A MASS canine protest walk across the River Forth is taking place today.
Kate Smith and her husband Alex were due to be among the first people to walk over the new Queensferry Crossing ahead of its official opening a year ago.
But despite having official doggie ID badges, Kate’s Skye Terrier Makky and Storra were refused permission to set a paw on the £1.35 billion bridge.
Now the Forfar couple will be joined by the owners of other Skye Terriers as well as many other Scottish breeds this afternoon at a “better-late-than-never” Forth crossing.
“Alex and I thought it’d be a lovely thing to do last year and applied for the ballot,” said Kate, 67.
“We completed all the paperwork, including photos and sent it off.
“A little while after we were told that the dogs weren’t permitted as only assistance dogs were allowed.
“They did say we could bring two other people but we weren’t interested as we weren’t going without our dogs.”
The couple were surprised, but delighted, to then get a delivery with four passes, including ones made out to Makky and Storra complete with their photographs.
Kate and Alex set off early on Sunday, September 3 last year to rendezvous at a South Queensferry car park to be in plenty of time for their allocated 9.25am slot.
They even took the dogs’ Kennel Club registrations as proof they were indeed the hounds pictured.
But as they queued they were told they simply couldn’t cross and had to trek home.
“We did think it was a real cheek,” said Fiona.
“Here was this iconic dog with such connections to Edinburgh not being allowed to cross a bridge to the city.”
Now Kate and fellow dog lovers are set to mark the first anniversary in dogged fashion.
As secretary of the Scottish branch of the Skye Terriers Club, she has organised a protest walk across the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge.
“We’ll be starting in South Queensferry and going across and back,” said Kate.
“I know owners from lots of Scottish breeds, and other types of dogs, will be coming from as far afield as Oban.
“It might have taken a year, but we will finally get across that water.”