National Dog Week - III
"John Gray. a gardener, together with his wife Jess and son John arrived in Edinburgh around 1850. Unable to find work as a gardener he avoided the workhouse by joining the Edinburgh Police Force as a night watchman.
"To keep him company through the long winter nights John took on a partner, a diminutive Skye Terrier, his ‘watchdog’ called Bobby. Together John and Bobby became a familiar sight trudging through the old cobbled streets of Edinburgh. Through thick and thin, winter and summer, they were faithful friends. The years on the streets appear to have taken their toll on John, as he was treated by the Police Surgeon for tuberculosis.
"John eventually died of the disease on the 15th February 1858 and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby soon touched the hearts of the local residents when he refused to leave his master's grave, even in the worst weather conditions. The gardener and keeper of Greyfriars tried on many occasions to evict Bobby from the Kirkyard. In the end he gave up and provided a shelter for Bobby by placing sacking beneath two tablestones at the side of John Gray’s grave.
"Bobby’s fame spread throughout Edinburgh. It is reported that almost on a daily basis the crowds would gather at the entrance of the Kirkyard waiting for the one o'clock gun that would signal the appearance of Bobby leaving the grave for his midday meal...
"The kind folk of Edinburgh took good care of Bobby, but still he remained loyal to his master. For fourteen years the dead man's faithful dog kept constant watch and guard over the grave until his own death in 1872…
"Bobby's headstone reads "Greyfriars Bobby - died 14th January 1872 - aged 16 years - Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all."
Sounds like a real Reagan Republi-canine.
Since we're discussin' loyality, here's a story 'bout a man's loyality to his dog--the Old Drum trial.
"Senator George Graham Vest won a court battle and the ears of dog lovers everywhere when he paid his famous tribute to [Old Drum] during the 1870 Burden vs. Hornsby court case in Warrensburg [MO]. The speech included the line, "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog."
"The "eulogy to the dog" won the case for Charles Burden whose favorite hound, Old Drum, was shot by a neighbor, Leonidas Hornsby, who had sworn to kill the first dog that came onto his land. Although Hornsby had hunted with Drum and acknowledged him to be one of the best hunting dogs he had ever seen, he carried out his threat when one night a dog was found prowling in his yard. That dog was Old Drum.
And so the expression "A man's best friend is his dog" was born.
Be sure to check out Machelle's National Dog Week posts at Quality Weenie.
posted by Harrison at 7:24 PM