3 Popular Dog Landmarks
Last Week’s Tip: 5 Things You Need for a Trip to the Beach With Your Dog
So you’ve made sure that you and your pooch are prepared for your upcoming trip and you’ve marked all the tourist spots that you want to visit.
But what about tourist spots your pooch may enjoy, too?
Some legendary dogs have made such an impact on history, they had to be memorialized forever. If you’re headed to New York City, Washington, D.C., or Tokyo, add these popular landmarks to you and your dog’s must-see list.
Statue of Balto – Central Park (East Drive at 67th Street), New York City
In January 1925, Balto was the lead in a dog-sled relay team that delivered the life-saving serum for a potentially deadly diphtheria epidemic that was about to hit Nome, Alaska’s youth. The serum that could stop the outbreak was in Anchorage – nearly a thousand miles away – and the lone aircraft that could quickly deliver the medicine had been dismantled for the winter. Incredibly, just six days later, Gunner Kaassen drove his heroic dog team into the streets of Nome saving countless lives, according to pbs.org.
The statue was erected by famed Brooklyn-born sculptor, Frederick George Richard Roth, and was unveiled on December 16, 1925 with Balto as a guest at the ceremony. According to centralpark.com, “Over the past nine decades, Balto’s statue has been a favorite as evidenced by the deep burnishing of his ears and back. Children and others frequently climb up on him for a photo opp.”
The story was so popular that an animated film was created in 1995 with Kevin Bacon voicing Balto.
When a stray mutt wandered into the Albany, N.Y, post office in 1888, the clerks working that day decided to let him stay. He ended up falling asleep on some mailbags.
According to The National Postal Museum, the stray mutt was named Owney and they discovered he was “attracted to the texture or scent of the mailbags and followed them when they were placed on a Railway Mail Service train. Owney began to ride with the bags on trains across the state—and then the country. In 1895 Owney made an around-the-world trip, traveling with mailbags on trains and steamships to Asia and across Europe, before returning to Albany.”
Although the circumstances aren’t clear, Owney died in Toledo of a bullet wound on June 11, 1897. Mail clerks raised funds to have Owney preserved, and he was given to the Post Office Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1911, the department transferred Owney to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum, where he has remained ever since.
Hachiko – Shibuya Train Station, Tokyo
In the early 1920s an Akita puppy named Hachiko faithfully followed his pet parent, Hidesaburo Ueno, to the Shibuya train station in Tokyo, Japan every day. Ueno, an agriculture department professor at the University of Tokyo, was teaching a class when he tragically died of a stroke.
According to ilovedogs.com, “Hachiko continued to return to the train station day after day, unable to understand that his best friend would never arrive. Hachiko continued this ritual for 10 years, until he died in 1935. Touched by Hachiko’s story, the people of Japan erected a statue in his honor at the Shibuya Station, where the Akita spent countless afternoons waiting for his master to come home.”
Hachiko’s story was so popular that two films were created in his honor: “Hachikō Monogatari” (2009) and “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” (1987).
Next Week: 5 Tips for Traveling with a Bully Breed