“Great Scots Magazine,” published locally out of a historic adobe home on Entrada Road just south of Tomé Hill, is read by subscribers around the world.
The magazine caters to Scottish terrier lovers and part of the 2,500 circulation goes to 16 foreign countries, including Australia, Japan, South Africa, England, France, Germany and Switzerland, to name just a few. While most of the subscribers live throughout the United States, publishers Joseph and Charlotte Harvill have succeeded by creating a magazine that appeals to the companionship aspect that Scotties offer.
“There are not any pure-breed magazines devoted to companionship rather than competition,” Harvill said. “The focus has been on celebration rather than competition, and it’s been a breath of fresh air.”
The Harvills recently relocated to Tomé from Albuquerque, where they started the magazine in 1995, with the first issue coming out in January, 1996. The international readership of “Great Scots Magazine” (GSM) has come through subscriptions gathered from GSM’s web site. Harvill has also published a book through Tartan Scottie Press called “The Good Life Begins With A Scottie” and a video entitled “The Scottie M.Y.S.T.I.Q.U.E.”
New Mexico and certainly Valencia County do not have an abundance of Scottie owners, so, out of necessity, Harvill had to expand his circulation area.
“There’s not even a Scottie Terrier Club of America (STCA) in New Mexico,” Harvill said. “The nearest one is Denver.”
Internet exposure has enabled GSM to reach a wide audience and succeed without many local subscribers. Rather than advertising, GSM is financed through the sale of products, such as handmade, silk-screened shirts emblazoned with Scotties. Shirt prices range from $48 to $84 each, and 70 were ordered from the last issue alone. Another product is a cast iron garden bell that features a Scottie.
Harvill pays New Mexico artists to implement many of the products he envisions. One GSM item, hand-painted on ceramic tile, is entitled the “Rainbow Bridge,” and depicts St. Francis with two black Scotties at his feet, holding a wheaten breed Scottie, which is beige in color. Harvill is particularly fond of the painting and commissioned Albuquerque artist Michelle Cook to paint his ideas on tile. Harvill tried different artists before Cook finally painted what he envisioned.
“We’ve sold those as memorials,” Harvill said. Orders for “Rainbow Bridge” have come from as far away as France, and one was even ordered for a memorial plaque in Canada.
Harvill’s articles draw, in part, from his 20 years of pastoring Christian churches in several states. He even set up a lay ministry training program in Glasgow, Scotland, where he spent seven years and fell in love with Scottish Terriers. Harvill holds a theology degree from the University of Kentucky in addition to a doctorate degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism from the same school.
In one article entitled “The Zen of Dog Walking: How to Turn Your Scottie Walking Into Mini-Retreats for your Spirit,” Harvill writes about the Scottie nature, which can totally focus on one thing and then suddenly turn and take a smell.
GSM features an “On the Road Again” adventure section, in which Harvill tells dog tales about his three Scotties, Gus, 12, Willie, 5, and the youngster, Albie, 2. Gus is a little too old to make the Good Friday pilgrimage up Tomé Hill, but Willie made the walk, and Harvill writes about Willie’s reflections in this year’s May/June issue of GSM.
“Now, I like the name pet-roglyphs, and I approve of the sacred art it stands for, too, because much of it depicts animals,” Willie dictates to Harvill about his experience on Tomé Hill. “The Native American approach to sacred things suits my Scottie sensibilities, because I’m included — right in the middle of their understanding of what is holy.”
Willie has some insightful musings on the pilgrims and other experiences, which one can learn about by reading the article.
By putting out six issues annually, rather than 12, Harvill has more time to research his articles, which can be more serious in nature. Articles detailing genetic research on bladder cancer in Scotties, which are 18 times more likely to contact the disease than other breeds, have come to the forefront recently, with possible implications for human treatment. In one national GSM convention held in Columbus, Ohio, 150 Scottie owners and friends raised $3,200 in one night to support Scottie genetic cancer research.
The Harvills are involved in Scottie Rescue locally and have contributed time and money in local dog rescues.
More information about GSM may be obtained at www.tartanscottie.com.