We talk a lot on this grief wellness blog about the multitude of ways to memorialize a favorite pet, to support our friends through the loss of a pet, and how to know when you’re pet is nearing that time.
Those are tough topics but also an inextricable part of sharing our lives with animals.
This blog - I promise you - will take a lighter (but still important) direction. We’re going to take a look at some interesting ways in which pets and service animals have been memorialized around the world.
So often, when our dog passes away, many of us feel like the loss is deep, but not as important as if a human had died.
- This is mimicked in many of our cultural death and grief traditions as well.
- There often isn’t any bereavement leave for pets.
- Some folks can minimize the death by suggesting you just “get another one.”
But our dogs are family. For so many of us, they are our first babies –– the little fur children that teach us how to be parents before we become parents to our own offspring.
They teach us patience and show us unconditional love.
They are often picky about this food, but not about putting whatever is on the street in their mouths.
They have amazing immune systems, but can’t eat grapes.
Every single one of them has their own personality. They make themselves part of our “pack.” They make our families “packs” to begin with. Our dogs change our lives. And sometimes, they even save them.
Famous Dog Memorials Around the World (And One Cow’s!)
Below are 11 such pups who have dog memorials in their honor to remark on their bravery, on our love for them, on their importance to history and to the future. Our love for our dogs cannot be measured anymore than our love for our people. These 11 famous dog memorials are proof.
1. Rin Tin Tin.
A star of the early decades of the silver screen, a number of German Shepherds took on the role of Rin Tin Tin, much in the same way there has been a succession of actors playing the one-and-only James Bond.
The original Rin Tin Tin is buried in France at the Cimetière des Chiens (Cemetery of Dogs). Why is the star of American movies based in France? Because he was found and rescued there during World War I.
2. War Dog Memorial.
Hartsdale, New York
The Hartsdale Pet Cemetery is the USA’s oldest pet cemetery. You can find the War Dog Memorial, honoring dogs who served in WWI, at the center of the cemetery.
You’ll also find a tribute to the pioneering Soviet space dog Laila as well as to the search and rescue dogs who assisted in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The beloved terrier from Wizard of Oz has a memorial at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. His original grave was bulldozed years ago - in typical Southern California fashion - to make way for a freeway.
When his current memorial was unveiled, the crowd sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.Sgt.
Stubby was the mascot of the 102nd Infantry of the American Expeditionary Forces’ 26th Yankee Division in World War I. When he died, he was taxidermied and now has a permanent home wearing his war medals in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Central Park, New York City
Balto became famous for his efforts to carry life-saving medicines in freezing temperatures over hundreds of miles.
He’s got his own statue in Central Park.
Shibuya Station, Tokyo
Hachiko is Tokyo’s most famous dog as well as the metropolis’s most famous meeting point. Hachiko used to meet his owner at the train every evening. When his owner died, he continued to meet the train at night - for 10 years.
This made him a symbol of loyalty for all of Japan.
Today, if you’re meeting someone at the square in front of the station - Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s main shopping districts - you plan to meet at Hachiko. There’s always a crowd there of people looking for their friends. Hachiko would have liked it this way.
7. Greyfriars Bobby.
Bobby was a Skye terrier (a Scottish native breed) who mourned his owner by his grave for 14 years. He’s commemorated by a lovely statue in the churchyard. You can see his collar and bowl in the collection at the city’s museum.
8. Tarzan a/k/a Colegio.
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
The university’s mascot is a bulldog named Tarzan - the first one arrived in 1950 and since then, there’ve been many more.
In 1967, a group of art students and athletes got together to make a Tarzan with chicken wire and papier mache. The resulting statue has been restored multiple times over the years and checks in at over 10 feet long and 150 lbs.
9. Animals in War Memorial.
Brook Gate (near Hyde Park), London, England
This is a memorial to all animals - from dogs to camels to glow worms - who served the British forces in the wars of the 20th century.
