A paw-some new statue has raised more than £3,200 for a Keswick park in its first week.
The bronze likeness of 13-year-old spaniel Max, Keswick’s most famous canine resident, has been erected in Hope Park with a donation box attached raising money for the upkeep of the green space.
Kerry Irving, Max’s owner, created an online community through daily livestreams of their walks throughout the pandemic and the dog was even awarded a PDSA Order of Merit for its work in improving the nation’s mental health.
Duncan Miller, chairman of Keswick Parks, said: “Hope Park enjoyed a fabulous and uplifting day when the statue of Max was unveiled earlier this month.
“Kerry Irving and his dogs, or ‘his boys’ as he refers to them, were on top form in front of the media and a large enthusiastic crowd.”
Mr Irving added: “I’ve been completely blown away with people’s responses. The messages from people have been so heart-warming. For some people visiting the statue has been their first trip out since the pandemic began. It’s becoming quite a focal point for Keswick.”
Keswick mayor Alan Dunn presided over the unveiling which saw crowds in excess of 2,000 people gather to see local artist Kirsty Armstrong’s design on top of a Honister slate bench.
Mr Dunn said: “ It was amazing how many people turned up for the unveiling and how far they had travelled, and even more amazing was the amount of money donated which all goes to the Keswick Parks charity.
“The park’s trustees and Keswick Town Council are extremely grateful for this much-needed boost to our income and for putting Keswick well and truly on the map.”
The statue is already having its head polished through visitors stroking the bronze dog and Mr Irving hopes donations continue to trickle in.
The total raised in donations during the first week was £3,236.