Old Shep is Still On-Duty
In our travels we have learned about a number of dogs that were adopted by their communities and whose very lives managed to transform their doggie-ness. One of those was Thornburgh who is the only dog in history to have had a military funeral and is buried with honors at Ft. Bridger, Wyoming. On the wall near the flagpole at the Hoover Dam is a plaque dedicated to the only four-legged inspector who was give carte blance access to the dam site during the construction phase. On my recent Montana trip, I learned about "Old Shep." It seems that Old Shep's human companion died in 1937 in Fort Benton, Montana and was placed on a train for burial back east. Old Shep was left behind and every day for five years he waited at the terminal on the north side of town and checked each arriving train for his friend. The local community adopted him and a newspaper story about this faithful dog resulted in so much fan mail that the local station master had to hire a secretay to answer the letters. He slipped on an icy track one day and was killed by a train. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people and his grave and memorial are still tended.
The bronze statue above, was erected by the Great Northern Railroad on the banks of the Missouri River.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-09-2005 at 08:32 PM.
Reason: darn typos
People tend to take for granted the bond between animal an human. Whether it be dogs or cats, the friendship between a human and their four-legged companion rivals all other relationships, even marriage.
I still have a strong bond with three cats up in Washington State, Oliver, Duddley, and Pika, even though I am over a thousand miles away in Arizona. My last trip began with all three cats taking places on the porch for my arrival when I visited in April. They saw the car coming down the street, and knew this was a unique trip. The next 6 nights included Duddley's fluffy tail in my face, Pika taking up most of my pillow, and Oliver (all 30 pounds of muscular cat) keeping the comforter firmly in place while I slept... or tried to at least. Those cats are my family, and should something ever happen to them, I would be on the next flight out.
This is why, for me, it's not surprising that there are monuments like the one's that Mark described.
I"m not surprised either. I still feel the loss of pets from the past and miss them. I have a very deep bond with my dog, Baby. So called because, with the kids being older, she is truly the spoiled baby in the family right now. Activities are often determined around whether or not she can go, whether or not she will enjoy it, etc. Unless the day is too hot for her to be left in the car, and this is relatively rare up here on Washington's coast, she goes everywhere with me. My car will never be truly clean with all the dog hair but I don't care. She is the funnest, funniest, and best companion anyone could ask for. I tend to judge people by how they treat animals.
These types of stories always bring tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing them, Mark.
Originally Posted by Judy
When Marvin the Road Dog passed, his buddies wrote some pretty nice messages. We miss him too.
Thanks for sharing Mark,
very touching story=). Friendships with pets usually last a lifetime (well, at least for the length of their life and we keep a memory for the rest of our human life) while other friendships and even love relationships often fade away. I don't have any kids but I have my little Victor to keep me company and comfort me when I'm sad or to greet me when I'm happy. My son his in the hospital now=(( His "mean" mother sent him away to get rid of his claws on his back paws and it got infected...Now I feel soooo guilty. Mommy and grandma (my mom) are visiting almost every day, he's supposed to come home on Friday.
Mark, thanks for reminding us about your wonderful Marvin. It's sad that our animal family members live such short lives compared to our own. But you gave him a heckuva great life while he was here. Enjoy all the wondeful memories. Do you have a new family member to share you lives with yet?
Gen, don't feel guilty!!! Things like that happens but you're getting him good care. It's so frustrating when you can't explain to them what and why, isn't it? Hugs to you.
Here's a photo of my favorite roadtrip pal, Baby:
She loves the beach. Here she is preparing to do her "job". If we go on a long walk on the beach on a hot day, I sometimes like to lay in the dunes and take a little nap in the sunshine. (Don't worry....I always carry lots of water, a collapsible bowl, and treats for her so she'll be OK while I nap.) Anyway, you can see she is being very alert in order to watch over me. We do a lot of watching out for each other.