10. Emily the Cow.
Emily gained fame in 1995 for fleeing a slaughterhouse and went on to live a full life at Peace Abbey. There’s a memorial to her in honor of all animals who are still subject to the indignities of factory farming.
Smokey is the smallest animal on this list, a 4 lb Yorkshire terrier found by soldiers in the jungle of New Guinea in WWII.
For the next two years, she traveled the South Pacific in her owner’s backpack, flying on missions, parachuting from planes and learning an astonishing repertoire of tricks which she’d perform in shows to entertain the troops.
She’s also credited with being the first therapy dog when she visited patients at an army hospital. But her work was serious too - she once ran telegraph wire through drainage pipes under an airstrip so that the troops could set up their communications equipment to help planes land safely.
When the war ended, her soldier-owner brought back to the US where Smoky continued to perform in shows and on TV, and they also continued their therapy work. Smoky’s gravesite is marked by a life-size statue of this tiny and remarkable dog.
3 Remarkable Dog Diamond Memorials
Statues and parks like the above are so important for memorialization because they are everlasting. They ensure that future generations stop and look, and ask, “Why? What must this animal have done to deserve this?”
For many people, their own dogs deserve such recognition, and many choose to do that with a memorial diamond. Memorial diamonds are often passed down, include an engraving so folks know who the diamond is, and can also be a point of storytelling for generations about an animal that was so important in the life of someone they all know and love.
Our dogs help make us who we are. This is one way we carry them with us.
1. Kalla Renee.
Kalla Renee can be found on Instagram as @Kalla_The_Boston_Terror. Kalla Renee loved to be warm She would seek out the sun, and find any patch she could (inside or out) to lay in. She would attack the laundry right after it came out of the dryer and “stink it up”. She’d crawl under the bed where her parents kept a heater and stay there for hours until she would come out panting.
She loved adventure and camping, but hated the harness seat belt she had to use in the car. She brought her parents 10 years of joy with her presence, and they are memorializing her with a diamond. But, beyond that, her presence remains with them through holidays, as well.
You can see the ornament Eterenva sent, plus two others that bring Kalla Renee’s spirit to their present lives.
"We got the ornament. I was crying before I even opened the box because I was pretty sure I knew what it was. It was a very nice gesture that Eterneva certainly didn't need to do but it sets you apart from the others."
Carl taught his parents how to be parents, long before their human children would come to be. He got to see his parents grow up, build businesses, bring babies into the world, and more. He inspired leagues of followers, and his story continues to educate dog lovers around the world.
A post shared by Eterneva ♾ Ashes To Diamonds (@eterneva) on Dec 22, 2019 at 5:58am PST
His mom and dad are honoring his life with a memorial diamond, and even came to the Eterneva labs to put Carl’s ashes in the machine themselves.
Queen Sadie brought so much joy and life to her mom, and in her passing, her mom has been documenting her hard, yet inspiring, grief journey.
“Four months since I said goodbye to my best buddy 💔So far I’ve been pretty good about doing all of these things and am so lucky to have such wonderful people around me. Also, therapy. One of the best things for my grief has been having The Queen made into a diamond. Just LOVE getting updates from @eterneva about how she’s doing and can’t wait to have her with me always 💎 Be kind to yourselves over the Holidays friends 🥰 #missyouSadie”
Sadie was a little diva, and loved her hats. She would often pout, and not go outside until she had her hat on! And now, part of that little diva, will be a diamond, always sparkling and reminding her mom of the amazing grace and joy she brought to her.
No matter how you choose to memorialize your dog, remember that their loss is important. Their life shaped yours and built you an identity you didn’t have before. Just because they are gone doesn’t mean their life didn’t have meaning, or value. In fact, your grief means just the opposite.
They brought you so much, and your desire to memorialize them is important. Just as we have done for generations with war dogs and our favorite celebrity dogs, just as people do not with memorial diamonds for their own dogs, you, too, can memorialize your pet in the way that feels right for both you and them.