Thursday, June 9, 2016

Juneau Alaska's Official Greeter ~ Patsy Ann

   We all know that dogs are remarkable animals. Loyalty is one of our dog’s greatest gifts. This is why I have decided to shine the spotlight on one amazing but not so well-known dog each month with Barking from the Bayou's Bone-A-Fido Super Star Dog. This month’s we are shining our light on Patsy Ann, the official greeter to Juneau, Alaska. We visited Juneau on a cruise several years ago. Patsy Ann’s statue was one stop that we didn’t want to miss.
Barking from the Bayou's Bone-A-Fido Super Star Dog
   Patsy Ann was a Bull Terrier born on October 12, 1929 in Portland, Oregon.  She moved to Juneau, Alaska when she was still a pup.  It was on the wharf of Gastineau Channel that she gained her fame. Patsy Ann was born deaf but had an unerring ability to “hear” a ship coming to port before it could be seen by any townsfolk.  She would leave whichever restaurant or bar she happened to be visiting and head directly for the wharf.  Her ability to choose the correct dock and sit patiently until it came into site amazed the townspeople.  Once docked, she would greet the visitors into Juneau. 

M. K.Clinton with Patsy Ann's statue
   Legend tells of an incident when all of the townspeople waited for a ship to pull into a particular dock.  Patsy Ann gave a withered look at the waiting crowd before turning and going to wait at another dock.  Everyone was stunned to realize that the deaf dog had selected the correct location for the arriving ship.  In 1934, the town passed an ordinance requiring all dogs to be licensed. Since she didn’t have a fixed address and no “owner,” Juneau’s mayor declared Patsy Ann to be the “Official Greeter of Juneau Alaska” and the city paid for her license.
Actual photo of Patsy Ann from years ago
Photo via of  Patsy Ann Alaska Facebook page
When she wasn’t waiting for a ship to come in, Patsy Ann would make her rounds at the town’s local businesses.  One day she might be hanging out in the hotel lobby or bellying up to the bar at a local tavern.  She received handouts and treats everywhere she visited.  She was never a dog to have a single owner; Patsy Ann belonged to the entire town.  She slept most nights at the Longshoreman’s Hall surrounded by other nautical souls.
During the 1930’s her photo appeared on postcards in visitor’s shops and she was the highlight of many travelers’ visit to Juneau.  At one time, she was photographed more than Rin Tin Tin who was THE star back in the 30’s.
Patsy Ann dog with collar
Photo via Patsy Ann Alaska Facebook page
   Patsy Ann spent her life on the docks greeting and feeling the love from everyone.  In her later years, her gait slowed due to rheumatism from too many dives into the ice-cold waters of the Gastineau Channel and a few too many pounds from the rich foods handouts from the ships’ cooks.  Even as the days grew short, she never failed to go out to meet the incoming ships.
Patsy Ann, Juneau official greeter
Photo via Patsy Ann Alaska Facebook page

   Patsy Ann crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 13 on March 30, 1942.  A large crowd gathered as her coffin was gently lowered into her beloved Gastineau Channel.  Fifty years after her death, a statue was commissioned by “The Friends of Patsy Ann” to be installed on wharf she loved.  Anna Burke Harris, a New Mexico artist was awarded the work.  She collected hair from dogs all over the world and included it in the bronze as it was cast.  This was to signify the unity of dog’s spirit and faithfulness everywhere.  Visitors are encouraged to “Greet her and touch her and in leaving carry with you the blessings of friendship through your life’s journey.

Enjoy "My Patsy Ann" by Randy and Linda Smith.

You can follow Patsy Ann Alaska on Facebook

Next month we will meet Owney, Mascot of the Railway Mail.

It is Thoughtless Thursday’s blog hop with Ruckus the EskieLove is being owned by a Husky and me. The rules are, there are no rules!




20 comments :

  1. Awesome story! We have never heard of her before...but then again...we have never been to Alaska! We love the photo!

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  2. Interesting. Mom has been to Alaska a few times but not to Juneau. Alaska in general has a lot of super cool spots.

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  3. OMD That is such a cool story about a very special dog. I bet you gave her statue a good pet and brought back tons of luck with you.

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  4. What a wonderful story! Love it and thank you for sharing.

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  5. We've heard of deaf dogs who always knew when their owners were returning home. Dogs are so remarkable.

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  6. I love Patsy! I read about her story in our cruise ship newsletter while we were on our way to Juneau and you know I had to go find her statue when we arrived!

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  7. Her story brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for introducing me to Patsy! One day I hope to go to Alaska, and if I do, I hope I'll see her statue.

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  8. Wow what a girl..what a dog..what a true character..thanks for sharing Patsy Ann's story..a lovely town tribute to a real sweetheart :) Loves Bev xx

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  9. A wonderful story - thank you so much for sharing it with us
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, hazel & mabel

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  10. What a charming story! Somehow I missed that statute when I was in Juneau...probably because I kept looking up at all the bald eagles. ;) *sigh*

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  11. What a great story. We like that they made a statue
    Lily & Edward

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  12. What a wonderful story and we loved the video!

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  13. Patsy Ann was quite the dog. Thanks for telling us about her.

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  14. What a beautiful story, I literally have tears in my eyes! I wish I had visited Juneau on my recent trip to Alaska, I would have loved to see this statue. I love that the artist incorporated dogs' hairs into the cast, that is really special.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  15. THANKS TO ALL ! I love Patsy Ann and wrote the song and my wife did the Music Video. I just want her life to be remembered and I know that you will all pass it on to others! Randy and Linda of Boulder, Colorado , Here is her song again.... we will be back in Juneau at the end of July! Please join her adventure at her

    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009608747795

    Her song is found on Youtube at:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy8pSrwLZk4



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  16. What a wonderful story, thanks so much for sharing it with us! Alaska is a place I would love to visit and if I ever make it we'll have to visit her statue!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  17. I absolutely love this story! I spent 5 years working on a cruise ship with many visits to Juneau! I love that she is the first dog highlighted on a series I'll be really looking forward to!

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  18. Great Story, Bless her to bits,,and thanks for sharing Patsy Ann's wonderful story,,,lol

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