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 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 of the garden, is an excellent place to bury a dog.
Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or
gnawed at a flavored 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, and it touches sentiment more than anything
else. For if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through
your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking,
laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps and at
last. 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 land, where most exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one
to the dog, and all one to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing is
lost - if memory lives. But there is one
best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all.
If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have,
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 should not
growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs
here. People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent
by his foot, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition,
people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you
shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth
knowing. The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his
Originally appeared in The Oregonian in 1926 and later was included in
the late author's book of essays and poems, "How Could I Be Forgetting."
"Bettie Lou" Weiser, The Best Dog Ever Created on Planet Earth. Bettie came to me out of the back of a pick up truck in a McDonald's parking lot when I lived in California. I was lucky enough to have had her in my life for almost 15 years. In veterinary school we won the Halloween contest almost every year (here she is in her Bee costume!). Even though she snored, peed in the house in her old age, had one eye, and turned completely gray she was the most beautiful little dog.
The Beautiful and Well Loved Abbey Willis.
The Handsome Brutus Eucker.
The much loved Hope Priestley
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