I’d like to tell you a story that I heard many times whilst growing up in Wales. It never fails to move me. The story is inscribed on a gravestone in Beddgelert, North Wales:
In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent.
On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.
The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.
Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here.
And here is a related quote I found on Wikipedia:
Thou hast not trod with pilgrim foot the ground
Where sleeps the canine martyr of distrust,
Poor Gelert, famed in song, as brave a hound
As ever guarded homestead, hut, or hall,
Or leapt exulting at the hunter’s call;
As ever grateful man consigned to dust.
John Critchley Prince lines 24 to 29 of “North Wales”