As well as meeting Horatio, I went to visit another very special Edinbugh dog last week.
This one is called Toby, and he sits at the foot of the eminent Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell - you can find the statue on George Street in Edinburgh's New Town.
You're not familiar with James Clerk Maxwell?
You certainly should be. What a good thing it is that Blogville has a resident Boffin. Let me explain.
About 150 years ago, James Clerk Maxwell developed the set of equations which unite electricity, magnetism and light into a single theoretical framework. Many scientists - not all of whom are Scottish Nationalists - consider his contributions to physics to be surpassed only by Newton and Einstein.
And what's more, he used his dog Toby as a sounding board for his ideas. (Maxwell was known for his 'social awkwardness' so perhaps no-one else would listen).
I have been imagining how those conversations went:
JCM: Toby, I have been thinking. Surely the force fields associated with electricity, magnetism and light are one and the same?
JCM: Toby, I do believe that the relationship can be accurately expressed by the following set of equations. Are these not rather elegant?
Toby: Woof woof.
JCM: Toby, it strikes me that light must travel through space at a constant speed in the form of electromagnetic waves. Do you understand my point?
JCM: Toby, in my down time from formulating classical electromagnetism I have, along with my colleague Boltzmann, been ruminating on the kinetic theory of gases, a productive line of enquiry too, wouldn't you say?
Hi, I'm Bertie, a wire-haired fox terrier pup. I live with Gail in Aberdeen, Scotland. An old Westie called Hamish used to live here but he died on 18th February 2010 (exactly the same day I was born). People tell me that he used to have a blog and that I have big pawprints to fill. That's a bit too much responsibility for a very young puppy - and anyway, I intend to make my own mark!
(Gail says that Hamish could certainly have taught me a thing or two about marking stuff....)