By Jacqueline D.
Top o’ the mornin’. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Garden Street Dog!
By the edhat staff
For those who don’t know, this 4-foot tall, 340-pound bronze statue of a Labrador Retriever sits in the front yard of an Upper Eastside home in Santa Barbara. At the corner of Mission and Garden Streets, “Rover” has been a staple for over 100 years connected to the historic Crocker Row homes.
For as long as Ed can remember, the dog would have different costumes for holidays, seasons, and event current events. During the Thomas Fire, “Rover” was wearing an N-95 mask to emphasize lung safety when ash was falling over the entire city. For the Santa Barbara Film Festival, “Rover” had stars in his eyes and was dressed up like a Hollywood director.
There have been a lot of rumors swirling about the Garden Street Dog and how it became to be memorialized. Each story would grow more fantastic than the last: the dog saved a child from a burning home, the dog saved the entire family, no the entire orphanage!
In reality, the house was built in 1894 by William H. Crocker, where the name Crocker Row comes from. Although “Rover” didn’t arrive in Santa Barbara in 1904 with the home’s second owners who transplanted from Michigan. That family brought “Rover” with them and he’s been there ever since. The real story is that the real Rover was born on the same day as the family’s daughter, Eleanor. Rover was a beloved dog that reportedly lived to the age of 18 and due to the special connection to the family, they had a statue made out of him.
As of February 2018, the Garden Street Dog house went on the market and was listed for more than $4 million. However, rumor has it a special condition was added to the sale agreement – the next owners had to agree to continue the tradition of dressing up the dog.