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Bobby - the Faithful Dog from Edinburgh

Dogs and humans have a special bond and there are many stories and legends telling about dogs’ limitless loyalty to humans. This is a story about Greyfriars Bobby from Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Bobby was a Skye Terrier roaming the streets of Edinburgh in the 1850s until he met John Grey. Grey worked as a night watchman in the Edinburgh police and Bobby kept him company. The winters in Edinburgh can be very cold and one day Grey fell sick with tuberculosis. Back in the 1800s tuberculosis was a fatal disease and on 15 February 1858 Grey died.

In Memory of Bobby

Bobby followed his master to his grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard in the old part of Edinburgh and he did not leave the grave except for when he was hungry or very cold.

People started to notice the dog in the churchyard and they started worrying about Bobby when the City of Edinburgh decided that ownerless dogs should be shot. However, the city council bought him a licence and he could keep on watching his master’s grave. Bobby survived his master by 14 years, and when he died in 1872 he was buried just inside the gate of the churchyard. He could not be buried together with his master, since church ground is sacred.

If you go to Edinburgh you can visit the faithful Bobby’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard and see his statue in front of the Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar. The small Skye Terrier has inspired books and films.

Comprehension task:

Writing tasks:

  1. Write the story about Bobby from the dog's point of view.
  2. Write a story revolving around the special bond that might arise between humans and animals. It may be a story that you have heard or something that you make up.


Why do stories like the one about the faithful Bobby tend to fascinate us?

CC BY-SASkrevet av Eli M. Huseby.
Sist faglig oppdatert 07.10.2018


UK & Ireland