I returned to the hysteria in the US late Thursday night. What we are experiencing here is nothing like the calm organization of dealing with the virus in Scotland. The US Government's handling of this pandemic is unconscionable!!!! The President is saying he is not responsible and the buck stops on somebody else's desk.
We boarded our plane from London Heathrow to LAX and then had to sit on the tarmac for 2 1/2 hours waiting for clearance to takeoff to the US. My daughter, JoJoMomi, accompanied me on the short vacation. She is an administrator at a major, 40,000 student body, university in SoCal. She learned that the campus is being shut down for the next 6 to 8 weeks while sitting on the tarmac. Classes will be going on-line, staff will be required to work from home except essential personnel will be required to work from their campus offices. My daughter is an essential staff member. Going to be pretty lonely working in an empty office without about a dozen support staff. We encountered 10's of thousands of travelers from all over the world at Heathrow airport. There was a lot of coughing going on and I suspect that I may have been exposed to C-19 virus. Although I have no symptoms and I feel great, I am voluntarily putting myself in self-quarantine at home for the next 14 days. Stay tuned.
Our short vacation to Edinburgh, Scotland can best be summed up as fun, facts, fascinating, and freezing cold!!!
The Scottish people are warm and friendly despite the gray and gloomy and terrible weather. We experienced some wonderful adventures during our short 4 day stay but I want to concentrate on our interaction with the local dogs in this post.
We met many local dogs which tended to be terrier type of dogs. We also encountered a number of designer breeds identified by their owners as Cockapoos and Cavapoos. The dogs are very well maintained and loved. Owners keep them on leash and the dogs were calm and relaxed in the crush of people on the streets. The streets and gutters are immaculate and absent any human trash or dog defecation. We in the US can learn a lot about dog care from our Scottish brethren. But in this post I want to concentrate on just one dog, Greyfriars Bobby.
John Gray was an Edinburgh constable in the late 1800's. His job was nightwatchman at the Greyfriars Church and surrounding consecrated graveyard built 600 years ago. He acquired a Skye Terrier puppy to keep him company during those long nights of loneliness in the graveyard. He named his dog Bobby. They became fast companions. Tragically, John Gray died of TB just three years after acquiring Bobby and he was buried in the Greyfriars cemetery he and Bobby had been guarding. Bobby refused to leave his master's grave site and slept beside his grave for the next 14 years. Bobby died of natural causes at the age of 17. Bobby was buried near his masters grave, the only dog buried on this consecrated ground and both lie in rest there today. During those 14 years, Bobby was fed by sympathetic local merchants and a shelter was erected by church maintenance men (about 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 2 ft. high) so Bobby could be comfortable and out of the daunting Scottish elements. Eventually, Bobby was a made ward of the city by the Town Council and his care was mandated by law. After his death, a statue was erected to commemorate Bobby's loyalty to his master and it has become a tourist attraction. I have pictures of John Gray's grave stone, Bobby's shelter adjacent to it, Bobby's grave stone, and the statue out on the main street in front of the Greyfriars Church. I tear up just posting this. I brought home with me a small souvenir of Greyfriars Bobby. The pictures are not ready to post yet, but I will post them soon enough, so be patient with me.
For further information about Bobby, go to this link: Greyfriars_Bobby
(BTW, the word "kirk" is Scottish Gaelic for the word "church.")
I salute you Bobby.