Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Greyfriars Bobby honoured in special event in Edinburgh

Greyfriars Bobby
Image caption A Greyfriars Bobby look-alike, Maggie the Cairn Terrier, attended the ceremony

Edinburgh has honoured the life of its most famous canine with a special event.

Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal terrier known for guarding his master's grave for 14 years after his death, passed away 143 years ago and is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

City of Edinburgh Council marked the date with a commemorative ceremony.

A Greyfriars Bobby look-alike, Maggie the Cairn terrier, attended the event.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also spoke about the fire which gutted Old Greyfriars in the mid-19th century shortly before Bobby's arrival.

As the one o'clock gun sounded, the time at which Bobby is said to have left his master's grave each day for a free meal at a nearby cafe, pupils from George Heriot School lay flowers on the grave.

It was followed by "Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby", played on bagpipes by Jennifer Hutcheon.

Dog's freedom

Deidre Brock, Depute Lord Provost, who hosted the event, said: "Greyfriars Bobby, whose memorial reads: 'Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all,' still inspires enormous affection and respect in people across the globe.

"Even now visitors flock to see his grave, his statue, and the many mementos of his life displayed in our Museum of Edinburgh, marvelling anew at the timeless story of the little dog who would not leave his master's grave."

After the death of Bobby's owner John Gray, the then Lord Provost, Sir William Chambers, ensured the dog's freedom by buying a licence and dog collar, allowing him to roam the graveyard.

Bobby's statue was erected a year after his death in 1872 by the Ladies Committee of the RSPCA.

The event, which was supported by local charity The Grassmarket Community Project, also involved members of the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home which had a special Greyfriars Bobby-themed stand at the Central Library from 10:00 until 14:00.

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