Why Visiting This Montana Monument is So Emotional to Me
I absolutely love to visit historic sites across the state; I feel it's important to recognize the events that took place before you, and perhaps gain a better understanding of the place you live or grew up. One of my absolute favorite places to go is in Fort Benton, Montana, but I have to make sure I pack some tissues with me before I go. Once you hear the story, you'll know exactly why I do.
This plaque is a part of the Shep Memorial statue in Fort Benton. It was erected in honor of a sheep dog who arrived with his assumed owner, a critically ill sheep herder who was brought to a hospital in the town. According to the story, the dog stayed outside the hospital waiting for his owner, but not too long after, the sheep herder had died and was transported from the hospital in a coffin.
The coffin was loaded onto a train heading Eastbound and took off from the station. The dog, however, stayed behind, and for the next five and a half years, he would be seen at the station and on the platform hoping that his beloved owner would return to him. Unfortunately, it would never happen, and the dog became a mainstay at the station until his untimely death in January of 1942 when he failed to hear a train arriving at the platform.
The Dog will Always Be Missed
Shep is buried on a hill overlooking the platform, and his statue is located right in Fort Benton where his unwavering loyalty is celebrated. Shep's story has been featured on NBC's Dateline as well as in a Ripley's Believe It or Not! publication. You can view the video that Dateline published about Shep below.
Such a monument holds so much meaning to me. What about you? Would you want to visit? Let us know on the app or on Facebook. Our sister station in Great Falls wrote about Shep, as well as some other out of the ordinary Montana destinations. You can check out that article by following the link here.