The following story was written by Tim Jones...
Sometime in the mid-1850's, a Skye terrier came to live on a farm in the
hills outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. Named Bobby, the dog attached himself to Auld Jock, the farmer's shepherd.
Auld Jock was a fixture in those Scottish hills, and soon he and Bobby becane
inseparable, tending the sheep and traveling weekly to market. Market day always featured a special lunch at the
Greyfriars dining rooms. When the Edinburgh Castle gun sounded at 1:00 pm, Jock and Bobby left whatever they were doing
and headed for the dining room where man and his dog shared their meal.
Withing a couple of years from meeting Bobby, Jock's age began to weigh
on him, and he contracted tuberculosis. He headed in retirement, taking small quarters in Edinburgh. Forced to
leave Bobby at the farm, Jock sadly bid his companion good-bye and moved to the city alone.
However, the next day, when Jock showed up at the dining rooms at the sound
of the 1:00 gun, he was astonished to see Bobby rushing in to join him. Bobby had escaped from the farm and run all
the way down from the hills to make sure he kept their market-day custom. Reunited, the two friends enjoyed their lunch,
then returned to Jock's rooms where the old man made plans to return the terrier to the farm the next day.
It was never to be. Before he could return Bobby, Jock's illness overtook
him, and he died. Two days later, neighbors found Bobby guarding the body, at first not allowing anyone to come near.
Jock's few friends arranged a simple funeral.
As the mourner's procession moved through the street of Edinburgh, a small,
distraught dog trailed behind them, following the casket containing his friend to Greyfriars Cemetery.
When the funeral service ended and the mourners departed, Bobby remained,
lying on the grave, forlorn, a lone dog mourning his adored master. Such revered ground wasn't for the convenience of
dogs. James Brown, the sexton, spotted Bobby lying on the newly made mound and chased him from the cemetery.
But the next morning, when Brown started doing his chores, he again spotted
a sleeping dog on top of the most recent grave. Bobby must have sneaked back to the grave as soon as the sky had turned
dark and spent the night there.
Brown chased him from the cemetery again, but that night Bobby returned
and lay down once more on his master's grave. The next morning was cold and wet and when the sexton saw the faithful
animal lying shivering on the grave, he took pity on him. He gave him some food, and though it meant breaking the cemetery's
rules, Brown allowed Bobby to stay near the grave. He even taught Bobby to hide on Sundays, when the church yard had
its largest number of visistors.
For a couple of weeks Bobby kept lonely vigil, without break, ignoring even
his own needs. Then one day, at the sound of the castle gun, he showed up at the Greyfriars dining room. The innkeeper
recognized him as Auld Jock's dog and fed him. From that day forward, Bobby arrived at the inn every day at one o'clock
to be fed.
Once he'd gained the sexton's friendship and found a way to get regular
meals, Bobby lived by the grave of the shepherd unhinderedd for nine years, until 1867, when the city started to use dogcatchers.
Bobby was nabbed and taken to Edinburgh's pound.
When the terrier failed to answer the one o'clock gun one day, the innkeeper
guessed what had happened. He rescued Bobby by telling the little guys story of faithfullness to the city's court.
This plea brought Bobby instant fame, and none other than the Lord Provost of Edinburgh paid for the dog's new license.
He even ordered a collar made with an inscription that read, "Greyfriars Bobby. From Lord Provost. 1867. Licensed."
Sporting his new collar, Bobby had the run of the city. Still, he
held to his routine, guarding his master's grave and dropping by for lunch at one o'clock. Bobby's fame and popularty
spread until he no longer had to hide form visitors--in fact, many visitors came to the cemetery just to see him. More
that one artist painted the dog's portrait as he lay near his master's grave.
In 1872, after maintaining his vigil over Auld Jock's grave for fourteen
years, Greyfriars Bobby, now old and feeble, died. The entire city mourned for him. In secret, the sexton dug
Bobby a small grave near Jock's.
Upon learning about the inspiring little dog, a Scottish noblewoman, Baroness
Burdett-Coutts, commissioned a work to honor Bobby, which would stand on Candlemaker Row, outside the churchyard gates.
A year after Bobby's death, city officials unveiled the monument, a solid granite column with water from bubbling fountains
that poured into two basins; and on top, a bronze likeness of Bobby which faced longingly toward the gates of the cemetery.
At last, in the early 1930's the church allowed American donors
to erect a small stone in the Greyfriars Cemetery marking the grave of the faithful dog. Today, when you walk inside
the gates of the old cemetery, the first headstone you see pays tribute to the endurance of love beyond death. It reads:
Died 14th Jan 1872
Aged 16 years.
Let his loyalty & devotion
be a lesson to us all.