When shoppers approached the checkout line at Settergren’s Ace Hardware in southwest Minneapolis, they could always glance at the floor and look into the familiar and friendly eyes of Jager the dog, dubbed the “Unofficial Mayor of Linden Hills.”
Jager devoted his time to bringing joy and smiles to the shoppers at the popular hardware store on West 43rd Street until he died last August just shy of 13 years old. The black and white Large Münsterländer is why patrons, led by Ingrid Soderberg, are raising money to erect a bronze statue of the beloved dog outside the neighborhood store.
“We are creating a public memorial statue of this dear dog who touched so many people,” the GoFundMe page says.
Jager spent his whole life as an employee of Settergren’s, pleasing customers at the other Settergren’s store on Penn Avenue South before moving to the Linden Hills store.
Frequenters of Settergren’s would visit just to see the 75-pound Jager, who developed a reputation as a gentle giant.
“He was just that dog that really cared about life and really wanted to please you. It was just his whole demeanor. He was a very special dog,” said Mark Settergren, the owner of the stores.
He raised Jager until manager Joe Young took him in when the Linden Hills store opened. “It was great to see the two of them together and what it was doing for both of them that Jager was taken in by Joe,” Settergren said.
Soderberg started the GoFundMe page in November, hoping to reach her goal of $9,000 for Jager’s commemorative statue. The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council pledged an additional $1,000 to finish the project after it reaches $9,000. The page has currently raised more than $1,500.
“It’s just an awesome feeling for the whole store,” Settergren said.
Jager’s calm demeanor made him a favorite especially around children. After he died, people on Penn Avenue visited Settergren’s to tell employees about the warm encounters they shared with Jager.
“You could be driving down the road and people would know Jager’s head sticking out the window. They might not know who I was, but they knew Jager,” Settergren said.
Jager’s 8-month-old grandson Jurgen now walks the aisles of Settergren’s in Linden Hills, greeting customers as he tries to fill the paws of his grandfather.