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Greyfriars Bobby


This is the story of a True Event in History, as told to me by my Grandfather, William Mitchell, born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the late 1930's I was given a puppy by my Grandfather, William Mitchell, in the Town of Nutley, NJ. I named the puppy "Skippy". He was only a few months old when one day I took him out to play. I was not as careful as I should have been. I had Skippy out on our front porch, where we could play in the morning sun.

Skippy ran over to the edge of the porch, and fell off. I was down to the driveway in a flash. Skippy was hurt real bad. I took him inside, where I found out that he would not live, from my Grandpa. I was really upset with myself for having not taken better care of Skippy. I was only five years old when this happened. Grandpa told me that the puppy was dead. I was crying for days and when Grandpa came home from work one afternoon, he told me this story.

In 1867 a Skye Terrier, named Bobby, was the talk of the town in Edinburgh. Bobby was the pet of a little girl in the country, several miles away. Bobby worked with Old Jock in the fields, tending sheep. It seems that Old Jock had went away to town. Bobby was devoted to Old Jock. The dog returned to Edinburgh and found his master, outside of a building in town. Bobby, was worried about Old Jock, as he sensed there was something wrong and stood by Old Jock untill he passed away in the night.

Bobby barked and awakened sleeping borders in the old boarding house. It was then that they discovered that Old Jock had passed away. Bobby was really upset, and he led the funeral procession to the grave at Greyfriar Kirkyard, or Cemetery. Bobby tried to stay by his master's grave, but the caretaker sent him away. Bobby would not leave and he spent every night by Old Jock's grave till he passed away, fourteen years later.

My Grandfather was born there in Edinburgh in 1875. He was there at the Kirkyard many times when he was old enough, to watch Bobby chase and kill the vermin that abounded in the area. Bobby was fourteen years old when he died, and my Grandpa was six years old.

I have remembered this story, for sixty years. My Grandpa had told it to my father, also. Then the Walt Disney Company made a movie, from the book Greyfriar's Bobby, by Eleanor Atkinson. I have wanted for my children to see this movie, and some time back in the 1960's it was shown on television. With the advent of my Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren, I wanted to perpetuate this story, down through the years. When I heard that it was to be released on video, I tried to obtain it through various sources. For more than ten years I tried every way I could think of. Then I went on the internet.

I went to the Disney Channel Online and started trying to get through to the people in charge. I sent several e- mail to the Disney people. In 1998 it was released for sale in their Classic series. I tried again at one of the stores in the town of Salina KS, and lo and behold it was now available. I immediately put down a deposit and ordered it. A week later the store manager, called and said it was in. I was over there as soon as I could, and picked up this most precious package. My patience had been rewarded. Praise the Lord!

My granddaughters came up and visited me this last weekend and I told them the story of how I first heard of this amazing true story. I then showed them the video on the night they came up. I am now awaiting the Great- Grandchildren to get a little older so they can watch, and learn how much a dog can be "Man's Best Friend".

As a testament to Bobby's devotion, the people of Edinburgh, erected a memorial to Bobby. In most of the Encyclopedias, under famous dogs, Bobby's story can be found.

Our thanks to Ernie Evans for this story and here is a picture of his grandfather with a new Skippy!

Grandfather, William Mitchell


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