All Aboard: German Shepherds Are Frequent Passengers on This Backyard Railroad

All aboard the Salsa Tracks express—pups welcome!

german shepherds and toy train
Photo: Courtesy of Mariano Rendon

Mariano and Esmerelda Rendon’s three German shepherds, Abram, Bradley, and Kim, officially have the best backyard playground imaginable.

The couple’s backyard in Shavano Park, Texas, features over 1,000 feet of miniature railroad tracks. Mariano has a passion for trains and began posting photos and videos of his construction in 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given him more time to update and expand his railroad, which he calls Salsa Tracks. A new section is designated Corona Pass in honor of the reason Mariano has had so much extra time to devote to his hobby.

The Rendons’ grandchildren love the rideable railroad, but recently their 7-month-old German shepherds (two boys and a girl) have been the most frequent passengers. Mariano and Esmerelda got the three pups at the beginning of the pandemic.

two dogs climbing into green box car
Courtesy of Mariano Rendon

Mariano regularly posts Salsa Tracks updates to the Backyard Railroading Facebook group. Any posts featuring the three German shepherds generate tons of interest. Fellow group members are typically jealous that the dogs are always along for the ride.

two dogs in yellow box car
Courtesy of Mariano Rendon

Mariano’s trains have flatbed cars that the dogs love to ride in. When Mariano starts the train chugging along the track, Abram, Bradley, and Kim jump aboard and have even been known to fall asleep while the train is running. If it's not nap time, the dogs’ heads swivel from side to side as the train makes its way around the perimeter of the Rendons’ yard.

german shepherd on pink box car
Courtesy of Mariano Rendon

With each track or train update, the dogs gain more area to conquer. At this point, maybe they should be in training to become conductors!

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