Dog who played loyal Greyfriars Bobby in Disney film honoured

The remains of the Skye Terrier who starred in the 1961 Disney adaptation have been donated to Edinburgh City Council.

The life of Edinburgh’s second most famous canine has been honoured at an event in the capital.

While Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal terrier known for guarding his master’s grave for 14 years after his death, may be the city’s best known pooch, the 1961 Disney adaptation of his story made a star of the dog who played the part of the local hero.

The remains of the Skye Terrier who starred in the film, who was also called Bobby, have been donated to the city’s council and now form part of its archaeology collections

They have been loaned to Greyfriars Kirk for a special exhibition commemorating the legacy near the real-life grave of Scotland’s most loyal companion.

On Friday June 16, a ceremony was held in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Bobby posterGetty Images

Depute Lord Provost Lezley Marion Cameron was joined by David Hunter who led the campaign to commemorate the occasion as well as members of the church and friends of the graveyard.

She said: “Greyfriars Bobby’s memorial reads ‘Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all’. 

“Countless visitors continue to see Bobby’s grave, his statue, and the many mementos of his life displayed in our Museum of Edinburgh. I’m delighted that this further part of the iconic and timeless story of a little dog who would not leave his master’s grave is going to be on display for visitors to discover. 

“Bobby’s is a story held in enormous respect and affection by people around the world, as is the famous film it inspired. Bobby truly is a world-famous pet, holding a special place in people’s hearts and it’s lovely to be of this special commemoration.”

Mr Hunter said that he was “delighted” that there would be a place for lovers of Greyfriars Bobby and the film to pay their respects and learn more about the dog’s life.

John Lawson, the council’s archaeologist, added: “It’s not often as an archaeologist that you work on such a unique project to preserve the remains of a 1960’s film star. 

“It has been fantastic to work with David, the Kirk and Grassmarket Community and my colleagues in bereavement services on this project and to see the enthusiasm and care that everyone has shown in finding a fitting home for his remains.”


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The dog's remains will be placed in an exhibition at the churchGetty Images

Rev Richard Frazer, minister of Greyfriars Kirk, said: “The story of Greyfriars Bobby goes on touching people’s hearts. We are glad to remember this ‘Bobby’ who starred in Walt Disney’s film. 

“The search for his remains is a story in itself, but David’s tenacity and persistence has paid off and now we have an additional item in our museum for people to visit, with a casket made in our Grassmarket Community Project workshop holding the ashes of the wee dog.”

The exhibition at the church will be open Monday to Saturday 11am to 4pm.

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