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Bum and Bobby, two beloved dogs who lived in the late 1800's - one in San Diego and one in Edinburgh - have now been remembered with life-sized bronze statues in a small park in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.
Bum was a friendly St. Bernard/Spaniel mix stray who stowed away on a ship from San Francisco to San Diego in 1886. He became a favorite of downtown restaurant owners who routinely fed him (and patrons who sometimes gave him alcohol). He also hitched rides on streetcars and fire engines. Bum was so popular he became known as San Diego's Official Town Dog, and his picture was put on the city's first dog license. When he died in 1898, the children of San Diego collected pennies for his funeral.
In Edinburgh, a little Skye Terrier named Bobby was so devoted to his owner that he stayed on his owner's grave in the Greyfriars Churchyard for 14 years, leaving only for food. It was reported that people gathered at the entrance of the churchyard each day to watch him leave for his midday meal. The loyal little dog became known as Greyfriars Bobby; and after his death in 1872 at the age of 16, a statue of him was erected near the church. There is a 1961 Disney film about Bobby.
The connection: Edinburgh, Scotland, is one of San Diego's Sister Cities; and in 1998, Edinburgh donated a replica of the Greyfriars Bobby statue to San Diego. This statue has now been placed with the new sculpture of Bum, and a replica of our Bum statue has been sent to Edinburgh. Thus, both Sister Cities have twin memorials to their beloved "brother" dogs.
San Diego's statues are located in a pocket park next to the historic Willian Heath Davis House Museum located at 4th and Island. The gated park and museum are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5, and Sunday, noon-4, closed Monday. The park's gates are usually opened by 9:30. The statues can also be seen from the sidewalk at other times. The Old Town Trolley goes by here.
The cache's original site was located a little distance from the park due to the presence of another cache not far away. Now that the other cache has been archived, the Bum & Bobby cache has been moved close to the Bum & Bobby statues, but you do not need to go inside the park to retrieve the cache. The Bum & Bobby stories are on plaques in the park near the statues.
Update 8-9-15: According to a recent article in the paper, the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, with funding from the San Diego-Edinburgh Sister City Society, has brought "talking statue technology" to our dogs. If you are inside the park, you can hold a smartphone up to each statue's bar code and the dogs will tell their stories (through an actor's voice - the voice for Bobby has a Scottish accent). This is thought to be the first talking statue technology, developed in Denmark, to be used in the U.S.
More information about the dogs can be found at gaslampfoundation.org/bum-the-dog, which also has a link for more detailed info. You can find Bum and Bobby items in the little gift shop in the museum.
As usual, please be aware of muggles; and please replace the cache carefully. FTF $$.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum