Skip to comments.Historian Won't Let Scotland's Most Famous Dog Lie
Posted on 09/04/2011 3:23:55 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
EDINBURGH, ScotlandTo millions of people around the world, he's the loyal dog who kept a lonely vigil at his master's graveside.
Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier, supposedly spent 14 years pining by the grave of his owner, a local known as Auld Jock who died in 1858. The tale of devotion has beguiled generations of visitors to Scotland's capital and inspired dozens of children's books and a 1961 Disney film, "Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog."
Greyfriars Bobby .But to Swedish historian Jan Bondeson, the 150-year-old legend of the dog that stuck it out through snow, hail and freezing temperatures is nothing more than a shaggy dog story cooked up to lure tourists to Edinburgh's rain-soaked Greyfriars cemeteryand some locals and dog lovers are howling.
Dr. Bondeson, a 48-year-old consultant rheumatologist at Cardiff University in Wales, visited Edinburgh several times to study the matter for a new book and now proclaims that Bobby was just a stray trained to hang out in the cemetery.
In his retelling of the tale, Dr. Bondeson argues that a pair of canny Edinburgh men concocted the Greyfriars Bobby story to stir up trade at a... (see link)
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
It’s only because Reindeer wouldn’t stay by a
Oh come on, there are some myths we should just leave alone.
I don’t know if this fits, but its kind of interesting
There other documented stories of dogs showing incredible loyalty to their masters, so there’s no reason this can’t be true.
Indeed. And 16 years is not unusual for a terrier-type dog. Or a poodle, for that matter.
I am still going to believe the myth. Why? A somewhat similar thing happened when my parents were still kids (a small Pennsylvania town). Man in the town saved a puppy from the Creek (pronounced Crik). That was done at the time with stray puppies and kitten. People would tie them up in a bag and throw them in that body of water. Anyways, man rescues puppy. Dog grows up and is constantly with his master. The man dies and the dog refuses to leave the graveyard. Back in those days, people were commonly “waked” in their homes. Then people would follow, on foot.. to the cemetery. From what was told to me, the dog was brought back to the family home several times. However, in the morning, he returned to the cemetery. They find the dog, deceased.. by the master’s grave.
Could the dog died due to old age? Sure. Could he have already been sick and died of disease? Sure. However, I choose to believe he died to be with his master.
i prefer the legend.
Well, it could be that it’s a colossal untruth.
Sometimes simply repeating a story enough times makes people think it’s true. Especially with no 1st-hand experience.
Seaman's collar in an Alexandria museum in 1814- proof that he survived the expedition! But the entry gets better. Alden includes a note about the collar and its owner. It reads:The foregoing was copied from the collar, in the Alexandria Museum, which the late gov. Lewis's dog wore after his return from the western coast of America. The fidelity and attachment of this animal were remarkable. After the melancholy exit of gov. Lewis, his dog would not depart for a moment from his lifeless remains; and when they were deposited in the earth no gentle means could draw him from the spot of interment. He refused to take every kind of food, which was offered him, and actually pined away and died with grief upon his master's grave!
This is one of those situations where even if it is not true, it serves no good purpose to rake the grave open and try and debunk the legend.
What a beautiful tribute to Seaman. It does happen. It may not happen every single day and with one specific type of breed but it does happen. (the dog from my Pennsylvania story was a mixed mutt that had some bird dog in him).
There is a statue of Lewis and Clark in the turnaround at the beach in Seaside, Oregon. They are gazing out over the Pacific Ocean. Standing with them is Seaman.
Yes. It could be an untruth. Or, it could be an embellished half-truth. BUT, if a cadaver dog (like one I saw on TV last week) could alert on a 30 year old burial site (when the body had been moved), why coudn’t a loyal dog identify where his master’s remains were buried?
There was a blue heeler reported a couple of years ago who tracked his mistress’ movement to a nursing home. He escaped from the daughter’s yard (scaled a 6 ft. fence) and made it to the nursing home and sat under his mistress’ window and barked.
The dog had never been to the nursing home. The dog had never been with his mistress when she was taken to the nursing home. He made his way from a 3rd location. It took him a couple of days, but he made it. The nursing home people were so impressed that they allowed him to stay.
This story was reorted in a TV program narrated by Alan Thicke a few years ago called “Animal Miracles”.
Funeral of a Navy Seal in Iowa last week. Tears hundreds of people up who saw the photo inluding yours truly.
I have several books on Greyfriars Bobby. He did indeed lie on his master’s grave in the daytime and sleep with neighbors at night. He was given one meal a day by the next door pub. The only “myth” is that Bobby was a total sweetheart. In fact, he was a scrappy little terrier who kept the graveyard free of cats and rats.
Both of my books are well-sourced and full of pictures of Bobby being held by his adopted folks. Some people just have to destroy everything we hold dear.
Emily Bronte’s dog, Keeper, also followed her to her grave and pined for her mistress. No at all unusual.
Kinda like Loch Ness.
Powerful image. Can understand what that dog is going through. Normally I avoid funerals. Do not like bad news situations. But I did have something happen to me once at a funeral. It was very personal and highly unbelievable (don’t ask). Lets just say some lost souls tend to hang around those they love for awhile.
Not the same as “hanging around a lonely graveyard for 12 years”.
