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Meet Walter: Wee Walking Tours' New Chapter in the 'Book of Golden Stories'

It is certainly an understatement to say that 2023 was a very difficult year for the Wee Walking Tours family as we lost three of our beloved canine family members- Stirling, Finn, and Sawyer. Yet, there were glimpses of hope this past year. So, join us as we introduce our sweet Golden Retriever puppy and share a bit about his first year with the family.

 


Hope Through Grief

Life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes it takes us in directions that we never expected to go. We’ve learned that it's important to embrace the uncertainty and trust that everything will work out in the end. After all, some of the most beautiful things in life come from unexpected places, and that is how a wee Golden Retriever puppy came to the Wee Walking Tours family.

 

While respecting our grief, a friend reached out to us about a litter of Golden Retriever puppies looking for new homes. I’m not going to lie, at first the thought of getting another puppy seemed like a betrayal to Stirling. However, ultimately we knew that a puppy wouldn’t be a replacement for him, but rather a new addition to the family.


We found out that the mother of the puppies was a therapy dog for children, and we decided to go visit them. Of course, as soon as we saw the sweet Golden puppies we were goners. One plump little fluffball caught our attention, and we knew that we had found the newest Wee Walking Tours family member.



After much thought and consideration, we decided to name our wee pup, Walter, after Sir Walter Scott. Long-term readers of this blog will know that we are admirers of the celebrated Scottish author. For example, you can read our previous articles about his home, Abbotsford, or the Scott Monument- a magnificent architectural structure dedicated to him in Princes Street Gardens here in Edinburgh.


Perhaps we should have heeded the origin of Walter’s name a bit more- it means ‘Commander of the army’. Because, from the moment he came home, our fearless wee Walter thought he would let his older brothers, Finn and Sawyer, know that he was ‘in charge’. It was adorable to watch our two older boys let their new baby brother think he was calling the shots.



Lessons Walter Learned from Finn and Sawyer

Walter was fortunate that he was able to spend the first nine months of his life with his big brothers- Finn and Sawyer. As Sawyer was at ‘work’ (doing walking tours of Edinburgh with his dad, Sami) quite a bit during Walter’s first few months, Walter formed a particularly strong bond with Finn at home. It was so sweet to watch how Finn taught Walter the importance of empathy and patience. Finn would gently guide Walter with their interactions and would then let him snuggle close when his wee brother eventually succumbed to exhaustion.

 


Walter was fortunate that his big brother, Sawyer, also helped with his puppy training, and took him on many different adventures. One of his first was into Edinburgh city centre. Sawyer clearly was excited to show his baby brother how to get on the bus, where he went to ‘work’, and all his favourite spots in the city centre- which, of course, had to include a visit to pay their respects to Greyfriars Bobby and his owner, John Gray, at Greyfriars Kirkyard.

 



Sawyer also brought Walter to his first castle, Aberdour Castle (which we will be writing about in a future post), to the Traquair Medieval Fayre, Paisley Abbey, and his first beach visit to Portobello, Edinburgh to name just a few.



Our plan was always to enjoy Walter’s puppy time to ourselves as we were still grieving Stirling and just wanted to focus on family time. We wanted to introduce Walter sooner, but with the health issues and passing of Finn and Sawyer, the right/appropriate time just wasn’t there.


It wasn’t just a horrendously difficult time for us when Finn passed suddenly only to be tragically followed by Sawyer three weeks later. Poor Walter lost his beloved brothers, and it took him a bit of adjustment trying to figure out why they weren’t there anymore. However, he has been receiving so much love and reassurance from us, and we even took him on some fun wee adventures that we will be sharing with all of you in the coming months.


However, we would like to share some pictures of a pilgrimage we took Walter on to the Scottish Borders to learn a bit more about his famous namesake. We first went to Smailholm Tower (we’ll be writing about this in a future article) as that was where Sir Walter Scott spent a great deal of his childhood and honed his imagination for the stories he would write as an adult.

 


We then brought Walter to pay his respects at Dryburgh Abbey where Sir Walter Scott is buried.

 


We finished our pilgrimage with a visit to Scott’s View. There, Walter was able to follow in his brothers’ paw prints and admire the view as they once did.

 




Over the past few months, it has been a joy to watch our wee Walter grow into a handsome adolescent Golden.



While he has his own unique, determined personality, he also displays some endearing traits he learned from his brothers. For example, he is quite empathetic and loves to bring us toys just like his big brother, Finn, used to do. And, in typical dramatic fashion that he could have only learned from his big brother, Sawyer, Walter has also started to show a penchant for wearing costumes (although he might not be quite as happy about it yet as Sawyer was😂).



"Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars...So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I." We like to think that our great king of the past, Sawyer, is guiding our wee 'Simba'-Walter.


We don't know if Walter will ever end up joining Sami on our Wee Walking Tours of Edinburgh. If he does that will be great, but it is up to him, and we'll have to see if he is interested in doing them. In the meantime, he is training every day for regular, happy puppy life, and he will continue to join us on adventures around Scotland.


So, as we begin 2024, we are happy to share some positive news with all of you, and we close this blog post by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! We are excited for the new adventures that our wee Walter will get to experience in the coming year, and we are thrilled to include all of you.

 

We will also continue to honour the legacy of Stirling, Finn, and Sawyer by writing blog posts and making videos that feature their past adventures that we haven’t had a chance to share yet. Therefore, please be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms- YouTube, Instagram, Threads, Facebook, X/Twitter, and TikTok- as well as subscribe to our blog so that you never miss one of our Scotland travel articles as soon as they are published.


Until next time- Explore & Discover!


🎶But as long as I can see the morning

In miracles, much more than I can say

It's enough to keep me still believing

In drifting hearts so far away...🎶


-Runrig, Book of Golden Stories



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