Cher is town dog, likes everybody

By Jeff Smith

Good dog — Cher watching tourists go by in front of the Integrity Realty office on June 14.

Cher, a mix of malamute and collie with a small amount of wolf in her blood, is the unofficial town dog of Hill City.

She will be nine in August and is usually laying outside of the Integrity Realty office. Owners are Jim Peterson and June Johnson.

She is a large dog and a lot of people know her. She is hard to miss due to her size, but will remain quiet there on her dog blanket if people walk by or go into the office.

Peterson said that they didn’t used to bringing the dog into the office on Main Street.

They would leave her at a sort of doggy daycare but she would break out.

“She’s just sort of a mellow dog. She likes everybody, likes kids. If little kids start to bug her she just gets up and walks away,” Peterson said.

She likes to be let outside when there are other people coming by.

Cher will nudge either June or Jim to let her out around the time school starts, 7:45 a.m., and when students leave school around 3 p.m.

“She’s one of the best dogs we’ve ever had,” Peterson said.

They don’t have any other pets right now.

She doesn’t wander off by herself and is not affected by the presence of other dogs.

Cher has been relatively healthy aside from a couple of neck surgeries.

Cher is also a good notification that June or Jim are eating at a restaurant.

Waitresses and different people with Hill City Cafe like to sneak bacon out to her.

“We try to curtail that because we have to watch her diet,” Peterson said.

“If we’re in a restaurant or something she’ll just sit outside and wait for us.”

Peterson said Cher likes to chase squirrels, which is the only thing she will chase.

Peterson knows Cher is a sucker for having her belly rubbed. She likes to go for ATV rides and doesn’t like flies. People respect her as much as any person in Hill City.

She sits still most of the day and saunters in and out of the Integrity Realty building.

June and Jim can go walking on the Mickelson Trail and Cher will never leave their side.

“When we whistle she comes running even though  we haven’t had any official training for her,” Peterson said.

Peterson said she is probably one of the most photographed dogs in town. People might take a photo next to the Integrity Realty bear and then they will go over to Cher to take a photo.

“The tourists seem to really like her,” Peterson said.

In the office is a picture Peterson likes of Cher with her head down on the Integrity Realty couch.

Cher will most likely participate in the first ever Doggie Dash Fundraiser on June 23. This is the one-mile walk that will be taking place on Saturday morning.

Peterson thinks it might be a good idea to make Cher the official welcoming ambassador of Hill City.

Peterson said when he and June need to leave her behind there is not a problem finding people that can take her.

“People really enjoy her,” Peterson said. “She is such a gentle dog.”