In a year that features some important anniversaries, a very special one was marked last weekend. It was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Guy Mannering, the 1815 novel by Walter Scott, which tells the story of Harry Bertram, the son of a laird, who is kidnapped by smugglers. The book, a rip-roaring historical novel set in the late 18th century was a huge success and sold out on the day of publication. Amongst a host of characters is a farmer called Dandie Dinmont who owns a number of terriers either called Mustard or Pepper depending on their colour.
In the two hundred years since the book was published the Dandie Dinmont terrier has become an established and now an endangered breed of dog. It’s antecedents if not its name go back to before the publication of Guy Mannering; Sir Walter Scott was a good friend of the 4th Duke of Buccleuch and there are paintings of both the 3rd Duke and Duchess with dogs that resemble a Dandie Dinmont. In one, by Gainsborough dated 1771, the 3rd Duke is holding a terrier and in another by Reynolds the Duchess is painted with the same dog.