Fringe programme advert dog is turned away from venue

Nina Snowball recalls her modelling career back in 2004
Nina Snowball recalls her modelling career back in 2004
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For one unlucky dog, things are about as rough as they can get

Despite being one of the stars in the Fringe’s advertising campaign a few years ago, sad pug Nina Snowball has fallen from grace after being banned from visiting the new Assembly venue because of her canine status.

Nina Snowball, who paraded across the pages of the Fringe magazine in 2004, as well as appearing on flyers and an eight-foot billboard, was refused entry at the George Street venue on Friday night due to their strict “no dogs allowed” policy.

Nina’s owner, Don Dixon, from Haddington, said he hadn’t name-dropped Nina, but blasted the policy as “ridiculous”.

The 45-year-old pet shop owner said: “I’ve been to plenty of Festival venues that are dog friendly, but we were stopped by the doorman who said it was a council policy, then mumbled something about public safety and allergies.

“We had all gone for a night out, we were polite and suited and I thought it was ridiculous.

“Nina can be a diva, but she’s 11 years old now, very quiet, tiny, partially blind and deaf and very well behaved.

“They said I could stand with my drink and dog on the pavement, which I pointed out could contravene alcohol consumption rules.

“I didn’t tell them that Nina was a famous Fringe dog – I don’t name-drop.”

Nina, who featured extensively in the Fringe magazine and on an eight-foot billboard in the Morse Picket Tent in Princes Street Gardens, was scouted by the Fringe along with four other canines after being spotted by one of Don’s friends, who owns a Chinese Crested.

Commenting on the ban, Don said he hoped the Assembly venue would reconsider its policy.

He said: “People love pugs, they adore them and they always want to speak to Nina. She’s not causing any harm at all, and she did her bit for the Fringe. Now her pug face is even sadder than usual.

“The Festival is a family place and people should be able to bring children and dogs without this needless bureaucracy. We saw other dogs in the venue too.”

He added: “The Udderbelly is fine with letting dogs in, I’ll be going there from now on.”

Michael Harris, programme manager and producer at the Assembly, joked that the dog wasn’t allowed in because she “was very drunk and abusive”.

He added that there was a “no dogs” policy, except for guide dogs.