Statue Of A Dog
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE visitor to Edinburgh, will there be shown a handsome drinking fountain made of Peterhead granite, and surmounted by a bronze statue of a dog. This monument was erected by Lady Burdett-Coutts, to perpetuate the memory of a Scotch terrier, whose constancy to his dead master is believed to be without a parallel.
" Bobby " was the name of this dog, and many years ago he belonged to a man named Grey, of whom apparently little is known, and whose name would have long since been forgotten had it not been kept alive through the virtues of his dog.
The only definite fact connected with Grey's history begins and ends with the committal of his body to a humble grave in the Old Greyfriars Churchyard, about 1860, on which occasion the most conspicuous mourner was his little terrier. On the day following the funeral, the curator of the burial place found " Bobby " lying on his master's grave, and as the presence of dogs in the cemetery was against the rules, he was harshly driven forth but the next morning the faithful animal was again there, and once more was ejected. The third day was a very raw and wet one, and when the curator on making his rounds discovered "Bobby" shivering with the cold upon the grave, he was so struck with the sight of such devotion that he chastised the dumb mourner no more, and let him henceforth have his way in peace.
For over twelve years this faithful animal spent every night upon the grave; let the weather be ever so severe, or storm and tempest rage, nothing availed to induce him to forego his vigil of love.
No want of kind friends did "Bobby" find among the good Scotch folk, and many there were who would gladly have taken him in, and especially upon inclement nights would they have housed him from the rough weather; but "Bobby" rejected all such kind offers, and both by day and night, clung to that sacred spot in the old churchyard.
Care was, however, taken that he should not starve, and for a considerable period, Sergeant Scott of the Engineers allowed him a weekly meal of steaks, while for many years he was given daily rations by a Mr. Traill of Edinburgh, to whose establishment he went punctually at midday, timing his visits by the sound of the time-gun.
No stone ever marked the grave of Grey, and in time the mound became level with the surrounding earth, and the weeds and the grass covered it, but the spot, unrecognizable to others, was well known to the faithful sentinel, who never failed in his duty until he, too, closed his eyes in death.
It is a natural thing to see people in the cities of the dead planting flowers, crying, and praying over the graves of the loved ones who have gone away from them ; but we do not expect a dog to watch a human grave. The constancy of "Bobby's" love, which immortalized his master and himself in bronze, is a type of the constancy of love which ought to characterize every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.