Monday, April 20, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon . . .

It was thanks to Laurie's blog Creating Pictures In My Mind and her recent post about the Paris Dog Cemetery (Le Cimetière des Chiens) in Asnières, just outside of Paris that I decided on Friday to get up out of this seat in front of the computer and go see some of the real world again. Packing some dried figs, apricots, and dates for lunch and a bottle of iced tea, I set out into the wilds of the northern suburbs of Paris. . . armed only with a camera. In case you are not aware, the northern suburbs of Paris are not much safer than Somalia at present, so yes, you can admire my bravery for embarking on such an expedition without bodyguards or other forms of protection.
The Dog Cemetery, which is a bit of a misnomer, as it looked to me as though there are just as many cats as there are dogs interred there, as well as a smattering of monkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and other assorted wildlife, is a haven of peace along a bend of the Seine River. I spent a couple of very enchanting hours there reading the inscriptions on stones and photographing some of the more pittoresque among the myriad animal memorial monuments. There are no end of touching testimonials from bereaved owners to their departed companions. One stone bore the message : "Deceived by humans, but never by my dog".
All sorts of decorations adorned the graves, from austere sculptures, to photographic portraits of the animal, or even material objects to accompany the canine or feline spirit into the underworld or afterlife. One particularly poignant example were the tennis balls in a glass globe shown below here. . . I will be posting more photos from the Dog Cemetery soon, but wanted to get at least this much out tonight.






Amy said...

Sounds like the destination was well worth the risk. These are very touching photos - I really love the one with the tennis balls. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

La Framéricaine said...

Have you read François Maspero's Les passagers du Roissy Express? Your journey north brought it back to mind.

Le F is currently carving a headstone in Mexican travertine to replace the 76 year old one with the name of my paternal grandmother misspelled. Your pet cemetery denizens get more loving treatment from their owners than she did from whomever buried her way back then.

Ain't life strange.

BTW, I'm very impressed with your 17 years in la belle France! I should be so lucky...

Laurie said...

Fantastic photos, Owen. I am struck dumb with envy -
More, please!

Sar@h said...

L'entrée est payante ?

Je rêve de reposer dans le chenal entre l'île Louet & le Château, j'espère que l'accès en restera gratuit !

jeff said...

P....n, ça existe des endroits pareils...! Tim burton a une sacré imagination.. Je me demande s'il aurait pu imaginer un tel endroit ! My God (Mon Dieu pour les frenchies), quand on pense avoir vu bien des choses, en fait on a rien vu ! Tu devrais sortir de chez toi plus souvent espèce de Nolife !...
C'est qu'on en apprend des choses sur ta page !... Allez, à plus cher Owen ! Amitiés !
PS : J'ai pas encore "osé" agrandir les images de mon blog... 'faut dire que ça me les brise un peu menus à la longue tout ce langage html.. Mais va... J'ai toujours tes bons conseils de côté !

Owen said...

Hi Amy, quite agree, the tennis balls are really something amazing, like the Egyptians who left all sort of objects with their dead, even food and drink, to help them in the beyond, I can picture the dog in question bounding across the green fields of dog heaven chasing his tennis balls to his heart's content...

Laurie, (and Amy) Ask and you shall receive... more photos in the pipeline.

à la Framéricaine... I haven't come across that book yet, will have to track it down, if you are recommending it, I suspect it is worth reading. Hope we will get to see an image of the tombstone le Framéricain is working on, and perhaps some other samples of his work. The fireplace that is in the background of one of your photos is beautiful, would love to see more of what he has done, my best regards to him, and to your goodself. And yes, life is strange!

Sarah, l'entée pour les vivants est payant; mais à 3 euros, ce n'est pas onereux. Par contre, les morts doivent payer un lourd prix d'entrée, car ils doivent quitter ce monde d'abord... mais en tout cas, j'espère que tu as de nombreuses bonnes années devant toi avant de penser à un lieu de repos... ! amicalement

ah, sacré Jeff34, oui, effectivement, Tim Burton aimerait bien je pense, j'suis bien content si cela t'a plu et surtout si cela ta fait rever un peu... bon, maintenant tu sauras quoi faire la prochaine fois que tu montes à Paris ! :-D

Et merci à toutes et à tous pour ces commentaires sympas, c'est un plaisir de vous lire...

Thanks to all for all these comments, I think bloggers in general crave feedback, and hearing from all of you makes this all worthwhile ! So, as they say in the American South, y'all come back real soon now, hear?

NikonSniper said...

very cool photos.

Ruthie Redden said...

Quite unlike anything i have ever seen over here, amazing! thank you for venturing out & braving the worls so we could see these photos!!