I am not one of those people who eschews the conventions of Valentine's Day just because I have no valentine of my own. I'm not so sure that I buy into the particularly consumer-driven aspects of February 14, but I think it's nice to take at least one day to remember why you love the people around you and to tell them the same.
Many of my friends are extreme animal lovers and consider their pets members of the family, children, and in some cases, the loves of their lives. Where else to explore the extent of this love rather than a land set apart and dedicated to the love shared between pets and their humans? At the Los Angeles Pet Mortuary, the bond people have with the animals in their lives is very apparent; that love seemed to be a great theme for Valentine's Day this year. Who better to represent this Valentine's theme other than Valentino, Rudolph to be exact.
|Rudolph & Kabar|
Kabar was bereft at Valentino's passing and let out a
blood-chilling howl at the exact moment of Valentino's
death. It is said that Kabar haunts the grounds of the cemetery.
We've brought you so many celebrity graves, it seemed only fitting that we share some of the graves belonging to celebrity pets too. At 85 years old, LA Pet Mortuary is the oldest, official pet cemetery in the Los Angeles area. By consequence, it has a long list of Hollywood clientele.
|Louise Dresser |
An Indiana-born actress known for her sturdy
frame and strong presence in silent films and early
talkies; she even worked with Valentino in The Eagle.
|Toppy & Hoppy|
|Chief Thundercloud and Sunny upstage|
The Lone Ranger and Silver.
|It is rumored that Tawny, a star in the Tarzan movies,|
might have been one of the MGM lions as well.
Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) wrestles Tawny
|Mr. & Mrs. Harry James|
|This one wasn't recognized as the pet of a celebrity but its name linked it to Hollywood.|
Given the premise of the film of the same name, the epitaph is uniquely ironic.
The Los Angeles Pet Mortuary is certainly home to many more celebrity pets including Charlie Chaplin's cat and one of Humphrey Bogart's dogs (with no map or directions, it was difficult to find any of the graves). One notable grave that we looked for but could not find was Petey, the dog from The Little Rascals. The attendant on duty was very helpful but explained that he was not allowed to give directions to specific graves, mentioning that Petey's was particularly difficult to locate.
|We did find this marker with dates that indicate a dog who could've been|
one of the dogs who played "Petey." The odd spelling led us to believe
that this was a well-intentioned Petey lookalike - maybe a stunt-double.
|The Little Rascals with Pete the Pup|
The grounds of the cemetery are sprawling, making it impossible to examine every grave in one short visit. What I was particularly taken with were the headstones that we were able to see with photographs and portraits of the beloved family pets.
|"Return to sender" - AWESOME!!!|
|"Beloved little dictator"|
|I wonder if she saw what was coming.|
|Wasn't "Zebariah, My Little Lover Boy" a Janice Martin B-side?|
|I am glad that it said "favorite" instead of "only."|
I have mentioned it before, but I am allergic, in varying degrees, to essentially every living creature on the earth. Thusly, I was not raised around animals and my response to pets is very much like my childhood response to a dodge ball being hurtled at me in P.E. - I duck, I throw my hands up to protect my face, I cry, I panic, I go into shock - you know, the usual. I hope this post does not seem insensitive, knowing that most people are blessed with an animal-loving gene, but I had a great time at the pet cemetery and could have spent the entire day roaming the grounds looking at the hilarious names and epitaphs; here are a few of my favorites.
|I hope there is a "Cold Case" team ready to inspect unsolved pet deaths.|
All I'm saying is that I am highly suspicious of a family that names their
|I'm also not sure how I feel about a pet being |
named after a very serious medical condition.
|No matter how old we get, "potty humor" will "always be in our thoughts" too.|
|Penny, Chi Chi, and Princess - the other Andrews Sisters|
|"Mommy's 'Baby Dog'"|
|I'm always a fan of naming pets after much-loved television characters.|
For a short time we had fish named Lucy & Ethel.
|Can't you just picture a pirate cat with a wooden leg and an eye patch?|
|Jiggles gave me the giggles|
|Faux pas for no "Faux Paw," no?|
|It's a forgone conclusion when you set your dog up with a name like Humpi!|
|I was kind of wishing that we had taken a step into Who Framed Roger|
Rabbit? and that cartoon Droopy was buried here.
|I was always under the impression that Snoopy was a boy.|
As it turns out, she was "A lady who thought she was a people."
"Tooth Brushing" with Snoopy & The Peanuts Gang
|Maybe my canine doppelganger???|
It might be a little unconventional to celebrate the most "romantic" day of the year with images of a pet cemetery, but a wacky tacky Valentine's Day plays by its own rules! Wherever you are, we wish you a very love-filled and Happy Valentine's Day!
Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park
5068 Old Scandia Lane