In Scotland we also have a story of a faithful dog who came even prior to the Japanese one.
Whenever I pass by the statue of Bobby the dog I miss my dog. In his eyes, there is still love and I like to look at them in the stone, a carved memory of devotion and affection. A tiny statue, modelled on the true size of Bobby, is resting on a dry fountain to remind us about this wonderful dog, the most famous one in Edinburgh and Scotland.
The fountain is at the south-western corner of George IV Bridge, close to where the terrier was buried after having watched the tomb of his beloved master in the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard for 14 years. There, across the road, he now stands still watching his master’s grave from afar.
The city wished to remember this faithful companion making him a statue because Bobby also represents a symbol of unconditional affection and devotion.
His story became famous all over the world thanks to many books and films, among them I recommend the film “The adventures of Greyfriars’ Bobby.”
Bobby's story begins in 1856 when he first attracted John Gray's attention. The man, an Edinburgh police night guard, decides to buy this Skye terrier. The two become inseparable until Sir Gray becomes sick with tuberculosis in 1858, just two years after adopting Bobby.
Gray dies and he is buried in the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard, but the dog does not leave him: loyal as he was when his master was alive, he keeps watching his grave night and day. He only leaves it to look for some food that the locals give to him.
Some of them, impressed by this devotion, host him in their homes in the winter. But timely, every morning, Bobby leaves the house to rest beside the man's tombstone. In 1867, however, a law was introduced to remove stray dogs but the director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals pays to renew his property of the terrier and he assumes responsibility in front of the city council.
Bobby will live until January 1872 and for 14 years he constantly watched John Gray’s tombstone.
Nowadays there is also a pub with the name of the dog in front of the old graveyard.
Besides the fountain dedicated to him, there is also a commemorative plaque in the cemetery where legend says he’s buried among people. On the top of the marble stone there is the name of Bobby and just below his name, the date he died. Underneath a writing reads: “Let his loyal devotion be a lesson for us all."
If faithfulness had a name, it would be “Bobby.”
Bobby became a hero for the citizens of Edinburgh and nowadays you can see his bowl and his collar in the Edinburgh Museum, where you can also learn more about the people who hosted him during those years and about his saviour. The dog even received honorary citizenship and a medal for his loyalty.
…Dedicated to Bobby