A WEST End man has taken on the task of making it the Merriest Christmas a cruelly abandoned dog called Spike has ever had.
After retiring from the nearby State Hospital, Les Hunter threw much of his spare time into a dogs' welfare charity very close to his heart - the Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue (SSBTR).
Unfairly, the Staffie suffers guilt by association with the 'ned' culture.
Many are abandoned by their uncaring owners and this was what made necessary the formation of a group like the SSBTR.
Les says: "Spike was found tied to a railing outside a vet's surgery by one of the vet nurses when she arrived for work at 8.20am.
"He was sitting in a large puddle and appeared to have been there all night in dreadful weather.
"He is microchipped, which is why we know his name and age – seven and half years – but, when the vets rang the number the chip is registered to, there was no answer.
"Fortunately, Spike is now safe in kennels and looking for a new home with people who won't leave him tied up in a storm."
For more information on this story, pick up a copy of this week's Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.