As I walked through the Hartsdale Canine Cemetery at Hartsdale, New York, I noticed so many similarities between the gravestones of humans and animals. Of course, the gravestones for the dogs and cats are chosen by those humans that loved them, so it is only natural that there would be so much sameness in terms of the stone shapes, the materials for the gravestones, even some of the symbolism, but I also noticed what I believe are some fundamental differences in symbolism.
For instance, bones carved into a gravestone for a human in the 18th Century has a completely different meaning than the bone found on the gravestone for one of our four-legged friends! In the former, it is a symbol if decay and rot. It is to remind us that our bodies are temporary and that death is always with us, a constant creepy companion that will meet up with us eventually.
The bone, however, found on the gravestone of a dog, like Isabella in the photo below, is a reminder of what a dog loves—to gnaw on a bone, to fetch a bone. It is a joyful item and a reminder of a playful puppy with something yummy!
A world of difference in perspective! One is all about Heaven and one isn’t.