These days, I often fantasize about owning a dog. Our beloved Chocolate Lab, Max, died a few years ago. He brought a lot of joy into our lives.
If you do happen to be a dog owner, you know that it doesn’t take long for you to recognize your dog’s personality and idiosyncrasies. For example, our after-dinner routine was to move from the kitchen into the living room. We’d sit in the double recliner, and Max would lie next to us on his dog bed. This everyday event included him getting a bone filled with peanut butter, which you can imagine he really enjoyed. If, for some reason, we were a few minutes later than usual transitioning into the living room, Max would be there waiting for us, sitting like a dog statue, drooling in anticipation of his treat. He was always on time.
There are a few reasons why we’ve not gotten another dog. But we can still have a remembrance of Max by virtue of a dog garden statue. Anyone who, for various reasons cannot commit to owning a dog, can still enjoy an aspect of having one by owning a dog statue for garden or home.
Your dog statue could be a replica of a once loved pet or one of a dog you aspire to owning. Perhaps you live in a small apartment that would not allow for a Great Dane, but you could have a Great Dane dog statue. And think of this, a dog statue is a one time investment. You don’t have to feed it, take it for walks or buy a plethora of dog toys to keep it occupied.
Okay, a dog statue is not the same as actually having a dog, but it can be a preliminary step on the way to getting one, serving as a constant reminder of your future goal. And if you purchase a dog statue as a loving remembrance of a dog you loved, you’re not alone. There are dog statues all over the world, serving just this purpose.
Famous Dog Statues Around the World
You can view honored tributes to faithful canines in a variety of countries: New Zealand, China, Scotland, Hungary and the United States.
A Scottish Terrier by the name of Fala was the pet of US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fala became a famous presidential pet, known across the country, as he accompanied President Roosevelt on many trips, both at home and abroad. Fala enjoyed performing several tricks: sit like a dog statue, roll over and jump, and his antics were mentioned frequently by the media. An MGM movie about a typical day in the White House featured the little black Scottish Terrier.
Fala also became an honorary private in the U.S. Army by “contributing” $1 to the war effort for every day of the year and setting an example for others on the home front. He also unknowingly aided American soldiers who, during the Battle of the Bulge, would ask one another the name of the President’s dog, to ensure they were all fighting on the same side. If another soldier did not answer Fala, further investigation as to his identity was warranted as it was possible that he was a spy.
The statue of Fala, beside his beloved President Roosevelt, resides in Washington, D.C.’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the only presidential pet so honored.
The Dog Statue I Most Remember
Every time we drove to Albany, NY I strained my neck looking for Nipper, a four-ton, 28-foot-tall statue of the canine mascot of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). And if you’d like to take a gander at the giant dog statue, here’s how to get there. Driving on I-787 South, take exit 4B and turn right on Broadway. About 10 blocks north, at the corner of Broadway and Loudonville Road, you’ll see Nipper on top of the Arnoff Moving and Storage building.
Nipper started out on a much smaller scale as a terrier owned by a painter, Francis Barraud, living in Liverpool England. Nipper earned his moniker because of the dog’s tendency to nip at people’s heels. Barraud painted a portrait of Nipper listening to a windup cylinder phonograph. He titled the painting His Master’s Voice, as Nipper was listening to a recording of Barraud’s brother, the original owner of Nipper.
The Gramophone Company purchased the rights to the original painting, which became one of the most successful trademarks in merchandising history. As the image gained in popularity, several corporations commissioned subsequent versions from the artist. In the 1970s, the statue of the dog and gramophone, His Master’s Voice, were cloaked in bronze and awarded to artists, music producers or composers as a music award by EMI Group Limited, a British transnational conglomerate in the music industry.
Our Albany Nipper stands alone, minus the gramophone. As a child, I always felt that he was guarding the city, much like a dog guards its family. A treasured dog statue that portrays the illusion of safety is almost as good as the real thing.