Fred the Town Dog
The signs edging town read "Welcome to Rockford, Home of Fred, the Town Dog." In 1993, Fred first wandered into the area, sick and bedraggled. He was nursed back to health, and to show his appreciation, he decided to stay -- for almost a decade.
"Fred" was adopted as the mascot of this community of about 500. He could be found at all hours wandering the streets, catching a nap at the gas station, or just hanging out at Ken's Package Store.
Fred gained popularity through a regular newspaper column, "A Dog's Life," about his activities and encounters, and then national recognition after he was profiled on cable TV's Animal Planet.
Fred had no special magical powers -- people just liked him.
The old pooch died on December 23, 2002 in a Birmingham animal hospital, from a mysterious animal bite. He was buried behind the Old Rock Jail. A full-size grave marker, donated by a Montgomery businessman, was added in May 2003.
The town limits welcome signs no longer mention Fred, but he won't be forgotten. He was inducted into the Alabama Animal Hall of Fame in 2004.