Famous dog statues from around the world

Famous dog statues from around the world

They’re the subject of countless tourist photos but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll discover moving stories.

February 26, 2020

Moscow
Russian superstition –
At Revolution Square metro station in Moscow, the bronze nose of a border guard’s dog is burnished to a shine. The tradition—touching the dog’s nose for good luck—was started by students seeking to lift their exam results. It was adopted by Muscovites of all stripes, who, to this day, instinctively lay their fingers on the sculpture as they walk by.


Chicago
Friends in the city –
In the windy city, a colourful pack of fiberglass dog sculptures, created by local artists, highlights the important role of the local police force. The initiative helps generate funds for families of members of the force killed in the line of action, while also providing funds to PAWS Chicago for their canine sterilization program.


Montreal
Friends in arms –
A statue in Place d’Armes square immortalizes an emblematic duo from Quebec history: Lambert Closse, an accomplished early settler, and his dog Pilotte. Pilotte is said to have saved Montreal when, during a routine walk, he sniffed out the presence of Iroquois attackers. The statue is right across the street from the Notre Dame basilica.


New York
The serum run
– It’s 1925 and the town of Nome in Alaska is being crippled by an outbreak of diphtheria. A series of dog teams races to get vaccine to the town before it’s too late. Legend has it that a dog named Balto was the lead of the last relay. Baptized “the serum run”, this canine exploit inspired the sculpture that you can visit in Central Park.


Tokyo
Fidelity embodied -
Each morning an Akita named Hachikò, accompanied his owner to Shibuya train station, and returned to collect him at the end of the day. In 1925, the owner died suddenly. Until his own death—for the following 10 years—Hachikò waited at the train station for his owner to return. The faithful canine was buried next to his owner. Four years ago, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology commissioned this statue of the famous pair.


Basque country
On guard at the museum –
The giant West Highland Terrier that stands guard at the door of the Guggenheim museum of modern art in Bilbao is called Puppy and is the creation of the American artist Jeff Koons. Plants, which are changed to reflect each season, grow out of a 12-metre stainless steel frame. Surrounded by visitors from all over the world, and with its intricate, ever-changing floral outline, Puppy reflects patience, diligence and the art of letting go.


Edinburgh
The cemetery guard –
At Greyfriars cemetery in Scotland you can visit the tomb of a Skye Terrier called Bobby who was killed in 1872. Bobby spent the 14 years preceding his death on the tomb of his owner. As in the case of Hachikò in Tokyo, local residents kept Bobby alive by bringing him food. Following his death, a statue was erected to his memory close to George IV bridge in Edinburgh—where passersby rub his shiny snout for good luck. Bobby, the faithful fido, became the star of numerous books and films.

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