Monday, December 13, 2004

Gates of Heaven: RIP Dear Stanley

When I was a little girl growing up in York, PA, I had a best friend. His name was Stanley and he was a perfect little beagle. He just appeared one day in our yard and ran into our house and ate a houseplant. My parents put an ad in the paper and called the SPCA, but nobody claimed him. My mother said I could keep him. We spent many happy hours together. He could do many tricks including rolling over, singing softly or loudly, dancing on his hind legs and playing dead. Stanley, however, was a restless dog and used every chance he could get to escape our house and roam the neighborhood. One day, Stanley was hit and killed by a truck on Market Street and a man carried the dead animal to our doorstep. I still clearly remember the image of seeing my best friend lying motionless in a stranger's arms. This was my first encounter with death. I was six years old. My parents buried Stanley in a satin-lined coffin and placed a marker on his grave at the Grandview Pet cemetery. I always found comfort as a little girl knowing that Stanley would lie in eternity surrounded by other beloved pets. In times of trouble, I still dream of Stanley. He speaks to me in dreams and offers me advice.

Today my mother called to tell me about an article in the paper announcing that the pet cemetery had been turned into a yard and was no longer in business. Over Christmas holiday, I plan to return to his burial site and claim his marker and pay respects by leaving one more wreath for my beloved best friend. If any of you readers have pets buried at this location, here is the information:


Jack McGraw said people who have pets buried in what was once Grandview Pet Cemetery in Codorus Township and want to have their gravemarkers as a keepsake may contact him at 428-9131. He said he will set up appointments for people to retrieve their markers, but they must know where the markers are. McGraw does not have maps or burial records showing where all the plots are.

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