Dog Cemetery, 5-4-23

My first dog Sally was just a puppy when I moved here. She showed up at my door in Clear Lake and I searched for her owner to no avail. We were moving to Garner in 2 days so she had to move, too. When she died 13 years later my niece Jenny was just a little girl and as we stood at the gravesite Jenny said to Becky, “Say it, Mom – just say it.” Becky thought she meant to pray but instead Jenny said “Say the pledge, Mom.” So Sally’s funeral prayer was the Pledge of Allegiance.

The first few markers are actual gravestones ordered from the funeral director and they were quite expensive. They are about 6” thick but I buried them to ground level so I could mow right over them and not trim. They are meant to sit on top of the ground.

I lost several dogs in a short time and even though they don’t all have markers I know the location of their graves. A couple dogs were cremated and their ashes, along with Susannah’s, are here in the house until we die.

Pet grave markers are now very available – from your vet, online or in my case, a local garden marker company.

Pet Parade

This is how the rock garden looks before the plants move outside.

Years ago we had customers from Wisconsin who always brought this pastry when they came and this week I actually found it at my local Fareway. Oh, it was so good!

This tank is an experiment – I planted strawberries in it so I didn’t have to bend over to pick them. I hope it works.

Whew! That’s the blog about nothing – did I miss any pet pictures?

60 thoughts on “Dog Cemetery, 5-4-23

  1. Roberta Etherington

    WOW! That is a real true look a like to Rick’s dad, Ed

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Roberta – yes, and he is just as hard of hearing as Ed was! Written lovingly but ………

  2. Paula S.

    Interesting about your little cemetery. When we moved from our home of 30 years several years ago, we left 3 graves behind our shed where our cats were buried. I had large flat rocks on their graves with their names on them. That was the worst thing about leaving that house – leaving those little graves. When my dog died 5 years ago, I had him cremated and his ashes are in a little ginger jar in my sewing room. I couldn’t bear to bury him in the yard, so his ashes will be scattered with mine when the time comes.

  3. Carla J in Michigan

    I’ve used a tank as a raised bed garden for a number of years. Tomatoes, carrots, green beans, lettuce, have all done very well. My strawberries are in a raised wood bed.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carla – oh YAY! The tank is in full sun and close to a water supply – all I want is a few strawberries for eating – no freezing or canning.

  4. Gail in Ohio

    Such memories of dear pets – they are such a great part of our lives!
    Spring is coming and plants can go outside soon in central OH – it’s supposed to get into the 70’s this weekend. I have transplanting and dividing to do, hostas and houseplants. Crossing my fingers that no urgent things-to-do pop up!!!
    My small quilting/cross-stitching group meets tomorrow for some much-needed creativity time – off to bake cookies!

  5. Shirley Smith

    The pet parade is so sweet, especially the kitty overseeing everything from top of the fridge. Lol They all look like they are posing for the camera.
    I like your rock garden. I hope we get to see new photos when all the plants are in place and growing. I have a bank out back with big rocks holding it in place. Lots of chicken wire cages around the plants to keep the bunnies and deer away.
    That is a sweet idea, the gravestones. My girlfriend rescues Scotties and her husband said they could never move as there are too many bones buried in the backyard. Ha. They have had lots of older ones. Now they have a younger one. He has been with them for quite awhile. Cute dogs. Spoiled as they should be.last night we got a big rain, thunder and lightning storm. Fun to watch and boy oh boy do ww need rain here on the high desert.
    Shirley from Oregon

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – we need rain badly but none in our forecast – ugh. The plants that go to the rock garden are all my houseplants that I move outside for the summer and I rarely move them out before Mothers Day. It’s a big job but worth it to me. Yes, I will take pictures and post them.

  6. Jan from Cosby, TN

    I LOVE your blog about nothing!!! Not really nothing at all. You tell how life really is and it is so much like all of ours. That’s really neat!!!
    In my husband’s and my 51 years of marriage, we’ve had many pets – mostly dogs. So, many pics, many memories, many tears! Right now we have three English Labs – the boys are 13+, and my girl is a cancer survivor and 12 1/2. So, we know what’s ahead of us, but they have been awesome!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan from Crosby – Connie’s Betty is an English lab – so gentle and sweet. Telly is 11 and I hate to think of losing her. The other two are young. Most of my cats are ancient however and like Colton I may have to bury them in the garden.

