29.3.12

Pet Cemetery



Just outside Paris, in the suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine, you can find what is said to be the oldest pet cemetery in the world, officially called “Le Cimetière des Chiens” (The Dog Cemetery), but where since 1899 some 40-50.000 not only dogs, but also cats, horses, rabbits, a monkey, a lion, even a fish… are buried.

The place is quite beautiful, situated along the Seine River, on what once was an island. The entrance is imposing in art nouveau style.



You find some monuments and some monumental graves. Close to the entrance is a monument dedicated to the Saint Bernard dogs in general, and more particularly to “Barry”, supposed to have saved the lives of 40 people. (“Barry” himself can be found stuffed and on display at the Swiss Natural History Museum in Bern.)


There are a number of really serious-looking tombs, but some of them reflect a lot of imagination and – of course – love. You can e.g. find some toys, including worn out tennis balls. Some dogs have been heroes during wars, some are known as "actors"... On many graves you can read "To my only friend".






The most famous dog buried here is probably “Rin Tin Tin”. He was found, in bad shape, by an American soldier during WWI, who brought him to the States. Darryl Zanuck heard about the story and made “Rin Tin Tin” to a movie star during the 1920’s. Some successful films starring “Rin Tin Tin” were even said to have saved Warner Bros. from bankruptcy and he has got his star on Hollywood Boulevard (Walk of Fame). “Rin Tin Tin” obviously died in the arms of Jean Harlow, in 1932, and his remains were returned to his homeland. “Rin Tin Tin’s” sons, grandsons… later starred in other films and especially in a long lasting television series.


Recently, there was news about an expensive diamond encrusted dog collar, which had been stolen from the grave of a poodle, named “Tipsy”. The grave now looks fine again, but obviously the collar has not yet been found.


I was a bit confused when I found this tomb. (Well, I wasn’t born in 1999.)

23 comments:

Olivier said...

de belles sculptures mais je suis pas fan des cimetières pour animaux

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, being an avid animal lover [I could just see myself having an epitaph for my horse, saying "My one, true love" ] I absolutely love this posting. The cemetery itself looks so beautiful and serene. Thank you so very much for your photos and insights!!!

martinealison said...

Un lieu effectivement bien surprenant que je ne connaissais pas. J'en avais entendu seulement parler.
Je respecte les pensées de chacun et les manières quelques fois un peu insolites de faire son deuil...
Merci pour ce merveilleux reportage et la note d'humour pour Peter.
gros bisous

French Girl in Seattle said...

What a wonderful place. Why shouldn't pets have a final resting place, too? Very cool post Peter. I did not know the Rin-tin-tin story! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

ALAIN said...

J'aimais bien Rin Tin Tin. Morris et Goscinny, dans "Lucky Luke" l'ont caricaturé en "Ran Tan Plan".

Thérèse said...

Preferant de beaucoup les histoires aux cimetieres en general, j'aime beaucoup ce billet...
Honneur a tous ces animaux qui peuplent nos vies et nous apportent l'amour incondtionnel.
L'elephant est mimi et mini, est-ce Babar? Une tombe mini ou maxi?

claude said...

Bof !
Il est certain que le chien ou le chat est dans certaines circonstances de la vie, le meilleur ami de l'homme ou de la femme.
Alors ils enterrent avec amour leur toutou chéri ou leur chat adoré.
Je savais que Rin Tin Tin était enterré à Paris mais je ne savais pas pour Barry. Je pense un peu comme Olivier, mais why not !
Etonnante la tombe de Peter.

Synne said...

Wow! This is partly creepy, because it makes me think of the book and film by Stephen King, but mostly sweet. How nice to see the little sculptures and colourful flowers!

hpy said...

Je suis pire qu'Olivier et Claude, je ne suis pas fan de cimetières tout court. Mais je comprends ceux qui y vont pour essayer de garder le contact avec quelqu'un qu'ils ont aimé, qu'il soit homme ou animal. Et il faut dire qu'il y a des cimetières qui sont des beaux endroits pour une promenade.

Paris Paul said...

Not born in 1999? You look so young I could've sworn that was the case.

Anonymous said...

What lovely tribute to people's pets. And as always, the photos are lovely. Just one correction, Rin Tin Tin's star is on Hollywood Blvd. and not Sunset Blvd. All the movie, TV and radio stars are on what is known as the Walk Of Fame and that is Hollywood Blvd.
Cheers,
Stephan

Catherine said...

a very imposing and beautiful cemetery....

Peter Olson said...

Thanks Stephan; I have corrected. :-)

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting place, the sculptures are beautiful!I think our beloved critter friends deserve it!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Léia

ParisBreakfasts said...

Hmmmm...
Interesting!
Where do you find these things?

ParisBreakfasts said...

PS
Moi, je suis pas fan des cimetières mais ca c'est fascinant!
Rin TinTin was FRENCH?
Of course he was.
His last name was TINTIN.
Or does that make him Belge peut-etre?

Anonymous said...

I love this post! So poignant, so sweet...

Thank you

Maria

Anonymous said...

I love this post! So poignant, so sweet...

Thank you

Maria

Graça Pereira said...

Achei interessante esta crónica fotográfica sobre o cemitério dos nossos amigos de 4 patas! Penso que é um lugar merecido!Quantas vezes não são eles a demonstrar carinho e companhia...quando os outros já nos abandonaram??
Gostei muito.
Beijo
Graça

Virginia said...

I'm glad you finally got there Peter, I told you it was a dear little place. When I posted my first photo , it was the day after dear Tipsy's grave had been robbed and a reader commented and linked to Le figaro. The name rang a bell and I looked in my 'stash" and found a great shot of his grave! Unfortunately Le Figaro was not too interested in paying me some euros for my photo! :( I see they have it roped off now. I'll post one of a cat there tomorrow. Looked just like my Meeps. Of course I'll link to your post! :)
V

Jeanie said...

Glad to hear the "Peter" wasn't you! I never knew that about Rin Tin Tin -- how nice to have a spot where people can visit to be with their pet. I think they have those here, but not many.

Looking forward to our visit to Paris this month. I will be e-mailing with dates. I hope you will be available for one of your organization's tours!

Pamela said...

Virginia sent me over and i am so glad she did!!! This is a wonderful post!!
Thank you!
Pamela from French Buttons

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh that's so sad..'to my only friend', but a true friend I bet. Such a lovely idea to have a pet cemetery (NOT thinking about Stephen King haha!)So glad I clicked the link from Virginia's post.