Many of us are so busy loving our pets that
when illness takes them away from us, we are left emotionally unprepared
to plan for their final arrangements. Caesar’s sudden death blindsided
Several days later, I stopped back at the pet
hospital. I wanted to make sure that Caesar's body was still there. They
checked their online records. It indicated a ‘hold.’ A tech volunteered
to go ‘downstairs’ to conduct a visual confirmation. I saw the elevator
coming back up to the lobby. "He’s there," he said. . .
My family and I decided that we wanted a place
where we could visit Caesar–a place that made mention of his name and
his time on earth. The VCA staff gave us a referral to the San Diego Pet
Memorial Park. The park is a peaceful five acre dell nestled in San
Diego’s Carroll Canyon. In operation since 1962, it has become a haven
for many animals indigenous to San Diego. Deer, rabbits, quail and doves
are said to sometimes be seen while visiting.
After a tour, I selected a spot for Caesar not
far from the canopy of oak and cypress trees that stand guard nearby.
Burial was arranged for the following Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at
As I arrived home, I received a call from the
pet hospital. "Mr. Davi, we just wanted to let you know that Caesar was
picked up at 2:00 p.m. today–just a few minutes ago. He’s on his way." Caesar’s last ride–I wistfully thought . . .
The day of Caesar’s funeral was blustery and
grey. I headed to the tiny Chapel of God’s Creatures.
I caught a glimpse of Miguel readying the plot and Abraham
wheeling Caesar’s crème-colored casket on a purple velvet-draped cart
down the slender path that led to the candle-lit chapel. Caesar's casket
was placed on a simple altar. I was waiting outside just a few feet
away. Abraham came over to offer his condolences. "Please take as long
as you like with Caesar. Miguel and I will be waiting nearby when you
I swallowed hard and stepped inside. A lite
potpourri scent perfumed the little parlor. My eyes were instantly drawn
to Caesar’s favorite little green mohair blanket that covered him in his
repose. I ever so softly stroked Caesar's head and neck as he laid
peacefully on a blue satin pillow. I kneeled there for some time
Abraham rejoined me in the chapel. He began to
slowly close and seal the casket. After placing fresh flowers on top, he
gently slid the coffin back onto the velvet-draped cart. We walked
together in procession to the grave site. When we arrived, Miguel and
Abraham fastened pulleys under the coffin and carefully lowered it into
the ground. They invited me to place the first shovel full of dirt into
the grave. Working quickly, they covered the nearly eight foot
rectangular hole. A temporary marker was inserted to identify the spot
until the permanent gravestone was completed in late March. The marker
2-1-93 ~ 2-2-06
Beloved Pet & Friend
By Anthony D.