Two Skye Terriers by Christine
L: Ch. Gleanntan Genuine Risk - "Ramona"
R: Ch. Gleanntan Grizzabella - "Casey"
Skye Terriers In
There have been numerous
references to the presence of Skye Terriers throughout history from
the crofts on the Isle of Skye to the Drawing Rooms of England.
References below capture some of the most famous Skye Terriers in
The Story of
In 1858, a man named John Gray was buried
in old Greyfriars Churchyard. His grave leveled by the hand
of time, and unmarked by any stone, became scarcely
discernible; but, although no human interest seemed to
attach to it.
The sacred spot was not wholly
disregarded and forgotten. For fourteen years the dead man's
faithful dog kept constant watch and guard over the grave
until his own death in 1872. James Brown, the old curator of
the burial ground, remembers Gray's funeral, and the dog, a
Skye terrier called "Bobby", was, he says, one of the most
conspicuous of the mourners. The grave was closed in as
usual, and next morning "Bobby", was found, lying on the
This was an innovation which old James
could not permit, for there was an order at the gate stating
in the most intelligible characters that dogs were not
admitted. "Bobby" was accordingly driven out; but next
morning he was there again, and for the second time was
discharged. The third morning was cold
and wet, and when the old man saw the faithful animal, in
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of all chastisement, still lying shivering
on the grave, he took pity on him, and gave him some food. This
recognition of his devotion gave "Bobby" the right to make the
churchyard his home; and from that time until his own death he
never spent a night away from his master's tomb.
Often in bad weather attempts were made to
keep him within doors, but by dismal howls he succeeded in
making it known that this interference was not agreeable to him,
and he was always allowed to have his way. At almost any time
during the day he could be seen in or about the churchyard, and
no matter how rough the night, nothing could induce him to
forsake that hallowed spot, whose identity he so faithfully
That, however, concludes the story of the
life of Greyfriars Bobby, a life which was later commemorated by
the erection of the statue and fountain by Baroness Burdett
Coutts. The figure which was unveiled, without any ceremony, on
November 15, 1873.
From the Greyfriars
Bobby Web site:
In 1961, Disney made a movie on
this famous story
The section below is
excerpted from: Downey, F. Dogs of Destiny (1949), NY, NY:
Charles Scribner's Sons
It was Mary Stuart's
last day on earth. Even beyond the faithful few of her court who
shared her imprisonment, dogs had been Mary's solace, along with the
doves, which perched on her window sill. "My only
pleasure", she declared, "is in all the little dogs I can
get." A small Skye Terrier was the Queen's favorite.
With unwavering courage,
still beautiful at forty-five, Mary mounted the scaffold. The
headsman, black-clad and masked, knelt and begged her forgiveness
and she gave it with all her heart. Then she sank to her knees
before the block. No sooner had she done so than a shaggy form crept
forward unnoticed. The Skye Terrier, as if he feared being driven
away, swiftly hid beneath his mistress's skirts.
Down flashed the ax. The
Skye crawled forth from his concealment and crouched between the
Queen's severed head and shoulders. He would not move until one of
Mary's ladies gathered him up, covered with blood, and carried him
away. Though he did not survive his mistress long, but pined away,
he still lives in history's pages.
The sections which
follow are excerpted from: Brearley, J. & Nicholas, A. This
is The Skye Terrier (1975), Neptune City, NJ: T. F. H.
It was about 1842 that
Queen Victoria discovered the Skye Terrier and the breed became an
almost instant favorite with her. Her interest in Skye Terriers made
them widely desired by others of England's social world. The Queen's
special favorite is said to have been a little dog called Boz that
was her constant companion and always at her heels. Queen Victoria
also bred Skyes, and the royal kennel at Windsor housed a number of
the highest type and quality specimens of the breed.
The poet and
story-teller Robert Louis Stevenson was also a great lover of the
Skye Terrier. He had a dog called Wattie who was originally a stray
that the author took to his home near Bournemouth. Wattie was the
king in the Stevenson household for six years and battled the birds
and the cats of the Skerryvore neighborhood.