Charitable Trust Memorials

"Where to Bury A Dog"

By Ben Hur Lampman from the Portland Oregonian Sept. 11, 1925

We are thinking now of a setter,
whose coat was flame in the sunshine and who,
so far as we are aware,
never entertained a mean or unworthy thought.

This setter is buried beneath a cherry tree,
under four feet of garden loam,
and at its proper season the cherry tree
strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.

Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple,
or any flowering shrub of the garden,
is an excellent place to bury a dog.

Beneath such trees, such shrubs,
he slept in the drowsy summer,
or gnawed at a flavored 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, and it touches sentiment
more than anything else.

For if the dog be well remembered,
if sometimes he leaps through
your dreams actual as in life,
eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing, begging,
it matters not at all where that
dog sleeps at last.

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 land,
where most exhilarating cattle graze.

It is all one to the dog, and all one to you,
and nothing is gained, and nothing is lost -
if memory lives.

But there is one best place to bury a dog.
One place that is best of all.

There is one best 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 frontier
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 may never really have 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 his master.