Pawparazzi prints on the red carpet

Heston with legendary funnyman Billy Connolly
Heston with legendary funnyman Billy Connolly

They say a dog will always follow its nose, but one Falkirk fido is using his to sniff out the stars.

Heston is a 10-year-old golden retriever who likes nothing more than hot footing it with his aunty to meet celebrities and collect some autographs.

With crooner Tom Jones

With crooner Tom Jones

He’s met Billy Connelly, Rio Ferdinand, Tom Jones, John Hartson, Brenda Blethyn, Peter Capaldi and Tom Cullen to name but a few and has been a hit with everyone.

And he’s just added more famous names to his portfolio courtesy of the Edinburgh International Film Festival including James Cosmo and Brian Cox.

But why does this particular hound melt the hearts of so many?

He strikes a chord when you learn that his promising career as a seeing-eye dog came to an abrupt end because he found it tricky to concentrate on any task when there was food around.

With actor Brian cox

With actor Brian cox

He’s also now, ironically, completely blind himself due to diabetes, and has had one eye removed due to a developing glaucoma.

But owner Linda McDonald from Larbert says that what he lacks in sight he makes up for with personality.

“Everyone from celebrities to local shoppers love hearing about Heston,” said Linda.

“He makes people smile, because he’s so loving and he will nuzzle into you.

With Dowton Abbey's Tom Cullen

With Dowton Abbey's Tom Cullen

“People just can’t resist him. We used to do the car boot sale at Falkirk Stadium every Sunday and people just used to come up and talk to him, and I don’t know them at all.

“He has an aura about him and people gravitate to him.

“My sister, Carol Honeyman, is an autograph hunter and for the past few years she has been taking Heston with her.

“He’s just been to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and one night last week, he didn’t come home until 1am! He loves the attention he gets from famous people.”

Linda (53), who lives with husband Alan in Queens Court, adopted Heston when he was two years old from the Guide Dogs for the Blind training centre in Forfar.

He didn’t make the grade as an assistance dog because he was easily distracted by food and preferred eating to following commands.

As he got older, he developed arthritis and diabetes which affected his sight, and the family spent thousands of pounds on eye operations, and currently spend hundreds a month on insulin and pain relief.

Linda added: “Being blind doesn’t bother him, he uses his nose more than anything and can still do most things like walking off the lead. He also lost his bark because of a paralysed larynx. That doesn’t really affect him much either as guide dogs are discouraged from barking.

“But we have also been warned that he may need a tracheostomy to help him breathe at some point but we are trying not to worry about that at the moment.”

But Linda would also like to treat Heston to hydrotherapy which would ease his arthritis and really make his tail wag.

She said: “He would be in his element because he loves the water. It would be like all his Christmases and birthdays had come at once.

“What we would like most of all is for Heston to have his sight back, so if anyone knew of any surgical procedure or treatment out there, we would appreciate knowing about it.

“He has probably had everything done for him already, but you never know.”