Hairy Maclary has finally been immortalised in bronze and work has begun on his mate Bottomley Potts.
The second character from their Hairy Maclary children's books is now being created at the hands of Wellington artist Brigitte Wuest, who has been tasked with creating the book's nine characters.
The sculpture, when completed, will feature as part of Tauranga's new-look waterfront which was officially opened on Sunday.
Thousands of people flocked to The Strand's waterfront area for the opening celebrations, which included the first day of registration foraHairy Maclary look-a-like project.
Creative Tauranga CEO Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell said 35 people signed up at the waterfront on Sunday.
Several Hairy Maclarys, a couple of, Bottomley Potts, a Muffin McLay, and Schnitzel von Krumm registered on the day.
''There were the people who brought their animals down and people of all ages, they were all just so excited,'' Ms Rudduck-Gudsell said.
''It has been fantastic for awareness. Some people thought we were just getting Hairy Maclary. They didn't understand it was nine characters, so they were able to see the concept drawings and all the characters.''
Ms Rudduck-Gudsell said they had also gained interest in people from across the country offering their dogs as models.
Hairy Maclary has now been completed in bronze after initially being formed from Plasticine and polystyrene.
The sculptures will cost $800,000 including maintenance and there fundraising is continuing to help bring the project into fruition.