The endless lingering in some of these stories I do find hard to believe, although I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. Another possibility is simply the dog decided he could be “homeless” as a stray dog would be, living on the scraps of others while he adopts the gravesite as his home.
I agree. It’s just someone that is a spoil sport that doesn’t want anything to do with nice.
Dr. Bondeson, a 48-year-old consultant rheumatologist at Cardiff University in Wales, visited Edinburgh several times to study the matter for a new book and now proclaims that Bobby was just a stray trained to hang out in the cemetery.Sounds like a great scam, either way. :') I'm just glad I'd never heard of this cloying, ridiculous dog story, and I'm still glad I have Scots ancestry. :')
OK, I won’t ask, and I avoid ones I can but sometimes I feel I have to show up. The dog picture is so sad, he’s been cared for by a buddy while he was in Afghtanistan, and it raises questions I suppose I ought not to ask.
Dogs and animals can have better senses then humans. So they can perceive things that can be difficult for humans to perceive (earthquakes for example). I bet if someone stood at the entrance to the church holding that dogs favorite treat, he would have looked up but would have staid put, right in front of that coffin.
Have they ever forgiven Elizabeth I for chopping the head off of Mary, Queen of Scots?
Because you dressed like a floozy?
Bobby actually belonged to the the heroine of San Jacinto -- the Yellow Rose of Texas. She saved Sam Houston and caused the defeat of Santa Anna by keeping old Santa Anna in his tent in flagrante delicto; and he missed Houston's attack, being indisposed at the moment. His troops milled about in confusion without their leader. Travis gathered up the little dog and shipped him back to Scotland after they couldn't find Rose when the battle smoke cleared.
I know dogs have senses or hightened senses we don't have, they are smart, but I doubt they can process information the same way a human would do.
It could be a sign that only certain people involved would comprehend. I do think at times dogs see spirits though.
I am inclined to believe the original story. It is possible for a smaller dog to live 16 years.
As a veteran and a life-long dog lover (I currently have three), that photo just broke my heart the first time I saw it. Brought me to tears that quick, it did.
I understand that one of Chief Tumilson’s friends is going to keep Hawkeye. I hope that works out.
I had a beagle who lived to 17.
“It is possible for a smaller dog to live 16 years.”
Sure is. My Boston Terrier made it to within a few days of fifteen. That’s pretty long in the tooth.....and he still had most of them!
I know of two German Shepherds who made it to 14+ years, one of whom was my dog’s mother. For a large breed dog that is a long time.
Possible. They are mans best friend for a reason. Do not know the particulars of that specific image situation, so my comments are based on the anomaly in general. And generally speaking, if they did exist, you probably could not just see spirits or souls in the normal sense. Otherwise we would have a bunch of good images of them by now. Perhaps another sense we have no clue about is involved. Why do animals know earthquakes are coming ? Can they sense something that cannot be seen or heard ?
I had a Golden Retriever who lived to 15 1/2. My daugher’s Standard Poodle lived to 16 1/2, and my accountant’s Golden lived to 16. These are all BIG dogs whose lives are generally shorter.
Bobby only lived in the graveyard - protecting his master’s grave - during the daytime. At night he went with his adopted family. At noontime he went to a local pub for his main meal of the day. He participated in parades and folks used to line up to see him go in and out of the graveyard during his lunchhour.
He was made a citizen of Edinburgh. He was given a collar by the city and there are many photos of him and his collar. He was a local celebrity and like most celebrities, he lived the good life.
His master’s name was John Gray, a policeman. Bobby is buried near the kirk but not in consecrated ground.
It really is a true story!
Skye Terriers are scrappy little ones. I guess all terriers have that “trait”. Our Cairn Terrier is especially ruthless when it comes to trying to find mice. His weirdest trait is that he adopted a toad.. and looks over it. He’ll even growl at the German Shepherd if he tries to come near it.
I did not know that about Keeper. Throughout history, we have stories of dogs that pined away for their dead mistress or master. If a person has a dog, they know fully that the dog would “die” for them. That is just the simple fact. For a dog to understand their master is dead and mourn that loss.. not a big leap!
Emily Bronte had two dogs: Grasper and Keeper. I don't know what happened to Grasper but Keeper was a mastiff (sic?) and I have a drawing of him that she did. He was very bold and wild. Once he attacked a stray dog and Emily threw pepper on the two of them to break up the fight. The stray dog bit Emily and left town (smart dog!) Emily heated up a branding iron and burned it into her bleeding arm to mortify it. Scared the pants off her family but that was Emily!
Cairns definitely have their own little personalities, don’t they? I have always wanted one since I was a little girl and fell in love with Toto (Wizard of Oz). I think the scariest part of getting one was learning just how far they will go to seek out their rodents. Ours was only about 5 months old and got under the back of the house (through a small opening from a step). I could barely get my wrist and hand in there. We thought for sure that we were going to have to smash the concrete and who knows what else to get to him. However, he emerged... black with dirt, bugs all over him and as happy as a clam from his adventure!
Yes I dressed like a floozy a little skinny floozy. :D
Now you gotta find that picture!
I don’t think I am going to find it. I have some other pictures of me when I was young and skinny, would they work for ya? :D
Git ta postin’ woman!
That picture is right up there with “I’ll Take It From Here” on an emotional level.