Why for over 100 years people still bringing wooden sticks to dog’s grave in Brooklyn

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is famous for housing many famous artists and musicians. But there is another special burial place there: the centennial grave of a dog. As indicated on the tombstone under the sculpture of the dog, here rests a dog named Rex. And for years now, owners who have had their dogs die have been bringing sticks to the unknown dog. Why?

People visiting the cemetery don’t know what kind of dog it was, but they invariably leave “aporta sticks” at the figure’s feet, laying them on the dog’s feet to pay tribute to the loyalty and kindness of all the dogs who, as dog lovers say, are now “on the rainbow.” And not just dogs. Anyone who has a pet, be it a cat, a rat or a bird, knows how special the bond between man and animal can be and how much to lose a beloved faithful creature.

It is believed that the dog was the pet of the fruit merchant John E. Stowe, who lived in the second half of the 19th century and is buried nearby. Now, more than a hundred years later, it is already difficult to say exactly who the man who erected the monument to his dog was, what his character was and what his Rex was famous for. However, the feeling that he experienced when he lost his four-legged friend is also close to modern dog breeders.

Rex engraved on the tombstone
©Twitter – Rex engraved on the tombstone

This unusual grave stands at the intersection of two paths in the cemetery, so it is very visible, and even if a person has never heard of the monument to Rex, he unwittingly walks closer to see what this tombstone is, reads the inscription and is sure to be moved.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors to the cemetery increased, and the collection of sticks at Rex’s grave has grown significantly.

“We don’t really have 100 per cent proof that there’s a dog buried there, but I think people like to believe that,” admits Stacy Locke, communications manager at Green-Wood Cemetery, “however, we don’t have proof that there’s no dog in the grave either.

Visitors bring sticks to Rex as a sign of respect and in memory of their pets
©Twitter – Visitors bring sticks to Rex as a sign of respect and in memory of their pets

In addition to sticks, visitors to the cemetery leave photographs of their departed pets on Rex’s grave – as if they say: “Rex, look after my baby there, in Heaven”…

Dogs are so touching and charming creatures that not only a hundred years later, but even 4500 years later, these four-legged friends of man evoke tenderness. Therefore, when scientists recreated the head of a dog from the Neolithic Age, this event aroused great interest throughout the world. And, it must be said, the head turned out very nice.

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