Greyfriars Bobby

As I marvel at the people in our neighborhood from business people to young mothers and their babes, old folks, musicians and dog owners, to the smell of quiche tarts or ribs from our oven it recalls my childhood. Not that Mom ever made ribs or quiche tartlets.

Nearly ten years ago my husband and I lived in Scotland for a bit, and it was a short train journey to Edinburgh. We went to see the statue of Bobby that day, the church cemetery and the art museum (the museum was my idea, not my husband’s favorite thing).

When I know mothers of young children, not babies, I offer information on books or movies their kids might like to see. Greyfriars Bobby was the dog that hung out in the church cemetery and was kicked out until the caretaker took him under his wing. A year later the caretaker died and Bobby sat on his grave for 14 years. At the 1:00 gun (Scots are frugal and don’t want to waste 12 cannon balls when one will suffice to allow ships in the harbor to synchronize their watches) Bobby would go to the local pub outside the Church gates and they would give him lunch. Then back to the grave. This was in the 1860’s.

We went, and in the cemetery plot the owner and his dog are buried next to each other and there is a statue of this persistent Skye Terrier in a plaza across the way that was recently refurbished because all the folks who petted him were wearing away the bronze statue. There is a book and at least two movies about this amazing dog. I told a mom about it today, also about the animated movie “Up.” She amazed me by watching “Stick Man” twice while her kids were sleeping!

My dog is nearing 14 so there’s no way she will sit on my grave for another fourteen years! So here’s what I did. I bought a Scottish Royal Stewart tartan 1/2″ leash for our dog from Edinburgh back in the day, then gave it away to last weekend’s guest dog who broke things, peed and pooped immediately after a walk, and tried to eat my arm while teething. I snatched her up after she broke the lamp to make sure she couldn’t cut herself and placed her in the guest bath. She either ate or scratched the door frame and I’m trying to fix it and not doing a great job.

I ordered a collar from London, a 1″ Martingale collar for our old girl Zoe. I hope Scotland won’t get mad at me but they didn’t have any! We got it yesterday and I took her out in it this morning for the first time. It looks great and reminds me of our days in Scotland. Cheers! Dee


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