My front garden . . . (more)
Two wrought-iron dog angels . . . (more)
When I was very young . . . (more)
Mouseover the five objects in Gulliver’s Garden to
learn more about Linda’s special Dalmatian
When I made him a garden of his own after his death, I planted lavender there because I remember how he used to come back into the house, smelling so musky and sweet. Around the corner from the lavender in his garden is a small pond with a frog that spouts water, from which he used to drink when he was thirsty after running up and down the steep hill on which our house is built.
When my Dalmatian, Gulliver, died in May of 2010, I had his body cremated because I didn’t know what else to do, and I didn’t want to bury him on my property because if we moved he would have to be left behind. There isn’t a pet cemetery near us, and he would have felt too far away even if there had been.
When we picked up his ashes at the vet’s, they were in a simple pine box with his name on a brass plaque. Back at home, I couldn’t figure out where to put it: a bookshelf or a mantel just didn’t feel right. A friend suggested creating a garden for him, and this seemed a brilliant idea—but then I realized I couldn’t put a wooden box outdoors, susceptible to the rainy Northern California winters where I live.
And so I found myself on the Internet, doing something I would never have anticipated back in those days when my sister and I held our noses while passing cemeteries: I searched for an urn, came up with one of green marble, and had Gulliver’s name engraved on it.
Very dignified. And when it arrived in its big wooden carton, I did not take it to a funeral home to have the ashes transferred from the plain pine box. One morning, very carefully, I used my own hands to place the plastic bag that now held my dearest friend into his final resting spot.
I’ll never pass a pet cemetery and hold my breath again.
Rhiannon and Tia were beloved, too, but I didn’t have the foresight to save their ashes after they were put to sleep. My good friend, Dawn Mauel, gave me the angels right after their deaths as a way to remember them. I have no doubt that they were waiting over the “Rainbow Bridge” for Gulliver as he made his way there in May of 2010.