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Games opening ceremony: how the Scottie dogs stole the show

The Scottie dogs which took part in the athletes' parade stole the show at last night's Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Fans flocked to Twitter to tell of their delight as the terriers trotted around Celtic Park sporting red tartan coats bearing the name of the national team they were leading out.

Around 40 Scotties took part in the celebrations in Glasgow, with many "recycled" to accompany more than one nation.

But it all became too much for some weary animals and they had to be carried around the stadium.

Jacqui McKinnon said that her pet Jock had auditioned for the star role in the opening ceremony, but when the big day came he unexpectedly staged a sit-down protest.

She said: "The dogs dealt with it really well; it's just Jock decided he wasn't walking. As soon as I put his Malaysia coat on he thought 'I'm sitting down'. So Jock was the one who was carried around the Celtic stadium."

She said her Scottie was giving the world a taste of the breed's trademark stubbornness.

"They are very good-natured, they have great temperaments, but in Scotland we say they are thrawn, which means they are stubborn", she said.

"And when they take a notion, there is just no budging them. You can try food, everything. They will take the food, but still not budge."

And she revealed that backstage the dogs were pampered by a special team of trainers and vets to ensure they were looking and feeling their best for their moment in the spotlight.

She said: "They were absolutely fantastic, the team - they had a vet, they had a dog trainer, they all had crates if they wanted to go in the crates, there was water, there were fans. They looked after the humans as well, but the dogs were absolutely fantastic."

The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Hamish, who proudly led out Team Scotland at the Games where 71 nations will compete for sporting glory.

His owner, Aaron Chisholm, said: "It was amazing. It was quite loud but it was a really, really good experience."

His father, Barry, said the Games helped to showcase the famous dog breed.

Asked why he had chosen to have a Scottie, he said: "We just like the breed, we like the dog and have always loved him, so why not? Why wouldn't you have a beautiful Scottie dog?"

Twitter was awash with messages from fans who said the Scotties were the true stars of the show.

Andy Murray's mother, Judy, posted a photograph of Hamish leading out the Scottish team, with the message: "Scottie dogs in tartan coats at CG opening ceremony. Barkingly brilliant."

Jackie Baillie MSP tweeted: "Just love the Scottie dogs! Can I have one please?" while Heather Patterson wrote: "These Scottie dogs are the best thing about this ceremony... pure class."

The dogs also prompted some Twitter banter, with Patrick McPartlin joking: "Impressed at how the man and the Scottie manage to get back round for each new country in time. Fair play to them."

And Scottish MP Jackie Baillie wrote on Twitter: "Just love the Scottie dogs! Can I have one please?"

Roving across Scottish places and culture, the ceremony featured stars such as Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Dr Who actor John Barrowman, and dancers from Scottish Ballet who performed a routine to an acoustic version of The Proclaimers hit I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles).

During the parade of athletes, each team was led by a Scots man or woman in tweeds walking a Scottish terrier wearing a jacket bearing the name of the country.

The member of the Tonga team who waved a Celtic top during the parade also drew plenty of Twitter attention.

A fast-moving ''Kingdom of the Scots'' sequence featured the firing of the One O'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle, a giant haggis and Tunnock's teacakes.

Alistair Darling MP, chair of the Better Together campaign, tweeted: "Brilliant opening to the Glasgow 2014 #CommonwealthGames - great atmosphere here at Celtic Park."

Some micro-bloggers praised the way the ceremony highlighted the work of Unicef after actor Ewan McGregor featured in video footage from Bangladesh showing the work of the body.

Angus Robertson MP wrote: "Great initiative of @glasgow2014 Commonwealth Games to support @unicef with global appeal with @mcgregor_ewan."

However the ceremony did not meet with universal approval.

Former socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie wrote: "Right. I've tried. But this is out of touch, classist, patronising & a caricature of Scotland through a Victorian prism."

She added: "I'm actually upset. Really wanted to like it. Ballet not enough to redeem it. Honestly. Andy Stewart."

However other Scots were full of praise for the ceremony.

First Minister Alex Salmond wrote: "It is Scotland's honour to stage 11 days of sport & culture which are our Commonwealth Games. They belong to us all. Welcome to Scotland."

Sir Chris Hoy tweeted: "What an atmosphere!! Just amazing!"

There was a brief moment of embarrassment during the ceremony when the baton containing the Queen's message refused to open for Prince Imran of Malaysia, the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, to release the manuscript.

But Sir Chris, who had carried the baton to the prince, instinctively came to the rescue.

Afterwards he tweeted: "Blimey, that was like trying to solve a Rubik's cube! #phew."

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