  7. Lois Ann Johnson

    I was intrigued with your pet grave markers! What a loving and caring way to memorialize your dear, departed companions! Bet you (and everyone else!) is happy about the wind dying down after several days of gale-like weather! I am also happy to see it warming up a bit. Everyone is getting anxious to get some flowers planted outdoors.

  8. Maggie

    Over the years whenever one of our pets died, my husband finds a rock with a flat face, and then uses a dremel tool to engrave their name. He then uses some enamel pain to paint the engraved name so it stands out. These rocks are scattered throughout our landscaping. When we moved about 8 years ago, we brought them with us into our new garden.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Maggie – what a great idea to move the rocks with you!

    2. Teresa from Port Coquitlam

      I agree what a great idea that is. We always joke that I someone decided to dig up our garden they would find 2 hamsters , 4 birds-budgies and cockatiels, and numerous chickens. We let our chickens live a very nice life after they stopped laying, I can’t even remember how many there are. Our oldest got to 9-1/2.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Teresa – I have 2 hens who are about that age – 8 – and they have to live in the infirmary. One is blind and the other can hardly walk. We have several goats buried in our garden, too.

  9. Susy Boyer

    Thanks Mary, great catching up with you. From the mouth of babes. Sweet story about Sally and your niece Jenny. That had to soften the blow. I’ll be watching your new strawberry patch!

  10. Pat Smith

    Most of our pets were cremated and sit on a shelf on my sewing room. When we go, they will be scattered with us somewhere of our daughter’s choosing. Our one dog is buried in the back yard. We were so distraught we buried him after an accident and weeping went down to the stream that goes by our house and brought back some river rock to mark his grave at the edge of the woods. I go out frequently to tell him that we still love him. I was a teacher years ago and always read my class the book “I’ll always Love You.” It’s about a little boy who always says this to his dog who slept beside his bed. The dog gets older and older and one morning the boy wakes up to find the dog has died in the night. They bury him in the yard and each day the little boy goes out and says “I’ll always love you” at the dog’s grave. I do the same thing when I’m out in the yard. I thought I wanted to be scattered in the same woods with all the ashes of our other pets, but then realized that our children would never want to sell that house as we are all there. I guess they’ll have to find another place.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – what a sweet sweet story! Might I know this tragic story? So sad. When I think of my dogs and all the others that have gone ahead I look forward to the day I will see them again.

  11. Pauline Howard

    I know all those pets had a good life with you and so touching the way you have honored them.
    I love the strawberry tank. . I just read about someone painting small pebble or rocks red and putting them around the plants so when the berries get ripe the birds won’t bother them as they have already been fooled by the painted rock.
    Love your blog. I ordered most of my patterns from you when you had your store still have a few I still want to make. Where does time go??
    May the 1/4 be with you!! Have a great day.

  12. Jan Hebert

    Oh my goodness, these photos are great. Pat Smith’s story made me cry! We have dogs buried in our field but our last one, Louie, was cremated and sits on the mantel in our bedroom. Not sure where he will end up, my husband doesn’t want to be cremated but I do! I attended a wonderful needlecraft show and demonstrations yesterday here at the fairgrounds. I was lucky that I read about it at the last minute and got to spend about an hour and a half there. Amazing talent these people have! I’m going to join and hopefully some of their talent will rub off on me. Raining here again today, only 46 degrees but the weekend is supposed to be lovely. We’ll see. Jan in MA

  13. Janet S

    Another easy way to keep birds out is to cover the plants with nylon netting from the fabric store. It doesn’t last real long but it’s cheap and it should work great for your tank.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet – great idea!!! I also have a lot of very lightweight screening fabric that might work.

