Statue of a dog called Bum finally finds a place to sit

IT was beginning to look as though a monument to San Diego's most famous dog, Bum, might just live up its namesake and wind up homeless.

The statue honouring the three-legged crossbreed was to be given a spot close to the memorial for Greyfriars Bobby.

The dog is seen as an important link between Edinburgh and San Diego, which were twinned in 1978. The American dog's story is similar to that of Edinburgh's most famous pooch.

But after being turned down by the National Museum of Scotland, and told a spot on the pavement next to the original Bobby memorial would be "problematic", members of the Edinburgh San Diego Twin City Association were forced to look for another home.

Now they have come up with a solution, with the statue of Bum set to be given a prime spot in Princes Street Gardens. It is hoped it will be placed at the King's Stables Road entrance to the Gardens, as the council is refitting the area to make the walk through to the Grassmarket more attractive and interesting.

John Wilson, president of the Edinburgh San Diego Twin City Association, admitted that the spot in Princes Street Gardens was not his ideal choice.

But he said the new suggestion fitted nicely with the story of Bobby's history. "Obviously I would have preferred to have the statue closer to Bobby, but that does not seem possible," he said.

"This new location is very good though, and it should certainly ensure lots of people can see the statue and find out more about Bum. That end of the Grassmarket was almost the other side of Bobby's territory as well, so it will be a nice link between them, watching over different sides of the Grassmarket.

"We're still drawing up the planning applications and I have been in talks with the council, so hopefully we will still be on schedule to unveil it later this year."

It is estimated that placing and maintaining the statue will cost upwards of 10,000.

Mr Wilson is looking for sponsorship and donations to site the memorial. He hopes to have it in place in time for a visit to Edinburgh by a delegation of officials from San Diego in July. A council spokesman said: "Greyfriars Bobby is an iconic symbol of Edinburgh and we are delighted that a statue of Bum the dog, who has the same iconic status in our twin city of San Diego, is being presented to the people of Edinburgh to further illustrate the link between our two cities. We will ensure the right home is found for Bum and, subject to planning permission, he'll soon have a home here."

Bum, said to have arrived in San Diego as a stray in the late 19th century, lost a leg while rescuing a puppy on a railway track. He developed a taste for alcohol after hanging around bars but was nursed back to health and spent much of his time giving rides to children.

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