Posted on January 14, 2009
“Bum, a St. Bernard-spaniel mix, gained fame after stowing away in San Francisco in the steamship Santa Rosa bound for San Diego in 1886. Cared for by a Chinese businessman, Ah Wo Sue, Bum became so popular that he was declared San Diego’s official town dog and his likeness was printed on dog tax receipts. Local children collected pennies for a proper funeral when he died Nov. 10, 1898. San Diego puppeteer Marie Hitchcock later popularized Bum’s story at Balboa Park’s puppet theater.
Bobby, a Skye terrier, became legend after he maintained a vigil for 14 years over the burial site of his owner, John Gray, at Greyfriars Church. Edinburgh’s children took a liking to Bobby, and his statue was installed near the church in 1873, a year after he died. A free showing of the 1961 Disney film about Bobby will be screened at the Gaslamp park at dusk Sept. 9.
The San Diego connection between the dogs grew with its “twinning” with Edinburgh in 1978 and a visit by Lord Provost Eleanor McLaughlin with San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor in 1990. Edinburgh donated the Bobby statue to San Diego in 1998 and San Diego promised to reciprocate with Bum.”
From the San Diego Union-Tribune