If you are contemplating making a trip to Edinburgh then I think you should consider buying this little book. Greyfriars Bobby, the little Skye Terrier that became so legendary in the late 19th century, is a much more potent symbol of this great city than even the castle that dominates its skyline. For while the battlements rear over the city, creating the most powerful visual landmark to associate with, this little dog represents its heart and soul, and a working knowledge of his peculiar story is therefore a must if you are going to visit the Scottish Capitol.
George Robinson has collected a series of short vignettes that detail some of the most memorable Bobby stories, detailing his origins and cleverly discussing the myths about him, showing us the friends he made and the lives he touched until his death in 1872, and giving us a picture of the spirit of a city that I hope is as real today as it was then, as you will certainly understand if you get this book. Perhaps as you sit in one of the places marked on the map inside, sitting in the park below the castle waiting to hear the startling bang of the One O’clock gun, or at the end of a busy day in your hotel, you might realise as I did how much the culture and spirit of Edinburgh is contained in the trusting gaze of this remarkable little dog. Along with this is an array of incidents that show 19th century life in Edinburgh, from the story of the one o’clock gun to military parades and other interesting things besides.
I don’t know of any city that can boast such a fine recommendation as one that which collectively adopted this homeless animal as part of its character and heritage, giving him one giant home in almost every household he met. I very much enjoyed this little book, with its nice period engravings and succinctly written stories, and I’m sure Scottish history and dog fans alike will enjoy it too.