Hard bronze statues don’t often inspire warm, cuddly feelings, but some of them are just so damn cute, you can’t help but want to give them a hug. Whether it’s a naughty little pup lifting his leg on a bollard, or a monument to a war hero bear with a doofy grin, all across the world you can find timeless metal tributes to all sorts of adorable beasts. Check out 10 of the world’s most heartwarming bronze creatures below!
1. Zinneke Pis
Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium
Belgium’s Manneken Pis, that cherubic little boy taking a pee that can be found replicated on fountains across the world, is one of the most famous statues of all time, but did you know that he has dog? And he’s peeing too. Located in a public Belgium square, the bronze dog was created as tongue-in-cheek homage to the more famous pis statue. Even though he’s peeing, the little pup is such a cute little scrapper, it’s hard to be too mad him.
Look at this little guy! The tilted head, the slight “who, me?” look. Adorable. However London’s Brown Dog Statue is a replacement for a previous monument that was once at the center over a controversial fight over vivisection. In 1903, a physiology professor was accused of performing a cruel vivisection on a living brown terrier, sparking a very public fight over the practice.
The anti-vivisectionists created a brown dog monument in honor of the dog, but the statue caused riots between outraged medical students and animal rights activists, and the city was forced to remove the statue in 1910. This new statue was put in place in 1985, serving as a reminder of the Brown Dog riots. Who could hurt that little face, even for science?
3. King Puck
All hail King Puck, Lord Goat of Killorglin! This smiley goat is the symbol of the yearly Puck Fair festival which sees the locals of Killorglin bring a goat down from the hills and crown it king of the town for a few days. The fair is thought to be the oldest surviving festival in the country, and is still quite the party. The real goat that is chosen each year probably isn’t as happy looking as this permanent monument to the festivities, but it it half as cute as this statue, it’s no wonder it is crowned king.
This Canadian statue might not look familiar, but the little bear that is memorialized by this statue is more famous than you think since he was the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. Winnipeg the bear was a cub that was adopted by a World War I regiment of soldiers, who raised the baby bear as their official mascot. The bear eventually ended up in a London zoo where A.A. Milne’s son became infatuated with the animal, eventually inspiring the Winnie the Pooh we all know today. This monument depicts the bear cub standing up and holding hands with her former owner which is just the cutest thing. She thinks she’s people.
Apparently adopting bear cubs was once a popular pastime for bored soldiers, as this statue remembers a bear named Wojtek that was taken in by a regiment during World War II. The bear actually stayed with the troop long enough become fully grown, by which time they had taught it to salute, carry supplies, and eat cigarettes. Although he was adopted by a Polish regiment, he ended the war in Scotland, which is where his monument stands today. Usually a full grown bear might be a scarier beast, but the look on this bear’s face is too “aw shucks” to be menacing.
Saint Andrews, Scotland
In general, stray cats are a sad sight, but sometimes they are so cute they win the hearts and minds of the locals. Such is the story of Hamish McHamish, a fluffy little stray who became the unofficial mascot of St. Andrews, Scotland. The cat was allowed in local businesses and fed and taken care of by the citizens like it was a civic duty. The local newspaper started a campaign to erect the statue of Hamish that now stands in the town so that they will never again be without their beloved kitty.
Wellington, New Zealand
Look at this regal feline! In life Mrs. Chippy was the ship cat aboard the famous Shackleton expedition, brought down to Antarctica by the crew carpenter. Mrs. Chippy made to the frozen land, but suffered a sad fate when the ship became stuck in pack ice. As matters became more desperate for the ship’s human crew, the cat had to be shot along with the sled dogs. But now, a bronze Chippy can be found lounging on the carpenter’s grave in New Zealand.
(Photo: Nigel Cross/Public Domain)
Perched on a bronze dictionary, Hodge the cat is the perfect mix of feline superiority and literary pedigree. The real Hodge belonged to famous dictionary author (and jerk) Samuel Johnson, who was infatuated with his cat companion. Johnson is said to have fed the cat oysters whenever he could, and generally treated his pet better than some of his servants. Now Hodge is forever cast in a contented position, right next to some oysters. The cat might be spoiled, but you can’t deny that it’s a pretty little kitty.
This Sunol, California monument is dedicated to a regal pup named Bosco who may be the only dog to ever serve as mayor of a human town. Full name, Bosco Ramos, the dog was a black lab belonging to a local family who was nominated for mayor of the town as a joke, but went on to beat out two actual candidates, winning him the honor of being honorary mayor from 1981-1995. His adorable memorial statue portrays the dog as wearing a bandanna that perfectly accents his perfect dog face. Whoever decided to start putting bandannas on dogs deserves a monument of their own.
(Photo: Pedro Xing/CC0 1.0)
Jim the Wonder Dog was one hell of a pet. When he was alive, the dog’s owner claimed that Jim could not only understand English, but also perform remarkable acts of psychic prediction including guessing the sex of unborn children as well as the Kentucky Derby. Poor Jim died in 1937, but an entire memorial garden was erected in 1999 on the site where his former owner’s hotel once stood. The centerpiece of the garden is a statue of Jim himself, standing alert and ready to warm hearts and predict horse races.