If you visit Edinburgh, you can visit the famous statue of Bobby that sits near the south entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard at the southern end of the George IV Bridge. When his master died, the Skye Terrier continued to make their daily rounds, visiting the pub on the way, and then entering the cemetery where he spent his day lying on his master’s grave. When Bobby died in 1872, there was an immediate cry for a memorial. The famous statue of Bobby is an ongoing reminder of what it means to be faithful even after death parts us.

It is a bit odd, I suppose, that a vital human trait, attribute, or accomplishment would be best represented by, or most fully realized in, the animal kingdom. For the creature that seems to embody loyalty paradigmatically is not man but dog. Dog loyalty is frequently stacked up against the pale, watery thing humans call loyalty, and we are found wanting. The lore on loyalty in the dog kingdom is replete with tales of self-sacrifice and undying devotion. The stories inevitably tug at the heart and moisten the eye, descending quite rapidly into pathos. And yet there is that moment of truth: the dogged faithfulness we call loyalty.

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