It’s Caturday Art day and the Letter G day!! G is for Guffey, Guide Dogs and Greyfriars Bobby.
Here’s another unusual mayor of a small town (what is it with animal mayors and tiny towns?) – in 1988, Paisley, a calico cat was elected mayor of Guffey, Colorado and served until her death in 1990. Smudge le Plume, a “mostly Siamese” cat was elected into office shortly after. Smudge served until she went missing in October of 1991 (presumably in the jaws of a coyote—where was her Secret Service protection?) Wiffey la Gone, another calico, was elected and served from her office at the Guffey General Store until 1993 when she retired to a ranch. After Wiffey, Shanda, a golden retriever was elected and even featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show (that’s not fair! There were more cat mayors than dogs!) Wikipedia gave me this little tidbit: “According to local folklore, the two main political parties in Guffey are called the “Democats” and the “Repuplicans”. The Mayor of Guffey is a cat named Monster (elected in 1998).
On that terrible day of September 11, 2001, there were a number of shining stars amidst the devastation. Two of them were Roselle and Salty, both Labrador Retriever Guide Dogs who led their charges to safety. Roselle guided Michael down 78 flights of stairs of the North Tower, remaining calm and steady even when the stairwell grew claustrophobic with so many people, smoke, heat and fear. After a 45-minute descent, the finally reached the outside, and then just moments later had to run for cover as the South Tower was collapsing. They survived 9/11 because they knew how to work together as a team. If Roselle was unafraid, then Michael felt safe; if Michael stayed calm and focused, the Roselle did the same. Neither was alone, and their bond allowed them to be brave for others.
Salty guided Omar down 71 flights of stairs of the North Tower. There were some in the stairwell who were unable or unwilling to go on but Salty maneuvered around any obstacles and continued to lead Omar. Around the 35th floor the stairs became very crowded and hot. Omar was worried Salty would be overwhelmed by what was going on around him so he let him go, presumably so he could find his own way out and survive even if Omar did not. A few minutes later, Salty came back to Omar, as if to say, “I can’t go forward without you.” The pair continued until they reached the open air. Then as the South Tower collapsed they ran headlong down the street trying to escape it. Omar held tight to Salty and they both survived the terror. Both dogs were later awarded with the Dickin Medal by the British Government. The Dickin Medal is the highest honor Great Britain gives to an animal who is brave when faced with danger.
And last, but not least, we have Greyfriars Bobby, or, Bobby the Terrier who lived in the late 1800s and was a famous Edinburgh, Scotland character. His legend says that after his master died he stayed by the grave for 14 years. However, there are varying stories about Bobby; one of them states he was a pet of the royal engineers and hung out at restaurants rather than graveyards. Regardless of the truth of Bobby, he is still a beloved part of Scotland’s history and there is a statue of him in Edinburgh that is a major tourist attraction.
For a more detailed story visit the Historic UK website! This is supposed to be an actual photo of Bobby, but his ears are different that his representative statue.
Here are a few books about Bobby!
And now for Caturday Art!!! I brought Bobby a medal and laurel crown for his heroic actions by his master’s side. I fell asleep during the ceremony due to jet lag.