Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sad as sad can be.

There is something about the death of a pet that really gets me. I blub when the time comes to send that faithful companion on.

I cannot watch Old Yeller at all. Nor would I be keen to see the Disney version of Grey Friar's Bobby ever again.

Just. Too. Damned. Sad.

The Bobby story is beautiful though - in 1856, Edinburgh night watchman John Gray had a Skye Terrier pup which he called Bobby. the two were inseparable for two years. In 1858 John died of tubercolosis. Bobby lived a further 14 years and if the story has credence, spent the bulk of his time lying on his dead master's grave, only leaving to be fed by locals.

At one stage the ownerless dog was to have been disposed of according to a local bylaw. The Edinburgh Provost, Sir William Chambers registered the city council as Bobby's owner instead.

I have twice stood before the statue in Edinburgh, once in 1972, and again in 1995, by which time two gravestones had appeared in the Greyfriar's Kirkyard cemetary - one marking the spot where John Gray lies, the other nearby where Bobby was buried.

In 1995 though, in one of those moments that just happens when savouring something inexorably sad...

... I spied the message on the new headstones which said "Gravestone erected by The American Friends of Bobby" and I got the giggles at the mental image that evoked.

In fact I lay on the grass before Gray's stone heaving with hilarity for several minutes.

Until Mrs Llew came by & told me that it was only mildly amusing. So sadness gone we went elsewhere.

Greyfriars Bobby - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And all that prompted this post was news that Younger Sister is getting a dog. A Border Terrier, which looks to be like a short haired Bobby.

Good choice.