I am a freelance writer living in Manly. I enjoy writing reviews for Weekend Notes.
I enjoy the outdoors and anything to do with the water. My interests are travel, Live Theatre,The Ballet and Restaurants that serve delicious innovative food.
Published December 12th 2016
A real life fairytale about a brave little dog
Recently I took a trip to Scotland to find my family roots. While in Edinburgh, visiting the historical Edinburgh Castle, I made a discovery. The legendary true story of a little Skye Terrier Greyfriars Bobby. This true story may not be known by many in Australia, however, Bobby became a hero in Scotland.
Many books have been written about Greyfriars Bobby's life story. These books would make wonderful Christmas presents for children that have never heard the tale. If you are a dog lover like me, you will take him to your heart.
Edinburgh is a wonderful city with much interesting history. High above the city centre sits Edinburgh Castle a magnificent historical building The Castle is surrounded by the Royal Mile and wonderful parkland. I did a tour of Edinburgh Castle. After the tour had finished, I spent the whole day exploring its grounds. There are Scottish shops within its grounds selling all sorts of clothing made from a variety of Scottish tartans. Not far from the castle, you will find a statue of Greyfriars Bobby, pictured below.
By Ad Meskens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11423176
Looking down from Edinburgh Castle, you can see Princes Street and the Royal Mile, which is famous for shopping. You can also see the beautiful parkland (mentioned above) which makes a wonderful backdrop for The National Gallery of Scotland. The National Gallery is worth a visit as you will see many Scottish treasures and artworks.
Beautiful Parkland surrounding the National Gallery of Scotland
Getting back to our little hero Greyfriars Bobby. Bobby belonged to a man by the name of John Gray, who was a policeman in Edinburgh. Bobby joined John Gray on his beat and helped him keep the peace. It is said the little dog would chase and bark at criminals. When John Gray became ill, Bobby fretted and when he died faithfully followed the funeral procession. The story goes that he howled when the other mourners left John Gray's grave and would not move from his deceased master's side.
It is said that Bobby spent fourteen years guarding his master's grave. He was befriended by many. The gardener of the cemetery fed Bobby and gave him shelter on cold nights. In the morning, Bobby would return to his master's grave and chase away anybody that came near it. Bobby made many friends and would go to various restaurants in the neighbourhood each lunch time. Here the proprietors, who loved the little dog, would feed him and make him welcome.
Lord Provost of Edinburgh heard of Bobby's story and took an interest in him. It is written that Lord Provost presented Bobby with a medal of honour for his devotion to his master. Bobby became famous and the story of the little dog's faithful ways spread throughout Scotland. There is a tavern in Edinburgh named after him.
If you go to Edinburgh, you may wish to visit the Huntley House Museum. Here you will see a photo of Bobby. You will also find his bowl and another photo of him with the gardener's family who looked after him.
Bobby stood guard for fourteen years at his master's grave. When he died he was buried in front of Greyfriars church. A stone was erected at the site telling of his devotion and the date of his death. Engraved on the stone is written, "Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all'.
Regards the books mentioned at the beginning of the article about Greyfriars Bobby. One good one is by Richard Brassy. If you decide to go online, you could look at the website below or go to www.richardbrassey.com. This is also the website for Richard Brassey and you will see his many other books that have been published. There was also a film by Walt Disney about Greyfriars Bobby.
Princes Street is the main street in Edinburgh with many interesting sights and department stores. One of the best is Jenners, which has an interesting history. It is called the 'Harrods of the north' and is looked on as the most exciting department store outside London.
Jenners department store - known as the 'Harrods of the North'