Butte’s Berkeley Pit is as poisonous as battery acid. An entire flock of snow geese mistakenly landed on its surface in 1995 and died before they could take flight. But for one lonely matted, mangy canine, the pit’s acrid, crusted shores were home for seventeen lonely years. No one knows where the dog came from. The handful of miners working at Montana Resources, Butte’s only active mining company, named him Auditor because they could never predict when he would show up. He was not a friendly dog, shunning the humans who tried to love him. Miners left him food and water, built a doghouse shanty, and fixed him a bed. He only settled there at night occasionally.
Auditor’s long, tangled dreadlocks made him look like a moving pile of rags. While the dreadlocks perhaps hinted at his lineage, they likely kept him warm in brutal weather. As he grew old, miners mixed baby aspirin in his food to ease arthritis. One miner once earned enough trust to clip the hair from Auditor’s eyes so that he could see. Miners say that beneath his dreadlocks, he had beautiful eyes. Auditor roamed the wasteland, living where no other living thing could. How the pads of his feet could escape burning from the acid of his habitat defies explanation. In the end, Auditor died peacefully in his shanty in 2003. He was 120 in dog years.