Real dogs don’t live forever, but dog statues do! Dog statues memorialize some of the best good boys and girls from history. They’re fun, unique and luckily for us, these lasting tributes are sprinkled all throughout the world.
Check out these memorable mutt statues on your next trip.
Location: New York, United States
In 1925, a devastating diphtheria outbreak hit Nome, Alaska. There wasn’t enough antitoxin to go around, so a team of mushers and sled dogs, including a Siberian Husky named Balto, traveled 674 miles to deliver medicine.
Balto’s team ran their leg of the trip almost entirely in the dark, and managed to stay on the trail in near whiteout conditions. They forged through blizzards and braved frigid temperatures as low as -23 °F, but ultimately succeeded.
The statue of Balto was made as a lasting tribute to commemorate his heroic journey. It was unveiled in Central Park on December 15, 1925, with Balto himself in attendance. It features Balto, his name and a plaque engraved with his story and the words: Endurance · Fidelity · Intelligence.
There is some slight discoloration on Balto’s back and ears from decades worth of touching, rubbing and playing. You’re free to ride Balto and climb on top of him!
It’s located west of East Drive and 67th Street, and north of the Central Park Zoo.
Fun fact: The statue was made by Brooklyn-born sculptor Frederick George Richard Roth, who has other work featured in Central Park as well: Tales of Mother Goose and Dancing Goat and Dancing Bear.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Hachiko the Akita was adopted by a University of Tokyo professor named Hidesaburo Ueno in 1924. Every day, Hachiko would meet Ueno at the Shibuya train station at the end of the professor’s commute home. Sadly, Ueno died one day from a cerebral hemorrhage while at work, but Hachiko continued to head to the Shibuya station every day to await his return. He went to the train station for nine years, nine months and fifteen days until his own death.
Hachiko became more widely known when his story was published in the paper. He served as a symbol of loyalty in Japan, and even helped revive the dying Akita breed in the country.
In April 1934, a bronze statue sculpted by Teru Ando was placed at Shibuya Station. The statue was recycled during World War II, but in 1948, the son of the original artist made a second statue. The new statue still stands and is a popular meeting spot.
Fun fact: Every year on March 8, the anniversary of Hachiko’s death, Hachiko is honored with a remembrance ceremony at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers turn up to honor his memory and loyalty.
Location: Sydney, Australia
A talking statue? Yup!
Islay was the beloved pet of Queen Victoria. The Skye Terrier only lived to be five years old – he was killed by a cat! – but he left a big impression on Queen Victoria.
The statue of Islay was modeled after a sketch made by the Queen herself in 1843. Islay stands on his hind legs, begging for treats, or in this case, coins. The statue stands above a wishing well, where donations are collected for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.
In 1998, a recording of Islay “speaking” was added, that says, “Hello, my name is Islay. I was once the companion of the great Queen Victoria. Because of the many good deeds I have done for deaf and blind children, I have been given the power of speech.” The statue then thanks those who toss a coin in the wishing well, and barks.
Location: Moscow, Russia.
Malchik was a stray dog who lived in the Mendeleyevskaya metro station in Moscow during the late 90s. He was popular with rail employees and commuters, and oftentimes defended his territory against drunks and other dogs.
He was killed in 2001 by a 22-year-old mentally ill woman who had a long history of cruelty to animals. His death sparked a wave of public outrage about the treatment of animals in Russia. Malchik’s killer was sentenced to a year of psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia, and Russian citizens donated money to create a tribute to Malchik.
The Malchik statue can be found in the Mendeleevskaya Metro Station in Moscow.
Los Perros de la Plaza de Santa Ana
Location: Canary Islands
The indigenous people of the Canary Islands, called Guanches, had a rare breed of dog known as canem (in Latin) or Canarian hounds (in English). These dogs were agile and slender, and used for hunting. They were prominent throughout the island, and when the Spanish arrived, they named the islands for the dogs.
In the Plaza de Santa Ana, statues have been erected in honor of the canine symbol of the island. There are eight dog statues that decorate the front of the Cathedral de Santa Ana. Don’t miss the islands’ namesake while visiting!
Location: Brussels, Belgium
There are not one, not two, but three pissing sculptures scattered throughout Brussels.
The first one, called Manneken Pis, is of a naked little boy peeing into a fountain. It was created way back in 1619.
The second, called Jeanneke Pis, is of a little girl squatting and peeing on a stone. It was made in 1985.
Now fast forward to 1998, when famed Brussels sculptor Tom Frantzen decided to add to the pissing legacy of Belgian statues. He made a life-sized statue of his dog peeing and placed it in his neighborhood. Pee not included!
Location: Florence, Italy
The legend of Fido is incredibly similar to that of other faithful dogs.
Fido, which means “I am faithful” in Latin, was a street dog in Italy. One day, a brick layer named Carlo discovered him injured and lying in a ditch on his way back from work. He picked him up, brought him home and nursed him back to health.
He eventually named him Fido, and the dog lived up to his name, as every day he’d accompany Carlo to the bus stop, see him off to work and await his return.
Sadly, Carlo died when his factory was bombed during World War II. Fido awaited his return at the bus stop, and went back every day to wait for him for 14 years.
Fido was featured in newsreels and magazines, and honored for his unwavering loyalty. The statue of him was erected in 1957, and inaugurated by the mayor and in the presence of Fido and Carlo’s widow.
Location: Alaska, United States
Patsy Ann is Juneau’s most famous dog. She spent her days wandering around town and was well known by locals. Born deaf, Patsy Ann could “hear” steamship whistles long before they came into view. She’d race to port, alerting locals of a ship’s arrival, and planted herself on the dock to greet crew members and visitors. The mayor dubbed her the “Official Greeter of Juneau, Alaska” in 1934, and a statue of her was place on the dock to forever greet visitors, new and old.
Fun fact: When New Mexican artist Anna Burke Harris created the sculpture, she included clippings of dog hair from all over the world in the bronze when it was cast. She did this to symbolically unite the spirit of dogs everywhere.
Location: Lake Tekapo Village, New Zealand
The elevated Collie Sheep Dog statue of Canterbury honors all of the sheep herding Collies who worked the farms in the McKenzie country region.
The statue stands on the shore of Lake Tekapo, right next to the aptly-named Church of the Good Shepherd.
Location: Melikhovo, Russia
Anton Chekov, considered one of the greatest short fiction writers in history, was also a physician and a dog lover. The writer was the proud owner of two Dachshunds who adored Chekov, but were known to be quite naughty and misbehaved with others.
In 2012, a sculpture of the two Dachshunds was unveiled
Have you visited any of these statues in person? Let us know in the comments!
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