This is the sixth and last tag I've made for Karla's Puppy Love tag swap. I'll be packaging them up and sending them out this weekend! I've covered all different interpretations of puppy love and this last one is homage to the loyalty and love between a dog and its owner. I found this wonderfully heart-wrenching true story of Bobby and typed it out and made a little book. The cover shows the statue erected in honor of Bobby. I hand-stitched the book binding and included a cross charm (appropriate, as you'll read below).
And the story . . .
More than a hundred years ago, the great city of Edinburgh in Scotland was a busy, bustling place. The narrow, bumpy streets were filled with horse-drawn carriages, carts and wagons.
To this city every Wednesday morning came a farmer named Mr. Grey. And at his side, trotting along on short legs that moved so fast they seemed to twinkle, was Bobby. Bobby was Mr. Grey’s Skye Terrier — a small, intelligent, short-tailed kind of dog whose bright eyes and stubby legs were nearly covered by his long, flowing hair.
Mr. Grey would spend the morning at market. When the time-gun — a signal cannon that was fired at one o’clock — went off, Mr. Grey and Bobby would head for a small restaurant called Traill’s Dining Room, which was not far from Greyfriars’ Church. There, Mr. Grey and Bobby would have lunch. Lunch was always the same for the little dog — a crisp bun. Mr. Traill, who owned the restaurant, soon came to know the little dog well.
One Wednesday, the farmer and his dog did not appear at the restaurant. Several days passed. Then, one day as the time-gun sounded the hour of one o’clock, Mr. Traill was startled to see a small, thin bedraggled-looking dog standing in his doorway. It was Bobby, and he was all alone.
“Why, I believe he’s hungry,” Mr. Traill said to himself. “He’s come for a bun, same as always. But where is his master?” He took a bun and held it out to the dog. “Is that it, laddie? Are you hungry?”
Bobby took the bun, and with the quick, happy sort of skip that a hungry dog often makes when given a bit of food, turned and trotted from the restaurant. Mr. Traill watched him go, wondering what had happened. Was the little dog lost? Had something happened to his master, the farmer Grey?
Next day, at the same hour, Bobby came to the restaurant again. The kindly Mr. Traill quickly gave another bun to the hungry animal. Again, Bobby took it in his mouth and trotted off.
Overcome with curiosity, Mr. Traill followed him. With Traill close behind him, Bobby made his way to Greyfriars’ churchyard. There, near a grave that looked to Mr. Traill as if it were new, the dog lay down and began to eat his bun.
With a lump rising in his throat, Mr. Traill walked over and peered down at the simple grave marker. It bore the name of old Grey — Bobby’s master. Traill realized, now, why the dog looked so thin and uncared for. His master was dead, and little Bobby had been staying here, night and day, beside the grave. Only the terrible pangs of hunger had finally driven him to search for food. Perhaps the sound of the time-gun had reminded him of Traill’s Dining Room and the buns he had gotten there.
Traill bent over the little dog. “Come away, laddie,” he urged in a low, gentle voice. “It’s no use — your master’s gone. I’ll take care of you.” Bobby wagged his tail. But he did not budge. The man could not make him leave the grave. After a time, sadly shaking his head, Traill left.
Each day after that, always at the hour of one, Bobby came to beg for a bun, which Traill never failed to give him. The man told others about the faithful little Skye Terrier who would not leave his master’s grave. Soon, most of the people in the city of Edinburgh knew of the dog.
Many people tried to coax Bobby away from the grave. But he refused to leave. Then some of Mr. Grey’s relatives took the little dog away from the cemetery and tried to give him a home. But Bobby escaped, and returned to the grave! After a time, some of
the citizens of Edinburgh raised money to have a shelter built beside the grave. Now Bobby could take refuge from rain and snow, without leaving the graveside.
For fourteen years the little dog stayed beside his master’s grave. He became so much a part of the cemetery that he was known as Greyfriars’ Bobby. Visitors to the cemetery would see his small, gray form curled on the grass beside Grey’s grave.
Then, one morning, someone noticed that Bobby lay in a stiff, unmoving position. The little Skye Terrier was dead.
Greyfriars’ Bobby was buried next to Mr. Grey’s grave. At last, the faithful dog, who had waited so long, was with his master again.
[A year after Bobby died, the philanthropist Baroness Burdett Coutts had a statue and fountain erected to commemorate the dog. Several books and films have been based on Bobby's life, including Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson and the films Greyfriars Bobby (1961, Walt Disney Productions) and The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby (2006).]
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