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1001 Stories Collection

Greyfriars Bobby

1001 Greyfriars Bobby Edi Libedinsky
Added on 27th August 2020

Oral tradition A story from Scotland

UK and Ireland Animals

The story of a dog's unswerving loyalty and devotion.


John Gray, a night-watchman with the Edinburgh Police, had a Skye Terrier called Bobby. Bobby was a loyal and loving dog. When John died, he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard and for the next 14 years Bobby stood guard by his grave.

Over the years Bobby became a local legend and was given a collar by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. When Bobby died in 1872 he was buried at the entrance to the Kirkyard, near his master. If you ever visit make sure you leave a stick on Bobby’s grave, for him to fetch.

Why we chose it

An enduring local legend, the unswerving loyalty of Bobby has captured hearts since the 19th century.

Where it came from

The story is based on a true story that became a part of local mythology over years of telling.

Where it went next

A year after his death, a statue of Bobby was erected in front of the Kirkyard. It is said if you pat his nose it will bring you good luck.

The story of Bobby and his master inspired several books and films. In 1902 Henry T Hutton told The True Story of Greyfriars Bobby. In 1912 Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson was first published. It was so successful that it was reprinted in 1994 as part of the Puffin Classic series.

Walt Disney made a film of the story in 1961, Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog. More recently in 2006 The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby was released in cinemas.

Associated stories

There are many stories of faithful dogs from around the world

Added on 27th August 2020

Oral tradition A story from Scotland

UK and Ireland Animals