held in The Plains, near Middleburg, but the Scottish Games in general can be found all over the country.

I'm of Scottish heritage, so this festival appealed to me on an ancestral level, but also because of its dog-friendly nature. Chase and Trinity happily joined us on our adventure.

So what great activities did with partake in? Next to none. Why? Because when you have greyhounds, you cannot walk more than three feet without someone stopping you with a barage of the following questions?

"Is that a whippet?"

"Can I pet your dog?"

"Is that a Great Dane?"

"What kind of dog is that?"

And invariably, fellow greyhound owners attend these events, and you end up in a forty-five minute discussion about greyhounds, rescues, racing history, geneology, etc.

Here is a list of a what my husband and I did  at the Scottish Games besides stop and talk to people about our dogs:

  • Looked at one wool sweater (but we never made a deicision about buying it because people were stopping to talk to us about our dogs)

  • Watched half of a sheep herding event (Chase and Trinity were too restless to stand still for more than a few minutes)

  • Bought food (but had to stand and eat, and as Trinity jerked at the end of her leash,  the remaining contents in my bowl of haggis flipped over and into my purse)

  • Drank a beer (successfully)

  • Stepped and fell into a hole badly bruising both knees

  • Viewed British imported and antique cars (but only saw a few--waylaid talking to other greyhound owners whose dog was distantly related to our retired racer).

Finally, exhausted after three hours of talking to people and seeing next to nothing, we walked what seemed like three miles back to our car and headed home to collapse.

The dogs had a great time.


  1. Greyhounds are sweethearts. Haggis in the purse--not so sweet.


  2. Haggis in the mouth ain't all that sweet, either... at least, as I recollect it. My father and his family were originally from Scotland, and my grandmother made haggis when I was a kid. The original kind, boiled in a sheep's stomach... and made of heart, liver, and lung. (If I remember right.) Just seeing that stomach piece hanging out of the pot was enough to predispose me to not like the stuff. But that was a loooong time ago. Maybe I'd like it nowadays. (But definitely not in my purse!)

    I do love the Scottish games, though. The tabor toss is my favorite thing to watch. Picture shirtless men in kilts, muscles bulging, and sweat glistening in the sunshine... (ahem) Yes, 'tis a wonderful cultural event.

    1. Susan, it's actually pretty tasty! Kind of spicy--absolutely scrumptious with "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes). And yes! We wanted to see the actual GAMES--alas, 'twas not to be....

  3. How awesome!!! I love any event that brings dogs into things. As another blogger pointed out, "May I pet your dog?" always puts the pet owner in an uncomfortable place. My dog won't bite, but it just makes me a little scared this will be the one time she does and I'll be sued for everything I own!

    1. Ha! Yes, I know what you mean. Both of my dogs are lovers, but you just never know...

  4. Oh I always loved the Scottish Games and enjoyed them when I lived in NOVA. There are some here in NC, but not anywhere nearby so I haven't made it to one yet. The sheep herding was my favorite event to watch. This was a really funny blogpost - I could picture in my mind all the things with the dogs. I know WE always stop people with dogs - of most any kind - so I'm sure you all really pulled a lot of people in. Glad the dogs had fun! ;)

    1. Yeah, I kind of laughed as I was writing this too. At any other time I wouldn't have minded--we love talking to others about our dogs--it was just that we couldn't seem to move more than a few feet without having to stop and chat. Ideally, we would do two days there -- one for us and one for the dogs.

  5. It does sound like fun; maybe next year go without the dogs? I think I would have enjoyed seeing the herding event since Koda's breed are herders too :)

    Makes you also want to suggest to the organizers to post a sign "please do not ask to pet other people's dogs" (or maybe I'm just a bit sensitive to that issue :)


    1. Betty, we have discussed leaving dogs at home next year if we actually want to SEE anything! :)