Paying Respects to Droopy and Boogie: Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas
I had just recently learned about this pet cemetery while reading Lauren Bacall’s autobiography. She talked about burying her dog, Droopy there.
Mother and I went to the Pet Cemetery in the Valley. A woman straight out of Charles Addams greeted us and asked if we would like to go to the Slumber Room to see our dog. All her talk was very solemn, at a whisper. There is often something funny at every sad occasion – in this case, she was it. We followed her into the Slumber Room, where dogs of all types were lying asleep in open coffins, one mutt in a box lined with tufted satin. Droopy lay with his head in one paw just as he’d slept in life…Lauren Bacall in By Myself and Then Some.
Before the tour started, we were given a half sheet of paper with a list of graves that Management preferred not to give us the locations of. Naturally, Droopy and the other grave I most wanted to see, Mae West’s monkey, Boogie, were on the list. Ugh. Oh well, we all kept a lookout for the graves on the list and it was a happy moment for me when Hadley exclaimed “I found Droopy!”
This pet cemetery is a very lovely place and somehow all the plastic flowers & mushrooms, toys and pinwheels are whimsical, not cheesy. People really love their animals and their hearts are inscribed in the words on the headstones. Can you keep a dry eye while reading them?
Ironically, this pet cemetery was created in 1929 by veterinarian Dr. Eugene C. Jones. The same Dr. Jones of the Jones Dog and Cat Hospital that the L.A. Conservancy is suing the city of West Hollywood over because the City is going to allow that magnificent 1938 Streamline Moderne structure to be demolished so that another ugly, mixed-use project can be built there. Shame on ya (again), WeHo!