Sir Walter Scott’s dog, Maida

Sir Walter Scott’s dog, Maida

Next to Sir Walter Scott on the world’s largest monument in the world to a writer is a sculpture of his favourite dog, Maida.

Maida was a deerhound given to Scott by a friend and would become his dearest canine friend. Outside the door of Abbotsford, Scott’s Borders home, a statue of Maida lies with the words “Maidae marmorea dormis sub imagine Maida / Ante fores domini sit tibi terra levis” carved around it. “Beneath the sculptured form which late you wore sleep soundly, Maida, at your master’s door.”

Scott was famous for his love of dogs, and they more often than not appeared in portraits with him. He cancelled a dinner engagement on the death of one, Camp, and buried him in sight of the window where he usually wrote.  The friend who had expected Scott completely understood why he couldn’t face company that evening. Scott also gave his name to a breed of dogs. The Dandie Dinmont is named after a character based on James Davidson, who originally bred them in Guy Mannering.