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  • Writer's pictureTammy Lowe

Story Time...

Gather round for story-time. Here’s a beautiful one for all you dog-lovers.

1850’s Scotland.

A gardener named John Gray moved to Edinburgh. Unable to find employment, John took a job as a police constable working as a night watchman.

Everyone called him Auld Jock. (Old Jack)

For several years, Auld Jock was accompanied on his evening route by his faithful little friend—a skye terrier named Bobby. The two were inseparable.

All the locals knew Auld Jock and Bobby—the police constable and his best buddy.

On February 15th, 1858, Auld Jock died.

The funeral procession went through the streets of Edinburgh to the cemetery in Greyfriars kirk yard...with Bobby, the faithful little dog leading the way.

Afterwards, Bobby wouldn’t leave.

He slept on Auld Jock’s grave.

However, dog’s weren’t allowed in the kirk yard.

The caretaker shooed Bobby away, but he’d come back every night to sleep on top of the grave.

Before long, the locals fell in love with loyal Bobby.

Many tried to adopt him, take care of him, lure him away.

Nothing worked.

The dog always came back to Auld Jock’s grave.

Realizing Bobby wasn’t going to leave, the caretaker built a little dog house next to the grave and let him stay.

This went on for years.

Balmoral Castle would set off their one o’clock gun and people would gather outside the kirk yard to watch Bobby. Like clockwork, the little dog would leave the cemetery and walk down the street to the pub he used to go to with Auld Jock.

Every day, the pub owner fed the dog a hearty meal. Bobby would enjoy his feast at the pub before faithfully returning to the grave.

After nine years, a law was passed stating that all dogs must have a license. Any strays would be rounded up and “destroyed”.

A dog catcher rounded up Bobby.

The locals went berserk, determined to save the loyal dog.

Eventually, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh stepped in. He bought Bobby a collar and paid for his license every year.

After FOURTEEN years of watching over Auld Jock’s grave, Bobby himself passed away at the ripe old age of sixteen.

They buried him at the entrance of the kirk yard and gave him his very own headstone. His collar is in the Edinburgh Museum.

In 1872, Baroness Burdett-Coutts had a bronze memorial erected for Scotland’s most beloved and famous dog.

And there’s your interesting fact of the day: Greyfriars Bobby.

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