But no more. That curious grave -- where Shep the dog was buried -- was relocated yesterday to make way for a road expansion. Which sucks.
I spent some of my elementary-school years in Broomfield, where the story behind that grave is literally part of the local curriculum. It goes back to when U.S. 36 was a toll road known as the Boulder Turnpike. Toll booth operators discovered a stray shepard dog one day and named him Shep. The dog would hang around and workers would feed him. Eventually, he became such a familiar sight to workers and drivers that Shep was known mini-mascot for the toll area.
When Shep died in the mid-'60s, highway workers built the little grave for him. Ever since, it's been a conversation piece for drivers and a unique connection for residents to a time when Broomfield was a small community rather than the mass of sprawl it is today.
I guess I'm glad Shep's grave was moved next to the Broomfield Depot Museum instead of being plowed over and discarded. But aside from the fact that I lost a fun little topic to talk about with my daughter and friends while driving the increasingly crowded highway, I feel sad that Shep's ongoing connection with locals has been severed and stuck permanently in the category of "history."