On a quiet corner of South Lyon in Michigan, can be found the final resting place of good boys and girls alike. Locally and nationally known animals are laid to rest in this cemetery and although the name begs to differ, its not just for dogs!
Previously known as the Happy Hunting Grounds Pet Cemetery, this memorial park was founded in the 1930s by a local family. After World War II, the cemetery was expanded and a 16 ton granite monument honouring war dogs was built.
This project was put together entirely by local residents after learning about the heroism of the military dogs during WWII. They got together and raised over $3,700 (over $50,000 today) to pay for the monument’s construction.
The first official military burial to occur at the cemetery was for Sargent Sparks, a Doberman Pinscher who served as a Marine messenger dog and survived battles on four separate islands. S. Sparks was present during the dedication of the monument in 1946. Unfortunately, he was poisoned outside his home in Rochester a year after. At the request of his owner, S. Sparks was laid to rest at its base. I couldn’t find anything online to say if the person who did this was found, I really hope they were and some justice was served!
Some more famous residents of the graveyard includes Blizzard, a sled dog whos owner was Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr., who served on the first U.S. Antarctic Expedition. Also Admiral George Dewey’s pet parrot, who served as the mascot for the U.S. Navy’s Flagship during the Spanish–American War.
This memorial park is free to visit, however donations are gratefully accepted, as it contributes to the upkeep of the park. There is a donation box at the entrance and a free car park.
I couldn’t write about a dog memorial park and not add in photos of my own dogs who have unfortunately passed. You will only understand if you’ve lost a pet, but I think about them every day and miss them dearly. They fill a void you didn’t know you had and just make life so much better. One day I will help out another dog (or dogs) in need but for now, I am okay working with dogs at the grooming salon. (I absolutely love my job, it’s the best one I’ve ever had).