‘Ol’ Woodbridge’ dawg taken from Chapman Housing

BIG RAPIDS — The Leadership Mecosta Year of the Dawg sculpture that stood outside Chapman Housing has come up missing.

Craig Chapman, owner of Chapman Housing, said he last saw the statue when he left work on Friday. He was out of town during the holiday weekend and noticed the dawg was gone when he returned home on Monday.

Chapman said he sent an e-mail out to Downtown Business Association members, thinking the dawg had been “taken for a walk” in the Memorial Day parade, and filed a police report when he didn’t hear back from anyone who had taken it.

“Ol’ Woodbridge,” named after Ferris State University Founder Woodbridge N. Ferris, is painted with shades of blue and green, depicting the lakes and rivers found across Mecosta County. Dawgs like Ole Woodbridge cost about $2,000 to create, with $1,500 going toward the cost of casting the fiberglass body and an additional $500 for the artist who paints the dawg.

There’s no reward for Ol’ Woodbridge at this time, Chapman said, because he believes someone will find or return it. In 2009, two kayakers found the missing “Day and Night Dawg” in the Muskegon River after it was taken from Herb Dulaney’s dental practice on the corner of Perry Avenue and Water Tower Road. In 2008, “J.D.,” the judicial dawg that stands in front of the Mecosta County Building, was stolen and the “Smile” Dawg, which smiles at Maple Street motorists outside Dental Health Care Associates, was vandalized when someone threw flower pots at it.

Dr. Bob Scharp’s “Smile” Dawg was damaged a few weeks ago when a window washer crashed a motorized scaffolding into the dawg, breaking of its heard.

“This was not vandalism; this was an accident,” Scharp said. “(The window washing company’s) insurance paid for a new bulldog and for it to be painted. They wrote us a check for $2,500.”

Knowing how popular the dawgs are, Chapman said he hopes his dawg will be returned safe and sound.

“Just last week I had people stop to get their picture taken with that bulldawg,” Chapman said. “I know they’re still a big hit around town.”

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Posted by Whitney Gronski-Buffa

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