  14. Jane from St Marys IA

    I have an old stock tank that I have planted tomatoes in before & they were just as big & full as the ones in my garden. However I moved my garden so it grows tomatoes well & I have planted flowers in the tank. Those do well also. I’ve learned to take some old manure that has been sitting around for a long time to fill it every spring. It does take a lot of water but with the rusted holes in the bottom I know that once the water runs out I’ve watered long enough! I love my tank!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – good to know! I simply can’t bend over to weed or pick and my new knees won’t let me kneel. Hmmm, I may need another tank.

      1. Jane from St Marys Ia

        I’ve threatened to drag another one or 2 up to the house but then I remember how hard this one was to get where it landed!! I’m convinced you can’t have too many of them! So if my vote counts….go for it!!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Jane – this one was empty and easy to drag from behind the quilt shop. Hmmm – I wonder if any of my neighbors have tanks with holes.

  15. Diane in Colorado

    We have a marker in the backyard for Jenica’s hamster, Midnight. I used acrylic paint on a big river rock and then sprayed with a waterproof preservative. It has lasted 16 years and still looks brand new! My first Golden was cremated and I still have her ashes in a tin in my home along with a paw print in clay. I have plaster hoof prints from the horses. They will all live on forever in my heart.

  16. Dee in Ohio

    I have 4 of those troughs that I got from a person who had a horses. It had a crack so they could not use it anymore. I plant cannons in them along with other plants for the summer. Looking forward to warmer weather so I can enjoy the outdoors

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dee – and for you the crack is perfect drainage! Win win!

  17. Vicki Ibarra

    Some of you may remember when I shared my snake story about one getting out in my house and never being found. Still not found, but my journey with snakes continues. I was working in the yard today when I turned around and there was a 2 and 1/2 foot garter snake 3 feet behind me. I gave an “OOOOH”, and stood there waiting for it to make its move. It didn’t, so I sidled to the left and away. Biggest garter snake I have seen in a long time.

    I am thankful for the beautiful weather for yard work, can skip the snakes. I planted petunias in large patio planters today. Our night time temps are not to drop below 50 degrees for the next 14 nights. So, it is “get in the dirt” time. Yay! Veggie garden is next.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – maybe this is the snake that was never found? Yikes / I’m glad I don’t run into snakes! I’m still raking and cleaning the porch but the garden is tilled and waiting for me!

  18. Pattie from PA

    We are obviously busier with our pets than quilting! Love it!

  19. Jeanne in Co.

    Mary, I agree, those Danish Kringles from Racine are wonderful. My daughter in law from Co. Sorings, introduced them to us. Yummy. Trader Joe’s has them periodically. We were lucky enough to be at their store in Fort Collins when they had just a few left one day. I wish they had them all of the time, but they don’t. What a treat they are. Saw the first gold finch of the season fly across the back yard today. I guess I’d better go buy a new mesh sock and some food for them. Reminds me of Iowa. Our back yard there always had finches for us to enjoy. But the bird I miss the most here in Co. Is the cardinal. Late afternoon in Iowa we always had several pair of them at the feeder, but not so in Co. They are beautiful with a snowy tree for their perch. Mary, I loved your pet memorial stones.
    Jeanne in Co..

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanne – the goldfinches arrived today! And I was ready with a new bag of thistle seed. My cardinal visited late this afternoon, too! I can hear him out in the grove but he doesn’t always show up at the feeder when I’m watching.

  20. Sharon Geiger

    The Pledge of Allegiance! What a hoot!!!! I so enjoy little kids! I guess that’s why I taught for 35 years. Love the pet pictures, too.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – haha! I hope Jenny is reading this – she lives in Louisville.

  21. Dee from Shell Rock

    I loved the whole blog. I’m an animal person and miss all my babies. My in-laws raised german shephards on this ground, and we have several special ones who never moved away from the farm here. We have just one big piece of granite to mark the graves.

