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The Publisher | A Letter from Jimmy Dean
Our family is in the process of moving. We’ve been in the same house now for almost 20 years and kids are flying the coop right and left, headed to colleges all over the map. Mom and I have decided to “close the Dean Hotel.” Too many bedrooms to keep clean, too much yard to maintain, just too much. Period.
So, we are downsizing. Something a little closer to town and a little smaller with less upkeep, less expense and more convenient.
In doing so, we’re cleaning and throwing out or donating everything we haven’t touched in, oh, say a year or so. I find myself asking, “Will I ever need this again?” Or “Am I ever going to miss this or that?” And I have come to realize the only thing I think I will really miss, something we can’t take to the new place, is our pet cemetery.
It is a little spot down in the lower right side of our property, out of the sun and under a huge oak hammock, where all of our pets of the last 20 years are buried. And we have had a lot of pets. Dozens.
Katchen, the Devon Rex cat, the first pet my wife and I shared and the first pet the kids loved is there, below a headstone the kids made from concrete and shells.
Pash Pash, the gerbil who once escaped into the walls and I had to drill holes behind the lower cabinets where he had escaped to in order to rescue him…her…whatever. He/she is buried there. Countless fish, turtles, lizards and frogs that have come and gone through my children’s hands and lives are there.
And dogs. Cousin Rachel even brought her beloved Cockapoo to be interned when he passed over the rainbow bridge as she lived in a rental home. She wanted a “permanent” resting place for Rufus. He is there too.
A few years ago the girls planted a small bamboo plant at the headstone that is now a living marker for that sacred place, and there is no way to transport that sacred ground to our new home. And that makes me sad.
It is really one of life’s greatest mysteries – this bond we have with our pets and animals. They truly become family and the love they give is truly unconditional. Mom and I hope, by allowing so many creatures to share in our children’s lives, we have helped them appreciate this thing called unconditional love.
It’s really real.
Welcome to our pets and animals issue.