Friday, January 14, 2011
Greyfriars Bobby ~ The Love & Devotion of Pets
Many may think that we are silly, but we dearly love our pets. Although I grew up with both beloved cats AND dogs, & I've had everything from a crow to a duck to parakeets to mice & rabbits, we are unabashedly 'dog people.' Part of that is because DH & DD#2 are deathly allergic to cats, so we can never own another.
Our dear, faithful dog, Hickory (Hickory Dickery Dog) is the pet that our girls grew up with. Just a month after his 10th birthday he passed away in January of '08. He was a large Sheltie (Shetland Shepdog, love those Highland breeds!) & was our ever-present, loving companion. Ever the 'shepherd' he would herd the girls & their friends, when they were little, as they played...they never realized it, but if you stood back & watched, he was ringing them in even as he played w/them. Another endearing habit he had was that he would sit about 3 steps up on our staircase, that comes out into the house between the living room & the kitchen &, there, he could see nearly everyone in the house: whoever was in the living room, whoever was in the kitchen & whoever was in the school/computer room. His loving, watchful eye was on us all &, to him, all was right w/the world. When someone was sick & laying bundled up on the couch, he was always right there to monitor their every move.
We were heartbroken when we had to make the decision to ease his suffering from liver cancer. But we didn't abandon our sweet friend; the girls said their good-byes & left the room while DH & I sat on the vet's office floor beside Hickory. When the Dr administered the shot, Hickory lifted his head & looked at me, rested his chin on my knee & passed gently away while DH & I ran our fingers through his long beautiful fur.
Shortly after, we added our cute, spunky little Maggie (Magpie Maggie Mae) to our household. My, but you don't realize how well-trained & smart your older dog was until you start training another puppy! lol! She is so cute & so sweet & we love her greatly...but...sometimes there is simply 'that' pet that never quite leaves your heart & you still think about upon occasion. Hickory is 'that' pet for our family.
I was reminded of Hickory today, when I received a reminder from a Scottish site on my Facebook (part of my heritage is Scottish). Today is the 139th anniversary of the death of Greyfriars Bobby. If you have never read any of the many children's books about him or seen any of the movies, here's his story:
"January 14th 1872 - Greyfriars Bobby died after staying by his master's grave for 14 years. Bobby was a Skye Terrier dog belonging to Jock Gray, a farmer from the Pentland Hills, who regularly dined at an inn in Grassmarket, not far from Greyfriar's Churchyard.
When Jock Gray, died in 1858, the dog refused to leave his master's grave. He turned up regularly for 14 years at the inn at Grassmarket which had been frequented by his master and was fed there by locals who were taken by the dog's devotion. A life size statue to Bobby (undoubtedly the most photographed dog in Edinburgh) was erected on top of a drinking fountain outside Greyfriar's Churchyard shortly after the dog's death."
The stone the town's people erected at the dog's grave says: "Greyfriars Bobby - died 14th January 1872 - aged 16 years - Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all - Unveild by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester CCVO - on the 13th May 1981"
I can SO see Hickory being like this little tower of faithfulness for any of us in our family. Perhaps you, too, have had (or have) your own faithful, loving little friend. I would enjoy hearing your stories.
Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><