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Coping with Loss: Old Time Advice for Humans

jerry vickers ranch hay pasture colorado montain medaowMarilyn Walton informed us about her new book – Badge on My Collarthe day after my people put me at peace.

After hearing of her timing, she sent us this little piece that helped her when she lost two beloved dogs.

She believes it was written by a man named Ben Hur Lampman, on Sept. 11, 1925 in an editorial of the Portland Oregonian.

Supposedly someone wrote in and asked where they should bury their dog, and this was the response …

Where to Bury a Dog

There are various places in which a dog may be buried.  There is 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.  The setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and at its proper season the cherry 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 flavorful 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 life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where the 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 scoff 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 good dog is in the heart of the master.

Marilyn thought it was beautiful, and a good one to share. We agree.

2 thoughts on “Coping with Loss: Old Time Advice for Humans”

  1. there is truly no better place…i haven’t open the floodgates like this in a few weeks – I think I needed a good cry. Thank you for sharing this.


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