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Official paw-trait unveiled

Press Release   •   Nov 18, 2016 11:36 GMT

The official pawtrait of George the Ambassadog

He’s the official canine dignitary representing the Spirit of Scotland, and today (Friday) his official paw-trait will be unveiled on social media.

George the Ambassadog, who has been spreading the #ScotSpirit message across the country, looks anything but ruff in the ‘Captain George The Sea Dog’ artwork, commissioned by VisitScotland.

The illustration is the work of Edinburgh-based artist Graeme Clark, and the national tourism organisation hopes it will take the Spirit of Scotland to the world through the power of social media.

The image is based on George’s recent holiday to Dumfries & Galloway where he took in a boat trip across Loch Ken at the Galloway Activity Centre.

Graeme Clark, 28, who goes by the name Old Man Grey, has been illustrating under the pseudonym since 2013. He will post the image on his Old Man Grey Instagram account to his 32,000 followers.

It will also go on display at the Dumfries iCentre in Whitesands, overlooking the River Nith.

George, the Golden Retriever from Glasgow, was picked as Scotland’s Ambassadog following more than 200 applications and a judging process at Prestonfield in Edinburgh in May, where dog owners were assessed on their knowledge of Scotland, social media savvy and interview skills.

Since his appointment he has travelled the country enjoying the beautiful landscapes and dog-friendly attractions.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted with the artwork by Graeme Clark, who has managed to capture the fun and spirit of our own Ambassadog, George. Our global campaign – Spirit of Scotland – showcases the country’s personality, place and people to the world and invites international audiences to sample it themselves. Social media is an important part of the campaign and we hope that George’s portrait will spread the #ScotSpirit message and capture the imagination of potential visitors.”

Graeme Clark, aka Old Man Grey, said: “George has been so much fun to capture. His Instagram account and discussions with VisitScotland gave me a great understanding of his sense of adventure. A recent boat trip on his Instagram gave me the idea for Captain George The Sea Dog.

“I try to capture the personality of the pet I'm drawing. The bulk of my inspiration comes from my own dog. She's an extremely cheeky Cairn Terrier called Pip, with her own wee character, which always helps me think of ideas and keep in mind how individual each pet is.”

Emma Rae, 22, one of George’s owners who live with him in Glasgow, said: “We love what Graeme has created. George has had lots of adventures around Scotland, so it’s lovely to see artwork of him enjoying himself on the boat in Dumfries and Galloway – he certainly likes to pose for pictures and I’m sure he will be the envy of all of his dog friends.”

George the Ambassadog Fun Facts

Name: George

Breed: Golden Retriever

Hometown: Glasgow

Job: #Ambassadog for VisitScotland, as well as general dog about town

Birthday: 12 April 2015, age 1 followers: 16.2K

Best friends: Owners sisters Emma and Victoria Rae, as well as fellow golden retriever pups, Skye, Oscar, Bailey and Dexter.

Favourite food: Peanut Butter

Favourite film: Secret Life of Pets

Favourite chill out spot: Either out for a stroll around Newlands in Glasgow with human friends or with doggy pals at Dog Days daycare in Glasgow:

George’s picks for a weekend getaway:

Loch Lomond – for a splashabout and sniff-around Luss

Glasgow – for the dog-friendly cafés in Finneston and a stroll around Kelvingrove Park

Harris & Lewis – for the pawsome white sandy beaches

Dumfries & Galloway – for tail-wagging good walks, including the Rockcliffe to Sandyhills coastal trek

The Highlands – it’s the ancestral home to the Golden Retriever! A magnificent bronze statue of one of the original Golden Retrievers was erected in the centre of the village of Tomich in 2014.

For more on George and his activities, go to

To view the Ambassadog pawtrait go to

To follow George on Instagram go to

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
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