Thursday, January 29, 2015

Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park

"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
                                                               Will Rogers



I've been to a lot of cemeteries in my lifetime.  I love seeking them out when I travel, especially the old historic ones with literary names and very bad outlaws. But I have to admit, I've never been to a cemetery quite like this one--where the tombstones are engraved with single names like Fluffy, Precious and Duke.  Underneath these granite stones lie the remains of beloved dogs, cats and horses.  Even birds and a monkey or two.  Not only that, but the place is quite lovely.  Well-manicured lawns.  Lots of flowers and decorations.  Clearly, grieving pet owners come here to visit their lost soul mates.  They continue to bring them treats.  I saw several rubber balls.
It reminded me of a friend who has saved the ashes of all her dear departed dogs.  "I want my ashes to be mixed with theirs when I die," she told me.  Her husband is not invited.

Having owned a dog and gone through the grieving process myself, I can understand why people would do this.  To this day, we have been unable to bury Amber's ashes.  They remain in a wooden box on our book shelf.  Should I bury her in Calabasas?

I draw the line, however, thinking I will be reunited with my Airedale.  Dog heaven, for her, was our little home with its three oddly shaped gardens.  She had a soft bed, got lots of walks, dug lots of holes and rode shotgun in my car whenever I went on errands.  Not only that, but every kid in the neighborhood doted on her.  She got cookies and leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from them after school.  "Amberrrrr," they'd call as they walked by our fence.  She'd bolt out the back door to greet them (and get her treats).

No, I don't believe in Animal Heaven (or any heaven for that matter), but if reincarnation turns out to be a fact, I want to come back as a dog!

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