Classic from The
               Oregonian:
            'Where to Bury A Dog'

               The following originally appeared in The Oregonian in
               1926 and later was included in the author's book of
               essays and poems, "How Could I Be Forgetting."

               Thursday March 25, 1999
 

               By Ben Hur Lampman

               A subscriber of the Ontario Argus has written to the
               editor of that fine weekly, propounding a certain question,
               which, so far as we know, yet remains unanswered. The
               question is this -- "Where shall I bury my dog?" It is asked
               in advance of death.

               The Oregonian trusts the Argus will not be offended if this
               newspaper undertakes an answer, for surely such a
               question merits a reply, since the man who asked it, on the
               evidence of his letter, loves the dog. It distresses him to
               think of his favorite as dishonored in death, mere carrion
               in the winter rains. Within that sloping, canine skull, he
               must reflect when the dog is dead, were thoughts that
               dignified the dog and honored the master. The hand of the
               master and of the friend stroked often in affection this
               rough, pathetic husk that was a dog.

               We would say to the Ontario man that there are various
               places in which a dog may be buried. We are thinking
               now of a setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine,
               and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a
               mean or an unworthy thought. This setter is buried
               beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam, and
               at its proper season the cherry strews petals on the green
               lawn of his grave. Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or
               any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to
               bury a good dog.

               Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy
               summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted head to
               challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in
               life or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and it touches
               sentiment more than anything else. For if the dog be well
               remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams
               actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing,
               begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long
               and at last.

               On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are
               roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppyhood, or
               somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most
               exhilarating cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one
               to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost -- if
               memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a dog.
               One place that is best of all.

               If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must
               already have, he will come to you when you call -- come
               to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the
               well-remembered path, and to your side again. And
               though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they shall not
               growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he
               belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no
               lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no
               whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who
               may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for
               you shall know something that is hidden from them, and
               which is well worth the knowing. The one best place to
               bury a good dog is in the heart of its master.
 

               The late Ben Hur Lampman, one of the most beloved
               Northwest writers of his era, joined The Oregonian
               staff in 1916 and enthralled two generations of readers
               with his graceful poems and poignant essays.

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