This is the Story of Cheyenne, Wyoming’s Legendary ‘Roof Dog’
Sometimes all it takes to create a legend is a dog...and a roof.
No, I'm not speaking of Snoopy - though his adventures piloting the red dog house as the Flying Ace against the Red Baron certainly are legendary.
No, today I found myself ruminating on a local legend that imprinted his furry paws permanently into the city of Cheyenne's memory.
I'm talking about the pup, the myth, the legend - Roof Dog.
Cheyenne's One and Only 'Roof Dog'
Here in Cheyenne, you can walk up to a born-and-raised local on any given day and ask them about a Roof Dog. They'll undoubtedly smile and say, "Man, I miss Roof Dog."
But who was Roof Dog?
The beloved pup was named 'Little Boy,' and he was anything but little. The big pile of fluff lived on the corner of Dell Range and Marble Avenue, across from the light at King Soopers, with his owners, Joe and Linda.
In an interview, Joe told Pepie Carlberg how he met Little Boy. Joe met Little Boy at a gas station, where he chatted with the pup's owner. He asked if Little Boy had some wolf in him - the owner said yes. Sadly, the owner was traveling cross country but couldn't continue with Little Boy. The owner had initially called Animal Control, but he asked John if he wanted Little Boy.
Joe decided 'yes.' But he could never have guessed that his new furry friend was about to become a Cheyenne legend.
Roof Dog Becomes a Legend
Soon after coming home with Joe, Little Boy's rooftop shenanigans began. In her interview with Pepie, Linda explained they never trained Little Boy to hop on the roof. She figured he was just waiting for one of his owners to come home.
Perhaps Little Boy wanted some company, or maybe he just liked people-watching. Whatever his reasons for climbing onto that roof, all of Cheyenne is glad he did.
I can't count the number of times my little sister would excitedly point at Little Boy while we waited to turn right on Dell Range. "It's ROOF, DOG!" she would cry. I, too, would secretly hope he'd be on the roof after our grocery shopping trip.
For some reason, seeing that dog out there on the roof, simply enjoying the day, always cheered me up. Roof Dog was around through my first relationship, I remember my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I always cheering him on when we drove by.
Somehow, Roof Dog became a cultural phenomenon in Cheyenne. We'd chat about him with strangers in the King Soopers checkout line. We'd tell tourists about him during the Cheyenne Frontier Days parade. Roof Dog became our Hachi, our Lassie, and our Petey the Pup. In short, he became an icon of this city.
He still is.
We hold Roof Dog dearly in our memory. I'll be honest; I cried a bit watching Pepie's video. Roof Dog was a creature full of happiness who somehow managed to capture a city's heart simply by doing what he loved - enjoying the world from his rooftop view.
I feel I can say on behalf of all of Cheyenne - thank you, Joe and Linda, for letting Little Boy hang out on the roof. And thank you, Pepie and Tom, for documenting the tale of Little Boy so that when we tell our kids about Roof Dog, we can show them this story.
We miss you, Roof Dog.