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The story behind this dog statue will move you to tears

The legend behind this statue explains why this little guy attracts so many people.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby, the faithful dog [Asvolas/Shutterstock]

Tourists go to the monument in Scotland's capital to touch the nose of a four-legged friend. Above all, the story behind it touches many people.

His nose is completely worn off. Polished by stroking hands, it gleams unlike the rest of him in the sun - if it ever shines over Edinburgh.

Greyfriars Bobby, the name of the Skye terrier who is commemorated here in bronze, has an almost magnetic influence. Thanks to him, the upper end of Candlemaker Row became a place of pilgrimage.

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In fact, the dog statue is one of the top attractions in Scotland's capital. On the travel platform Tripadvisor, the fountain figure was ranked 8th among attractions and landmarks in Edinburgh.

The top ten most popular monuments also included Greyfriars Kirk, the church in whose cemetery the famous animal is buried. Of course, Edinburgh's official tourism website also devotes a separate section to the terrier.

The legend behind his statue explains why this little guy attracts so many people. This is a story about loyalty to the grave.

Greyfriars Bobby was the dog of policeman John Gray. Initially, he worked as a gardener, but in 1850 he switched to patrol duty. To avoid wandering alone at night, he eventually acquired a small, extremely alert terrier called Skye.

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The six-legged team kept the streets of Edinburgh safe for years before John Gray died on February 15, 1858. The lawman eventually found his final resting place in a small old graveyard near the mighty Greyfriars Kirkyard Castle.

And that could be the end of the story. But what happened next went down in the annals of the Scottish capital as a story as unprecedented as it was heartbreaking.

Bobby never left his master's side, even after his death, keeping vigil at John Gray's grave no matter the weather. It is said that the faithful terrier lived in the cemetery for 14 years, never taking his eyes off the final resting place of the deceased.

It is said that initially, cemetery workers tried to shoo away the small dog - in vain. They finally gave in and even prepared a place for Bobby to sleep at Gray's grave. From this point on the animal was virtually part of the Greyfriars Kirkyard inventory.

According to legend, the faithful four-legged friend was taken care of by carpenter William Dow. Every day at 1 pm. he would take the dog for a meal to a nearby pub, which he had visited with his master before his death, and then bring him back.

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The faithful animal reportedly attracted curious people to the cemetery and the pub on numerous occasions. One aristocratic admirer, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, even put a specially made collar on the terrier so that it could not be hunted down as a stray dog.

When Greyfriars Bobby finally passed away on January 14, 1872 at the ripe old age of 16, it quickly became clear that he should not be separated from his master even after his death. So the faithful soul received an extraordinary honor. He was the first and only dog to be buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard - close to the grave of his beloved master.

Shortly after Bobby's death, sculptor William Brodie created a life-size bronze statue of the animal, which was erected at the upper end of Candlemaker Row and has been a tourist magnet ever since.

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In the cemetery itself there is another statue of Bobby on his tombstone with the inscription "May his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all."

There will always be those who doubt the authenticity of this story. Some even go so far as to claim that the cemetery contained only stray dogs and not the faithful terrier. However, this does not diminish the legend of Greyfriars Bobby.

To this day, countless admirers come to the grave of their four-legged friend every day, lay flowers, dog toys or sticks and commemorate his loyalty. Many make a pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Museum to see with their own eyes the collar given to him by his aristocratic friend the Lord Provost.

Everyone takes the opportunity to stroke the nose of the bronze statue of Greyfriars Bobby outside the pub of the same name. And those who are serious about paying tribute to the dog eat haggis in the pub. A typical Scottish dish, sheep's stomach stuffed with offal, Bobby would certainly enjoy.

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This article was originally published on Onet Travel.

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