Nostalgia: Wee hound with tails to tell

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HE is the Capital’s most-loved canine and is known the world over.

The story of Greyfriars Bobby has tugged on many a heart string, with scores of tourists from across the globe flocking to the statue commemorating the little dog each year.

The statue of Greyfriars Bobby is carefully replaced on its pedestal. Picture: TSPL

The statue of Greyfriars Bobby is carefully replaced on its pedestal. Picture: TSPL

But the bronze memorial situated outside Greyfriars Kirkyard at the top of Candlemaker Row has had a lifetime of tragedy to rival that of the real dog.

Donated by Baroness Angela Georgia Burdett-Coutts to the city of Edinburgh, the statue and fountain it sits upon was unveiled on November 15, 1873.

But over the years, it has been plagued by a series of unpleasant events, including vandalism, theft and a car 
accident.

In June 1955, the statue was knocked off its pedestal after being hit by a car during the night.

It was returned to its rightful place two months later.

The little bronze dog was then stolen in January 1963, shocking passers-by who were used to seeing the statue as they walked past on their way to work every morning.

Police fortunately managed to recover the statue, which had been stolen by a group of students as a prank.

Perhaps some of the worst damage was caused to the memorial during a series of vandal attacks over the years.

In April 1979, vandals threw a tin of yellow paint over the statue.

The Lord Provost at the time, Kenneth Borthwick, described it as a “stupid act of vandalism”.

The city architect’s department was given the job of removing the paint and restoring the statue.

Just two years later, it was attacked again, with green paint being thrown over it this time.

Police at the time said they were investigating the incident.