Greyfriar’s Bobby – the dog who won the hearts of Edinburgh folks in the 1800s when he refused to leave his master’s grave for fourteen years – is one of the world’s most famous dogs.
His statue is one of the most popular insta spots in the city where people stop to rub Bobby’s nose.
You can also visit Bobby’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard where the inscription reads “the most faithful dog in the world”.
His collar – given to him by the Lord Provost in 1867 can also be seen in the Museum of Edinburgh. A new law in 1867 meant that any unlicensed dog would be destroyed. So the Lord Provost paid for a dog licence for him and gave him the collar.
But Bobby is not Edinburgh’s only cherished canine.
Edinburgh is home to a Canine Cemetery for regimental mascots and officers’ dogs- thought to be one of only two such graveyards in Scotland. It dates back to 1837 and is a small garden space which you can’t visit but it can view from above within the grounds of Edinburgh Castle. Some of the oldest script still visible is for Jess, the band pet of the Black watch 42nd Royal Highlanders. The most recent is for Winkle who died in 1980.
An unlikely name for a much love Edinburgh statue is ‘Bum’. You’ll find him, a three and a half legged St Bernard-Spaniel Cross, inside the King’s Stables Road entrance to Princes Street Gardens. Bum was a stray who wondered the streets of Edinburgh’s twin city San Diego on the late 19th century. Bum’s statue was part of a statue exchange between the two cities of their most famous canine residents. Bobby can be found in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.
James Clerk Maxwell is known as the father of physics and is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of any era. It’s said that he was a hero to Albert Einstien who had his image on his own study wall. Clerk Maxwell’s statue sits at the St Andrews Square end of George Street and resting at his feet is Toby his Irish terrier. Apparently, Clerk Maxwell used to explain his theories to his dog and examined the dogs eyes to try to understand colour blindness.
One of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks – the Scott Monument in Princes Street – also depicts Sir Walter Scott’s dog Maida. He’s sitting at the foot of the Scott monument, a fine example of a wolfhound and deerhound cross, gazing up at his master and carved from Carrera marble.
Another literary great and notable dog lover was Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote Treasure Island, Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He’s oft quoted as saying, 'You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us'. His Skye terrier Cuillin is immortalised alongside his youthful master outside Collinton Parish Church where he used to visit his grandfather who was the minister.