Friday, 20 March 2009

Friendship Friday: a faithful friend

Postmarked Crieff, Perthshire, dated 11 November 1980.
Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh TextView Series PLX36836

Bobby was the Skye Terrier owned by John Gray in Edinburgh.  John Gray was a night watchman in the polica force and took his dog, Bobby with him everywhere.  Tragically, he caught tuberculosis and died in 1858, and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard.  From then on, the story goes, Bobby refused to leave his master's grave, except for food.  The gardener tried unsuccessfully to get rid of him several times, but in the end gave up and made him a shelter.

In 1867 a new law decreed that all dogs in Edinburgh should be licensed, but by this time Bobby's fame had spread.  The Lord Provost paid for the licence and had a collar inscribed "Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed".

Greyfriars Bobby died himself in 1872, after fourteen years of faithfully guarding his master's grave.  In 1873 the statue in the postcard was unveiled opposite the Kirkyard.

This is a double-use postcard, for Friendship Friday, and for postcard Scavenger Hunt. 

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  1. Sheila! This is an absolutely touching story. I've been trying to talk Francois getting a dog. I'll make him read this post!

  2. In the 60s Walt Disney made a World of Wonder episode that was either about Greyfriar Bobby or was a fictionalized account based on the story of the little dog's devotion. I remembered watching it when I went to Edinburgh, saw the statue and heard the story again.

    Happy Postcard Friday!

  3. Ah Dear Sheila, I know very well this fabulous story of Greyfriars’ Bobby! There are two movies of this beautiful tale of fidelity and devotion, one made in 1961 and one in 2005. I have the DVD of the 2005 movie (in that film Bobby is represented by an adorable Westie) and recommend it to all dog lovers! :-)

  4. A very faithful frien indeed! Perfect for PFF!

  5. I've heard the story about the dog before but this just clarifies it further. Great post Sheila.

  6. Just as no parent should have to bury their child, no dog should have to bury its master. May we always outlive our dogs.

    The American humorist James Thurber wrote a great deal about the dogs he owned throughout his life. One story that you might enjoy is "Snapshot of a Dog" (an abridged version is here; mute your sound before clicking as there is an insipid and completely inappropriate midi file playing in the background).

  7. Sheila,
    what a touching story.
    Thank you.

    For your information, my postcard is dated 1908.

  8. Happy PFF! This is my first time visiting you as well. Such a lovely story to go with a grand statue in his honor! Great card! See ya next week and have a great day!

  9. interesting story! happy PFF!

  10. Hey Sheila,
    Nice Card, as per usual.

    just wanted to let you know that
    you my friend, made EntrePod this Episode.

    you can listen in on 03-21 @
    the home of entrepod.

    Cheers !

  11. There is a local story in west Michigan that is similar and the dog's statue was added to the grave of the little girl that died who was his mistress. It's in Barry County.

  12. That is a sad and interesting story.

  13. I just returned from Edinburgh, but I'm afraid I didn't see the statue! Any idea where it is in the city?

  14. Thank you everyone, and a special thanks to Chris and Sharkbytes for giving me other faithful dog stories.

    Eddy, I wasn't too far off on the date then!

    RE, thanks for that. I'll be there tomorrow.

    Jennifer, the statue is on Candlemaker Row, opposite the Kirkyard and also the Museum of Scotland, in the Old Town.

  15. I added your link to the Mr. Linky on my Postcard Scavenger Hunt page.


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