Sunday, November 27, 2011

We've come to this

While away it was reinforced for me how much our individual world view is tied up with where we live. The US isn't one place, just as Europe isn't. It's thousands of places, each uniquely different because of the people who choose to live there. Take Colorado for instance. I once thought it was only Boulder you should avoid if you hadn't drunk the Kool-Aid. Now I'm not so certain.

My daughter sent this local television news story:

"Animal obits outweigh human obits in Crested Butte"

"It is unclear how many pet obits are published each year in the Crested Butte Newspaper, but Associate Editor Alissa Johnson says they outweigh human obits.

"We call them 'doggy obits' around the paper," Johnson said. "They can be anything from dogs to cats. We've had horses in the paper this week".

Jerry Deverell put an ad in the paper for his horse Dink when he passed away.

"We had a really great relationship," Deverell said. "I picked out a picture and said, 'I've gotta put this in the paper.'"

The ads are unique. They're filled with poems, goodbye notes and sometimes nothing.

"I think the most emotional one for me was where they were unable to write anything, so all we got was the picture and the dates," Johnson said.

Crested Butte is a community where some folks value animal life over human life."

This is a trend that hasn't caught on here.



Anonymous said...

Pets provide us with joy.
Most people don't.

Shelley said...

Anonymous has a good point there. The local paper here has loads of ads about people's birthdays and about the anniversaries of people's deaths. Not pets, though I'm certain folks are quite passionate about their pets - they just haven't thought about pet obits yet.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

Why don't they just list the cremation schedule at the local pet funeral home?

Toad said...

I'm quite willing to accept anons point, but I wonder if animal obits don't trivialize human death?

Barbara said...

Lots of people think animals ARE more important than people. I don't. But I'd get an argument from many a friend.
Still the animal obits....made my day, Toad.

old polo said...

I have many dogs and a few horses whose passing I mourned. But I NEVER mourned the passing of Boulder. That place may be more weird than Austin.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if animal obits don't trivialize human death?"

Cerebral you, I bow as always; this time no exception. But can you add a few more legs to your hypothesis? I'm confused and would love to hear more if:then process behind your theory.

I know, I'm from the disadvantaged Deep South, but can it not be true that animal obits GLORIFY humans [in death OR in life]? Indeed, that the influence of animals in humans' lives is of such proportion that owners want to prominently mark their passing in print? Such a gesture seems more triumphantly HUMAN than a passively trivializing one.

Yes? No?


Jeremiah said...

I love my family and my friends. That said, none of them are all forgiving or love me 100% unconditionally as my dog and cat do. Would I write an obit about them and publish it? No, because I don't care what anyone else thinks.

BTW, the Plaza at Christmas is beautiful. Not as much since Nichols let it go, but still....

Toad said...

Flo my first pass (hopefully untrue) imagined Mrs. Davis followed by Fluffy in the obits. I pray they are on different pages, although I couldn't not locate any to decide the point.

Humans, the one species which can express their loves and interests through writing do honor themselves by sharing that they have a depth of feeling over the passing of an beloved animal.

I'm open to the argument that in doing so it may well also be a thumb in the eye to the people around them. Think an "You're OK but I believe my cat loved me more than you and I liked her better."

I prefer my pets to lots of people, but sharing that info with those I don't like so well may not be in anyone's best interest, esp in the newspaper.

I was struck by the lic tag choices in Colorado. "Respect Life", Respect Wildlife" Not a word about respecting other people.

Are animal obits something that only works in small out of the way places, or is it a scheme whose time has come? God knows there is an abundance of pet cemeteries.