A couple of years ago, many residents of Kaunas shed a tear after hearing about the death of Bitė, the 12-year old St. Bernard dog. Her life story was indeed a symbol of true friendship of a man and a dog.
Bitė was known and loved by many because she was seen continuously around town – for example, she did grocery shopping for her owner Algimantas Bakas in the Žaliakalnis market. She’d ride a trolleybus all by herself, too! Bitė saved a few kids from drowning – there are many more stories which preserve the memory of the late dog. Stories and, as of recently, a sculpture!
The same historical marketplace in Žaliakalnis became the location of the newest highlight of Kaunas. A life-size bronze sculpture of Bitė was cast from bronze by Lukas Šiupšinskas, a young generation artist who’s already made marks around town with his ideas. In the Santaka park, you can visit a real Lithuanian superhero, pine cone-man by Lukas, and a Zen rabbit is greeting the visitors of the Old Town.
Lukas was invited to do the sculpture by Bakas, the owner of Bitė (in fact, there were numerous requests by people to immortalize the dog), and the project was funded by the Kaunas Highlights programme of Kaunas city municipality. More on the programme here: highlights.kaunas.lt