The story of Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s most famous dog, and how he became a historic marker.


The story of Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s most famous dog, and how he became a historic marker.

Greyfriars Bobby, possibly one of the most faithful dogs of all time, has captured the hearts of the people of Scotland for more than 160 years. His story continues to enchant people today since he sat steadfastly at his master’s tomb for 14 years.

John Gray, who worked as a nightwatchman for the Edinburgh City Police, had a Skye Terrier as a pet. John’s four-legged companion would assist him in patrolling the streets until the dog owner suffered an incurable chill in October 1857.

The tiny hound, who died of TB, led the funeral procession and was observed sitting on top of the freshly buried site in Greyfriars Kirk.

Bobby returned the next day, despite being chased away by the caretaker because dogs were not permitted in the cemetery. He would do so for the remainder of his life.

Bobby would be at John’s graveside regardless of the weather.

Feeling terrible for the bereaved dog, it was shortly decided that Bobby would be allowed to sit in Greyfriars Kirk, where word of the faithful companion quickly spread.

People would travel from all over to watch him, and when the one o’clock gun salute from Edinburgh Castle sounded, he would only leave for a short while to eat at a local restaurant.

Bobby died on 14 January 1872, after Edinburgh Veterinary College determined he had died of jaw cancer.

He was buried near John Gray’s grave, right within the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Bobby was given keys to the city to show how affected the people of Edinburgh were by his story.

Visitors can also join guided excursions through commemorative places dedicated to the Skye Terrier, since the heartwarming narrative continues to be highly recognized in Scotland.

Many fans come to see a life-sized bronze monument of Bobby on top of a former drinking fountain as a way of paying tribute to him.

The monument is also known for being Edinburgh’s smallest listed structure.

It was commissioned by English benefactor Lady Burdett-Coutts, dubbed “the richest heiress in England,” a year after the dog’s death.

The statue was constructed near the intersection of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row by the head of the RSPCA Ladies Committee, who was similarly moved by Bobby’s story.

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