This sign caught my eye as we were turning a corner one day, driving home from a hike. There is something so sweet and heartbreaking about this simply etched scroll of tree bark that pays tribute "to the cherished memories of those now gone." The semi-circular garden area, complete with a miniature dog house and several stones, suggests that this personal memorial park is the resting place of someone's animal friends.
Several weeks later I was ambling through an old country cemetery. It was filled with tombstones of men and women who had lived and loved and died in the 1800s. In a far corner I found another memorial, also cut from stone and made to last. Even though the sweet memories of our animal friends are infinitely stronger than any physical representation in wood or steel or stone, seeing this little stone dog sitting faithfully in the snow tells me that once upon a time, maybe a hundred years ago, he or she was very much alive and loved and missed. Maggie's Memorial Park also shares that sentiment. Our animal friends give us something precious that lives beyond their own short lives - something that makes our time with them and beyond very rich indeed.
This past December, my boyfriend and I lost a special friend. Daisy, a beautiful husky mix with multi-colored heterochromic eyes, was John's companion for sixteen years and my friend for almost twelve. She epitomized every good quality associated with dogdom, particularly in her loyalty. Here is a one of my favorite photos and an oddity in and of itself! During the course of a year or so, a beaver couple had taken up residence in Warner Creek, damming it up to form a large pool. Daisy loved bounding into the water to greet her wild friends, who would pop up to make their presence known at her arrival. They would swim circle-eights around her…at a respectable distance, of course! I dedicate this post to Daisy. You were such a good girl. We miss you very much.