  22. Kathy in western NY

    This post brings tears to my eyes tonight reading of other peoples pets and feeling the loss still years later. It sure shows we are all so connected with our pets and quilts and the joy of being in our yards and homes. Thank you again Mary so much for posting pet pictures and quilts you all make. It is such a special blog to read and feel a common thread to bond with.
    I have an old rusty wheelbarrow I use for my herb plants so I don’t have to bend down to weed them. Works out so good for me. I just like a few parsley, basil, rosemary plants to add to my potatoes, soups, salads, etc in it. We have so many garden stands all around us with veges people sell all within a 1-5 mile radius that I don’t plant tomatoes or peppers anymore as it’s easier to go buy now for me when I need one.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – you’re smart to just go buy fresh produce when it’s so available! I would do the same if I were you.

  23. Diane in WI

    I enjoyed your blog today. Pets are important parts of so many people’s lives. We had a glorious spring day today. My 19-month-old grandson and I enjoyed being outside. Three of us are going to Country Sampler tomorrow. It should be a beautiful drive over there.

  24. Kathy G from Oak Creek, WI

    I grow potatoes in my trough. Hopefully you will have as much success with your strawberries as I have with my potatoes.
    Aren’t Kringle great? I work at a quilt shop in Racine. If I ever plan a trip through Iowa I will drop one off to you.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy G – yes, almond is my favorite of anything – I ate the whole thing by myself. Simply delicious! It’s a good thing I don’t live in Racine!

  25. Shirley Svoboda

    We use those same tanks to garden in! We grew carrots, lettuce, beets and Swiss chard in them last summer. It is wonderful to not bend over! Shirley in Homer, AK

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – I do think I’m going to get another tank!!

  26. Debra Reber

    Your post about the Kringle brought back memories! My Great Grandparents lived in Racine, & we used to eat those when we visited them!! I also loved the memorial gravestones you have in your pet cemetery. We live on a small farm, & also have a pet cemetery in a wooded area on our property. I don’t have fancy gravestones, though, just rocks that have been painted on, which unfortunately, the painting wears off.

  27. Lyn Rogers

    I only know you through your blog ….but Mary you are the best. Your animal family past and present so lucky to have you and husband! I have written before… I have made about five Bullseye quilts from your book.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lyn – that’s a lot of Bullseye quilts!!! They’re kind of addicting to make, aren’t they? I only know 99% of my readers thru the blog – I don’t what anybody looks like. If I met them on the street I wouldn’t know them!

  28. Carol P

    We use the farm tanks as planters. We have veggies as well as flowers and elephant ears. The ones with elephant ears screen our pavilion from the neighbors. Our dog’s ashes are in the shelf in the closet where we see her every day. The other two will join her there some day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carol – I planted an elephant ear this year – do you save yours from one year to the next?

  29. Susan K in Texas

    Love the Sally story. So many pictures of pets today. Love them!
    We have a stock tank but it’s full of water lilies and goldfish.
    We finally got the last of the aloes out of the greenhouse. The rat that was in there ate a hole through the back wall made of insulation. Now we have to patch that up before next winter.
    Dallas Stars are still going in the Stanley cup playoffs. Last night was another game and they beat Seattle. They need to win 3 more games to go on to the next round. There’s nothing like playoff excitement.

  30. Joy in NW Iowa

    Love the pet parade. We have .25 inches of rain over night. Stopped the dust! More is predicted.
    A friend brought me 4 tomato plants and 2 broccoli plants. The potatoes still aren’t up! Jay says they probably rotted in the ground 🙄. Picked a few asparagus spears yesterday.
    No helpers today, so no running for lunches. A day off.
    Happy sewing.

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      Our potatoes have been in the ground a long time. Just today we could see the plants trying to poke through the dirt. So, hang in there. They may yet pop out of the ground for you.

    2. Vicki Ibarra

      I checked my calendar and we planted our potatoes April 11 and they are just pushing through the ground May 5. So, that is a yardstick to compare against yours.

  31. San

    My dear Bonnie left me in 2009. Her ashes are in a box in my mom’s , now my, hutch. Same with Dolly, who went over the bridge almost 3 years ago. I’ll be very glad when my landscaping can be done so both Dolly and Bonnie can be placed under a special tree. Both dogs hold such a special place in my heart, the right location is worth waiting for don’t you think? Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful markers Mary.

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