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March 12, 2012

A Doggy Tale: Greyfriars Bobby

Most visitors to Edinburgh, Scotland can’t resist this heart-warming tale of a loyal Skye terrier who guarded his master’s grave for fourteen years.

Bobby was the watch dog of John Gray, a police constable in Edinburgh. The pair often took walks to Greyfrairs Place, a coffee house owned by Mr. William Ramsey and were a well known sight. John “Jock” Gray developed tuberculosis and died in Feb 1858.

The funeral took place, and Bobby refused to leave the graveside. Dogs weren’t allowed in the Kirkyard, but Bobby stubbornly remained at his master’s side. Locals took pity on the loyal terrier and started to feed him. They continued looking after the tenacious terrier until he died 14 years later in 1872.

Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh, Scotland  Headstone, Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh

According to records, Bobby had a stumpy tail that constantly wagged and a courageous character. He didn’t like strangers, yet was devoted to family and his master. Disney made a movie about Greyfriars Bobby, which I remember watching as a child, so I was thrilled to visit his statue and headstone during our visit to Edinburgh.

A truly wonderful story.

Have you seen the Disney version of Greyfriars Bobby? Cartoons aside, what is your favorite Disney movie?


  1. Tania.F.Walsh

    Oh that is such a sad story… the dog is adorable and so loyal.

    • Shelley Munro

      It is sad. I remember crying while watching the Disney movie.

      • Tania.F.Walsh

        I remember there was a similar take on this in Futurama, and it brought tears to my eyes.

        • Shelley Munro

          I haven’t seen Futurama, but it’s an excellent storyline for any movie/TV show. How can people not be moved by that type of loyalty?

  2. Brinda

    OMG. I haven’t seen this movie, but I’ll be looking for it. This is a blog post after my own heart, but you probably know that! What a great statue. :)

    • Shelley Munro

      I think it’s great that such loyalty is remembered. It’s such a wonderful story.

  3. Maria Zannini

    I remember hearing this story, but didn’t realize there was a movie on it. I will definitely check this out.


    • Shelley Munro

      It’s an older movie – I hate to say it, but probably around 35 years old :)

  4. Jennifer Shirk

    No, I haven’t seen that story.

    Favorite Disney movie? Hmmm.. I do enjoy the Pirates of the Carribean movies and I liked The Rocketeer too.

    • Shelley Munro

      You can’t go past Johnny Depp in Pirates. He was so good in that role. When I was a kid I used to enjoy the smuggler movies that Disney made. When we visited Britain I had to go to Rye to visit the Mermaid Inn after seeing one of Disney’s smuggler movies. I think it was called Smugglers of Romney Marsh or something similar.

  5. Adriana Kraft

    One of the highlights of my visit to Edinburgh. Testimony to the incredible power of bonding. Thanks for the reminder!


    • Shelley Munro

      Hi Adriana – it was one of my highlights too. I loved Edinburgh. It was such a fun, vibrant place to visit.

  6. Savannah Chase

    I never heard about this story..Wow…Animals are such amazing creatures…

    • Shelley Munro

      Animals are amazing. Our puppy makes us laugh all the time. She’s quite vocal and not at all shy. Yesterday, she made a nuisance of herself when I wanted to write. She wanted to play ball. Guess who won?

  7. Angela B

    If there was ever a need to point to an example of loyalty, this one should certainly make the top of the list.

    As for favorite Disney movie, that’s a bit hard for me since I just love so many. From Princesses to Pirates, just can’t choose one.

    • Shelley Munro

      I can’t imagine life without Disney movies. Disneyland, the TV show used to play on a Sunday night when I was a kid. It was the highlight of my week, and it was a lucky dip. We never knew if we’d get cartoons, a movie or a nature program.

  8. Heather

    What a great story. Have never heard of the movie.

    • Shelley Munro

      I hope you get a chance to see it one day. It’s a heart-tugger.

  9. Ciara Knight

    I haven’t seen that movie. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    • Shelley Munro

      It’s a story that stuck with me. Difficult to resist a cute dog :)

  10. Georgie Lee

    I enjoyed seeing the statue and hearing the story when I was in Edinburgh years ago. I haven’t seen the movie but my favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast.

    • Shelley Munro

      Beauty and the Beast is such an enduring story. I always enjoy romances with a beauty and the beast theme.

  11. Mary Kirkland

    I haven’t seen that movie. My favorite would probably be The little Mermaid…I think that was a disney movie.

    • Shelley Munro

      The Little Mermaid is one that I haven’t seen. Maybe one day.