"Patsy Ann's Heroic Tale" Top 5 Page for this destination Juneau Things to Do Tip by starship

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  Patsy Ann photo by Derek Reich
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  • Patsy Ann photo by Derek Reich - Juneau
      Patsy Ann photo by Derek Reich
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  • - Juneau
  • Patsy Ann and Theresa - Juneau
      Patsy Ann and Theresa
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"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven." --James Thurber

Patsy Ann was a very real and famous canine character of Juneau's past -- she has an amazing story and one which brought tears to my eyes!! Patsy Ann was a Bull Terrier born in Portland, Oregon, in 1929 and brought to Juneau as a pup. Though born entirely deaf at birth, she somehow "heard" the whistles of approaching ships before they could be seen. With each sense of an approaching ship, Patsy Ann would trot over to the wharf where she would wait. Her senses were NEVER WRONG. On one memorable occasion, a waiting crowd had gathered at the wrong dock. Patsy Ann gazed at the crowd for a moment, but turned and made her way to the correct dock in amazement of the crowd! It was said that in between ship visits, Patsy Ann visited local businesses where her friends would give her food and one person even gave her a daily candy bar. She frequented local beer parlors and hotel lobbies where she was as welcome as any paying guest.

"Because of her unerring sense of the imminent arrival of each ship that visited Juneau and her faithful welcome at wharfside, Juneau Mayor Goldstein dubbed Patsy Ann 'Official Greeter of Juneau, Alaska' in 1934." Patsy Ann slowed down over the years because of rheumatism apparently brought on by diving into the Gastineau Channel. Patsy Ann didn't have an honest-to-goodness home, but she spent most of her nights in the Longshoremen's Hall. She died there on March 30, 1942. She was so loved that the next day, a crowd gathered as her coffin was lowered into the Gastineau Channel.

A tribute to her in the form of an excellent bronze statue can be seen on the dock near the cruiseship piers, which was fittingly placed next to a "Welcome to Juneau" sign. The sculpture by New Mexico artist, Anna B. Harris, contains clippings of dog hair from all over the world and was presented to the city in July, 1992.

PATSY ANN MEMORABILIA:
Gastineau Human Society
7705 Glacier Highway, Juneau
Tel: 907-789-0260
www.ghspets.org

Address: N. 58deg-17min/91sec N. Lat., 24min/17sec W. Long
Directions: Near cruiseship piers off of Franklin St., and near Marine Way, Juneau, Alaska

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 6, 2013
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