Man’s Best Friend, Even After Death

by L-Johnson
Greyfriars Bobby statue

A statue of Bobby at the corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge in Edinburgh.

Over 150 years ago lies a heartwarming tale in Scotland’s history of a man named John Gray and his dog, Bobby. John, who was known as Auld Jock, was a night watchman for the Edinburgh City Police, and was virtually inseparable from Bobby, his Skye Terrier.

On February 15th, 1858, Gray died of tuberculosis and was buried in Greyfriars Churchyard. Bobby led his master’s funeral procession to Greyfriar’s Cemetery, and later, when he tried to stay at the graveside, he was sent away by the caretaker. But Bobby returned and refused to leave, despite less than great weather conditions.

He spent the next fourteen years laying at the grave, leaving only for food. Although Bobby was well cared for by the people of Edinburgh, he still remained loyal to his master, and he continued to stay faithfully guarding Auld Jock’s grave for all those years, until he died on January 14th 1872, aged 16.

Bobby’s grave is also in Greyfriars Kirkyard, located just 75 yards from his masters grave. He has a red granite headstone, which was unveiled by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester CCVO, in 1981.

In the last century, a few movies have been made about this story, including a Disney movie, as well as a Greyfriars Bobby toy created by an Edinburgh toy company. A pub opened up in Edinburgh named “Bobby’s Bar”, featuring a statue of Bobby standing guard on the outside of the building. The pub attracts visitors from all over the world.

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