Grave of the Railroad Dog
Fort Collins, Colorado
Visitors to our Roadside Pet Cemetery know that there exists in America a heroic dog archetype: the kind but hardworking mutt who triumphs over melting pot beginnings and adversity, sometime appearing out of nowhere, to win the hearts of the humans around them. Annie The Railroad Dog certainly qualifies for our list.
Some sixty years ago, Annie greeted passengers at the Mason Street train station in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Like fellow depression-era train station mascot, Shep, of Ft. Benton, Montana, she was adopted by railroad men during the '30s, and became a local celebrity in the years that followed. A report from the period notes that newcomers were surprised when disembarking locals greeted Annie before their own families
Like another Shep in nearby Broomfield, Colorado, collie mix Annie was a beloved mutt. And today, like Balto, she is honored with an annual celebration, the "Annie Walk," with T-shirts available. And, like Patsy Ann, there is a book written about her, Annie The Railroad Dog, A True Story. In fact, she is also featured in the collection titled Owney the Post Office Dog and Other Great Dog Stories.
Annie's Mason Street grave site (near Laporte Avenue) is a historical landmark, while her two and a half foot tall statue is out in front of the town library, marking the start of the annual Annie dog walk. The statue's one paw is held out to visitors, as if to say, "Read, boy! Read!"
Those interested can get their own casting of the statue from sculptor Dawn Weiner.