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Bobby the Dog, reprise

posted 8/22/2007 2:54:34 PM |
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tagged: dogs, love, bobby

As I stated before, this was inspired by a blog the other day by hottanker4u. A poem to Gracie the puppy. It brought to mind how not only do we love our pets but the love our pets have for us as well, so complete and unconditional. You've probably heard this story before but it's always good to be reminded how deep our pets love for us can run.

The city of Edinburgh, Scotland, has many things to recommend it, but the most endearing quality is its love for Greyfriars Bobby, the wee Skye terrier. The tiny canine is still loved today, many years after his death, for his qualities of complete loyality and dedication to his best friend and master.

Bobby was no ordinary little pooch. He was so devoted to his owner that he remained faithful to him even in death. For 14 years, each day without fail, Bobby kept watch over his master's grave. Some say the terrier even fell into his final sleep on his master's grave, on a frosty January day in 1872.

Practically every visitor stops to pay homage to the little dog so revered by the city of Edinburgh. Cameras snap shots of his tombstone and statue. Little Bobby may not be as ancient as Edinburgh Castle, or as imposing as the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but he has become just as prominent. His history and that of the city of Edinburgh are forever joined.

Policeman, John Gray, acquired his world-famous Skye terrier sometime about 1856 or so, as a watch-dog. Man and dog became inseparable, until two years later, when Gray died of tuberculosis. It was then, Bobby began his lengthy, grave-side vigil.

Edinburgh Castle, commanding an extraordinary view of the city was one of little Bobby's favorite places. Modern day visitors find the castle well worth a closer look. It is immediately apparent why the castle was of strategic importance during Scotland's wars of independence. There has been a fortress on this site since at least AD 600. The Scots are extremely proud of their heritage, turbulent though it was. For every Scotsmen, the castle represents a very public reminder of their deep roots.

Because Greyfriar's Bobby is a cherished part of the Edinburgh story, his collar and dinner dish are preserved in the Huntly House, the museum dedicated to city history. The Huntly House is a restored 16th century townhouse, and one of the oldest and most interesting buildings in the area known as the Royal Mile. After extensive renovation, the museum was opened in 1932.

The dog collar belonging to Bobby in the Huntly House is more than just your typical collar. After the death of John Grey, Bobby had no official owner. He was loved and regularly fed by the families and shop owners situated around the graveyard, but no one had paid for his city dog license. At the time, Bobby had a close brush with death, because he had no license.

Luckily for him, the Lord Provost of the city, Sir William Chambers was a dog-lover. As head of the town council, he was a powerful man and when the question of Bobby's licensing came up, he asked to meet the little dog. Sir William was quite taken with Bobby and arranged to pay his license indefinitely. Bobby was given a new collar, the one now on display, with a brass plate with the following inscriptiion: Greyfriars Bobby from the lord Provost, 1867, licensed.

Just a few steps from the cemetery, lies the famous statue of Greyfriars Bobby. Appropriately, behind the statue is a quaint pub, also named in honor of the dog. After a tiring day of sightseeing, you can enjoy a taste of the national drink, Scotch, of course and rest your weary legs.

Edinburgh, called the jewel in Scotland's crown, has many facets: classical architecture piled on hills, sweeping Georgian crescents, medieval closes, green parks and a little dog who continues to touch the hearts of millions.

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Aug 22 @ 3:35PM  
A testament to man's best friend! Thank you for the story.

Aug 22 @ 5:23PM  
Dogs love you no matter how ugly, mean, miserable, miserly, irritable or grouchy you are..

Cats love you at dinner time.

People? Could learn from both dogs and cats.

Aug 22 @ 7:00PM  
They are a source of comfort..they love unconditionally...they don't mind hugs...they come when you cry...they remind you to share yourself...and to give as they little post it notes for your soul..


Aug 22 @ 10:23PM  
Nice story. There is a similar one of an akita in Japan that walked to meet the train everyday to meet his deeased master until the day he died and the city has honored the nobel animal. I can't provide the particulars.

Aug 24 @ 6:27PM  
I saw something about this on either the History Channel, Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet. Great story!

another is the story of "Old Drum" There was even a sappy movie based on the events called The Trial of Old Drum.

the story is here.

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Bobby the Dog, reprise