Everyone has heard of the story of Greyfriars Bobby. The wee dog in Edinburgh that sat at his owners’ grave for 15 years without moving. He even has a statue and a pub named after him. Though, through all the fame, most people don’t know what breed of dog he is. Well, he’s one of the oldest living breeds in the world, a Skye Terrier. A breed that is said to be over 400 years old and has held court with queens and royalty. They were the preferred breed of Queen Victoria and Mary Queen of Scots was said to have had a Skye hidden under her dress on the way to the chopping block. Remember the hairy dog from The Magic Roundabout, Dougal….yup he was a Skye Terrier. So everyone has seen and been aware of a Skye Terrier, without knowing it!
Of course, those pale in comparison to our very own mascot, in the form of Chewbacca.
Sadly over the past number of years the Skye Terrier has lost its popularity and it is now listed as an endangered breed, there are more Giant Pandas in the world than there are Skyes. Which is a shame as apparently in Queen Victorias’ era anyone who is anyone would not be seen without a Skye Terrier.
The strong, sturdy wee dog was bred to take on badgers and foxes back in the day. They have a form of dwarfism, which explains why they have short legs. They’re actually quite deceptive in size, as their long hair makes them look a lot bigger than they actually are though they still act like little tanks. One thing the Bobby myth got right is their unyielding loyalty, too many walks have been had where I’ve thought Chewie has gone off to explore only to find him on my heel.
We have taken it on ourselves to be a bit of an ambassador for the breed (just take a look at our Instagram page!). We want to show him off where-ever we go and help promote the breed, as they are great dogs to have to suit a relaxed lifestyle. We have decided to release a new enamel pin to honour this wee dog. While the statue is fine, we don’t think it represents the Skyes of today. They may have looked like that over 100 years ago when the statue was made but they certainly don’t look like that now…..our pin does though.
Get your own Bobby Pin HEREedinburgh greyfriars bobby history myth skye terrier statue