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Memorable Greyfriars Bobby

14th January 1872

We visited Edinburgh for the first time in May 2014. I wanted to go to Greyfriars Kirkyard, a most fascinating place with vaults and many a ghostly tale attached. Yet, the story about a loyal dog fascinated me the most. According to legend, two-year-old Bobby the Skye terrier belonged to John Grey; a shepherd who sought lodging in town during a severe winter. They shared a small room, eating a daily meal at the pub on Candlemaker Row. On a particularly cold rainy day, they failed to turn up. When they sent someone to check on John Grey, he had died from consumption. A shivering Bobby refused to leave his corpse. After the burial, Bobby guarded the grave for 14 years. When he died, they buried him outside the gate at Greyfriars Kirk. During the 1980’s, American admirers erected a small fountain with a bronze statue of Bobby there. Today, this fountain looks rather forlorn, standing precariously at the intersection opposite Greyfriars Bobby Pub, a quaint inn with a warm Scottish atmosphere on Candlemaker Row.
There, we had a wonderful lunch while we watched the reactions of passers-by on the opposite side of the street. They lingered at the little memorial, watching Bobby sitting serenely on top of the fountain. Some posed for pictures, asking to be lifted up high enough to kiss him on his smooth, shining nose – quite a spectacle! After a delicious lunch, we felt strong enough to hike the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle where the view of the city was spectacular!

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