Animal Writes
23 June 1999 Issue
Where to Bury a Dog

A subscriber of the Ontario Argus Observer has written to the editor asking:
"Where shall I bury my dog?"

We would say to the Ontario man that there are various places in which a dog
may be buried.

We are thinking now of a Setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and
who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought.

This Setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam. And
at its proper season, the cherry tree strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.
Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub is an excellent place
to bury a dog.

Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at
a flavorous bone, or lifted his head to challenge some strange intruder. These
are good places in life or in death.

Yet, it is a small matter, for if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he
leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it
matters not at all where that dog sleeps.

On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are roaring, or beside a
stream he knew in puppyhood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture lane
where most exhilarating cattle grazed, is all one to the dog, and all one to you.
And nothing is gained, nothing is lost if memory lives.

But, there is one place to bury a dog....If you bury him in this spot, he will come
to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death and
down the well-remembered path, and to your side again.

And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at him nor
resent his coming, for he belongs there. People may laugh at you who see no
lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall...who hear no whimper, people who
never really had a dog. Smile at them, for you shall know something that is
hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.

The one best place to bury a dog is in the heart of his caretaker.

Go on to Fish And Pain
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