“ A monument dedicated to Man´s best Friend in Warsaw. „
Being a dog lover I was thrilled to know that there was a monument dedicated to a Golden Retriever situated in Park Jozefa Pilsudskiego in Warsaw. My old dogs sadly passed away last year but we still have one dog left in the family and he is a daft but loveable Golden Retriever. I was told that the monument was very close to the main entrance of the park but I couldn't find it at first. I think I must have circumnavigated the park at least three times before I eventually came across this lovely looking bronze figure of a dog.
The monument/sculpture is set on a small hill in front of a few trees. The dog is life like in size and is sitting in an obedient position with a happy smile on his face like he is waiting to greet his master. The bronze figure is mounted on a rough piece of granite with a small boulder at his side bearing a plaque with an explanation about the sculpture.
Residents of Warsaw are known for being great dog lovers and if you could see some of the sizes of dogs being walked by their masters as they leave their flat entrances in a morning you would die. I have never known a nationality that is obsessed with dogs and able to fit the largest dog in the smallest place. I have seen St Bernard, Newfoundland and German Shepherd breeds all living in a living area of 45 square metres along with the rest of the family. Amazing but true and all animals are well looked after. Why am I telling you this? Because a group of dog lovers in conjunction with Pedigree Foods in 2004 held a competition to see which was the most popular breed. The breed, Golden Retriever won and this sculpture is to show the people of Warsaw and visitors just how special this breed is and how devoted to his master and family he is.
The dog chosen as the model was called 'Lokat' (named Deposit in English) and owned by the artist who created the sculpture, Bogna Czechowska. This artist studied Art in Warsaw in the years from 1983 -1988 and has a special love of animals. In most of the artist's paintings you will see a cat or a dog painted in soft colours. 'Lokat' was a gifted dog and worked with children in Kynotherapy sessions. Briefly; kynotherapy is a form of therapy which is sometimes used when children are disturbed at school or in any sort of learning environment. For some reason they don't wish to learn and can often become distraught and aggressive. A dog, like 'Lokat' is used as a teaching aid, forming a positive contact between child and dog. Children remember a lot more when they are happy and in a friendly environment. It is much easier to motivate a child to study by using an aid that gives them pleasure. In this case, a dog. A child is able to trust and show love to a dog and receive these emotions back thus forming a bond which enables the child to open up and be more willing to listen, concentrate and eventually learn.
As for the statue, it is lovely. It has been beautifully sculptured from his floppy ears, wet nose, smiling eyes and even his shiny coat. The wavy curls of his coat are fantastic as are his paws and tail. I like the way the artist has added extra flakes of gold into the bronze so that when the sun shines on the statue you see strands of gold in his coat. Every detail is here and he is so lifelike - no wonder all the children love him. It took me well over 30 minutes to get a photo of the dog without children clambering over him and trying to sit on his back. I can understand the kids being fascinated by him and wanting to stroke him but I was a bit alarmed that parents didn't take their children off the statue when climbing all over it. This is not the way to keep the statue in the best condition and it would be a shame to see it damaged. I think children should be taught to respect monuments like this and to be told that they are for everyone not just themselves.
I know not everyone is as crazy about monuments as I am but I recommend this one and the park itself is fantastic and well worth a day out. I will review the park later. You can find the statue of the famous Golden Retriever at the western end of Park Jozefa Pilsudskiego. If you follow the main path leading from the entrance then turn left and walk on about 200 metres you will see it on the tiny hill. There is a map and legend at the main entrance so you shouldn't have any problems finding it unlike me who never looked at the map - just kept wandering around.
Best to take the Metro from Centrum or Metro Ratusz Arsenal to Pole Mokotowskie.
*Please note that parts of this article have been published on other sites but I have added some more details on this review and changed the title.*