Lynsey Bartlett investigates just where have those Snowdogs got to?

It was the art installation that captured the heart of the city and raised an astonishing amount of money for Martlets. 

The Snowdogs by the Sea trail saw 44 decorated sculptures placed in and around Brighton last year. The entire campaign, including the Auction at Brighton Dome, farewell weekend and other fundraising events raised £310,000 for Martlets Hospice.

But what became of the Snowdogs after the auction and how have they settled into their new homes?

 

Snowdog: Process Pup

Artist: Josh Ford

Location on the trail: Beach Carousel

Now: Hanover Centre garden, Southover Street

Process Pup was purchased thanks to a crowdfunder by Hanover residents. 

Co-ordinator Ruth Farnell said: “Everyone was so generous. I had people with no money giving me a pound, then some putting £200 in if they had good jobs.” 

Although the residents knew they might not raise enough to buy Process, Ruth said the money would have gone to the charity regardless.

 “Everybody around here knows about Martlets,” she said. “Everyone knows how brilliant it is and what a fantastic godsend it is for people in need.”

In the end, donations accounted for half of the final bid with businessman Brian Warren of Quick HR making up the shortfall.

 

Snowdog: Pebbles

Artist: Joanna Martin

Location on the trail: Hove Promenade

Now: Yellow Fish, Stone Street 

Yellow Fish was involved with the initiative from the start, sponsoring Pebbles during the trail. 

Managing director, Maria Valentine liked the quirkiness of the project, but there was a more important reason for her involvement. 

“It was really close to our hearts on many levels, but particularly as my sister was cared for by Martlets before we lost her,” she said. 

“We never really had the intention of owning Pebbles, but the more it went on, and the more we saw feedback on social media, we thought he couldn’t go anywhere else, he had to be ours.” 

Maria and her team were keen for Pebbles to be more than just an ornament so he can now be hired, with proceeds going straight to Martlets. 

“He’s booked for a wedding and a party,” said Maria “He goes out for the first time next week to a school and the idea is the kids can draw pictures and do different tasks to raise more money.” 

In between outings, Pebbles spends his days gazing at the Downs from Maria’s balcony at her home in Ovingdean, where people often ask to come up and see him. 

She adds: “In a weird way, I will always have him now and my sister would be laughing and saying I can’t believe you’ve bought this great big dog to remember me by.”

 

Snowdog: Bella

Artist: Chris Dawson, Watercolour Society

Location on the trail: Fishing Museum

Now: OneFamily Financial Services, West Street

OneFamily on West Street was approached by Martlets to sponsor Bella. 

Her design features the Palace Pier at night on one side and a daytime scene on the other, with her tail decorated as the helter-skelter. 

Corporate communications executive Laura Barban said: “It fitted with our brand and ethos around supporting families as Martlets supports families at the worst point in their lives. 

When it came to the auction, chief executive Simon Markey was adamant Bella would be going home with them as everyone loved her. 

Laura added: “People always stop and take pictures and come in and ask questions. Hen parties love her too — it’s great.”

 

Snowdog: Bone China

Artist: Gemma Compton

Location on the trail: Brighton Marina

Now: Bright Blue Wealth Coastal, Kensington Street

Bone China now lives in reception at Bright Blue Wealth Coastal on Kensington Street after Managing Director Philip Ford accompanied his two grandchildren on the trail three times. 

“The whole city got caught up in this absolute furore,” he said. “I’ve lived in Brighton over 60 years and I think this was the best tourist advert they’ve ever had. At weekends hoards of kids and families were following the Snowdog trail.” 

Mr. Ford drew up a shortlist of five dogs he was interested in, Bone China came up early in the auction and he was the successful bidder. 

“The astonishing bit is the kids that swarm along here during the holidays and stop to look,” said Mr. Ford. 

“We have met people who have deliberately changed their route to work to see Bone China which is amazing.”

 

Snowdog: Disco Dog

Artist: Natalie Guy

Location on the trail: Duke Street

Now: Skerritts Chartered Financial Planners, Coleridge Street 

Disco Dog with his mirrored, mosaic design was a firm favourite with children and adults alike on the trail. 

Managing Director Richard Skerritt knew his wife was taken with the dog, but it was competitiveness that ultimately forced his hand. 

“My mate really wanted him so I had to buy him so he couldn’t,” he said. “There was lots of banter before the auction, but we won the bid so he ended up buying four other dogs.” 

Richard and his team have been involved with Martlets for some time and have friends who have been cared for at the hospice, so it made sense to bid for Disco Dog. 

 

Snowdog: Dave the Dog

Artist: Totally Dynamic

Location on the trail: Floral Clock, Hove

Now: Hove Place Pub, First Avenue 

Dave the Dog now sits on top of a shack in the garden of Hove Place. 

He was sponsored by Dave Day, founder of the Golden Lion Group which owns the pub, and is the same golden colour as Mr. Day’s Bentley. 

Deputy manager Matt Hollick said: “People come to see Dave the Dog and take selfies. He watches over the garden and probably keeps the seagulls away.” 

Matt said nobody has climbed on the roof yet to ride on the dog, but with the summer round the corner he’s not ruling it out!

Coming Soon: Autumn 2018 Art Installation!