|Dog River, "Buckle of the Barley Belt" ("An American in Saskatchewan"), is a small, rural town in central Saskatchewan with a population of about 500. ("Census Sensibility") The town shares a border with Pitt Creek ("Outside Joke") and is south of Crowley Lake. ("Kid Stuff") It is home to the only gas station within 60 kilometres (37 miles) in any direction, and due to the limited services in the town, residents will often travel to a nearby city, (Regina), for shopping and other needs. All of the town's residents share a common (and unreciprocated) disdain for the nearby town of Wullerton. ("Ruby Reborn")|
Businesses and Services
The town includes various businesses and services including:
- Corner Gas
- Ruby Cafe
- Dog River Hotel
- Foo Mart (grocery store)
- Community Church
- Darren's Tire and Auto
- Howler (newspaper)
- Linda's Cut and Curl (never seen, mentioned in "TV Free Dog River")
- Liquor and Insurance Store
- Memorial Rink
- Police station
- Post Office
- Public Library
- Senior's Home
- Todd's Junk
- Town Hall
|Prior to Europeans arriving, the land Dog River was built on was home to the Cree First Nations. ("Lost and Found") Homesteaders first arrived in the area in 1893. In 1901, after Eli Burrows drowned a dozen dogs in the nearby river, the residents held a meeting and decided to name their fledgling community "Dog River." ("Rock On!") Dog River was founded by Harold Main, who built the first structure, a wooden shed. Main Street was named after him. ("Block Party") It was incorporated as a village on July 23, 1905 and later as a town on March 1, 1907. By 1916, the town had a population of 1000 residents.|
|In 1986, Brent Leroy and Hank Yarbo, then high school seniors, spray-painted "Grad '68" on the town water tower. While the graffiti would become an iconic part of the town identity, the crime would go unsolved for another 18 years. ("Grad '68") In 2005, during the town's 100th anniversary, Main Street was renamed Centennial Street though the residents did not realize it was named after their town founder, Harold Main. Hank burned down the shed in order to maintain the accuracy of his Lego scale model of the town after he ran out of blocks. ("Block Party")
In 2014, the municipal treasury was depleted by Mayor Fitzy Fitzgerald in a series of bad real estate investments in Detroit, Michigan. As a result, Dog River lost water and electric services for several days or weeks. The town was nearly bought out by CN Holdings to make way for a Coff-Nuts regional distribution center, and Wullerton offered to annex Dog River to solve the financial crisis. Both offers were soundly rejected by the residents of the town, who manage to bail out Dog River themselves using money raised by Karen Pelly, Wanda Dollard, and the residents of Wullerton.
Most of the modern-day residents of Dog River are surprisingly uninformed about their community's history. For example, when asked how the town got its name, residents readily shared conflicting false stories: ("Rock On!")
- Karen, (who quickly admitted to fabricating the story) says early settlers observed that from the air, the river was shaped similarly to a dog's leg.
- Davis Quinton thinks the first Europeans to settle the area named it "Dogza Rivia" after their village in the "Old Country."
- Paul Kinistino believes that the original Cree name for the area was atim sîpîy, which translates to "River of the Dog."
|At least some of the town's lack of historical awareness may be a consequence of deliberate attempts by several residents to bury the more unsavory parts of Dog River's past. For example, after learning the truth about the origin of the town's name, Lacey Burrows chooses to propagate Karen's story on the town plaque.
- The town had a train station but it burned down. ("An American in Saskatchewan")
- Dog River is the twin town (sister city) of Henkenvyorken, Denmark and an unnamed city in Japan, although neither relationship lasted long on account of inappropriate gifts sent by the Dog River Twinning Committee to the other cities. ("The Eight Samurai")
- All of the outdoor scenes in the show were filmed on-location in Rouleau, Saskatchewan and residents often acted as extras. Several buildings in Rouleau were refurbished to serve as locations in the show, and a full-size mock gas station and diner were constructed at the edge of town. While a few locations have since been destroyed (including the gas station set), enough of "Dog River" remains that visitors to Rouleau can participate in a walking tour to see many of the show's iconic locations and backdrops.
- The town's name is an homage to series creator Brent Butt's hometown of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, through which the Doghide River flows.
- "It's so hard to have a regular conversation in this town."
- ―Lacey, "Oh Baby!".
- "Look out the window. Do you see the Empire State Building? No? Just dirt and tractors? It must mean we live in a small farming town."
- ―Wanda, "Hair Comes the Judge".
|Corner Gas Locations|
|Brent's house • Chuckle Barn • Community Church • Corner Gas • Dog River • Dog River Hotel • Foo Mart • Hank's house • The Howler • Leroy's house • Liquor store • Memorial Rink • Police station • Post Office • Public Library • Regina • The Ruby • Senior's Home • Todd's Junk • Town Hall • Wullerton|