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 Town Dog Bum

Photo added by Donald Greyfield

Town Dog Bum

  • Birth 3 Jul 1886 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
  • Death 10 Nov 1898 San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Plot Grounds
  • Memorial ID 7772932

California Town Dog. A St Bernard puppy arrived on a steamer from San Francisco in the 1890s as a stowaway and became a privleged fixture in downtown San Diego. He rejected attempts by families to adopt him, instead choosing to have no personal attachments and being everybody's dog. He was a public character and his habitation was the street sleeping on sidewalks while shoppers stepped around him. Restaurants and butchers fed him while he made regular rounds for handouts. Many eaterys displayed signs: 'Bum Eats Here.' His favorite time was answering the fire bell and riding the fire wagon to the scene. He was a familiar figure riding in public parades. He used public conveyances to facilate his forays to neighboring cities and towns once even going to far away Los Angeles to quickly return, finding the city not to his liking. The dog was tabbed with the nickname "Bum" When the dog license and fee was introduced, "Bum" was declared exempt by the city council and his picture was even imposed on dog licenses. Finally in 1889, crippled with rheumatism and by order of the Board of Supervisors, he was given a home at the County Hospital where he died within a few months of the edict. He was buried on the grounds but no memorial plaque was ever made and his gravesite is no longer known and has been lost. Legacy...A children's book "A Dog Called Bum" was written by Marie Hitchcock and published in 1981. San Diego, California and its Sister City Edinburgh, Scotland have had unusual dogs in their histories. Edinburgh with Grey Friars Bobby, a Skye terrier who watched over his master's grave for years and San Diego with BUM, a 19th century St. Bernard-spaniel mix who became the town dog credited with many amazing exploits. The two cities were "twinned" in 1978 and officials from each sealed a twin-statue dog deal in 1990. Edinburgh then sent a Bobby statue in 1998 and it was displayed outside the Mayors office until two Bronze Bum statues and a downtown location park were completed in 2006. The second Bum statue was flown to Edinburgh and installed near a statue of Grey Friars Bobby.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Created by: Donald Greyfield
  • Added: 17 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7772932
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Town Dog Bum (3 Jul 1886–10 Nov 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7772932, citing Bum Dog Burial Site, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Donald Greyfield (contributor 46585747) .