Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques
(The Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals)
I am jealous of the French for many reasons, one is their ability to have their best mates, accompany them as they go about their daily routine. Whether it be taking the train, shopping, visiting markets or dining with them in cafes.
It is a universal fact that the french love their dogs.
Therefore it should not be surprising that Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, is the oldest pet cemetery in Europe, dating back to 1898.
Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, is situated not far outside the periphery of Paris.
Upon entering the small yet idyllic space, sitting on the banks of the Seine, you can’t help but notice the imposing sculpture of Barry the St Bernard.
Barry is not buried here, but the impressive monument is to honour his heroic feats for saving 40 people on the Swiss Alps.
Sadly he was killed whilst attempting to save his 41st survivor in 1814.
The child draped over him, represents the young boy he saved from an inaccessible ledge.
Apart from what you would expect; graves of dogs and cats, Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, is also the resting place for a number of horses, birds, rabbits, a pet lamb, royal family’s pets and Kiki the monkey!
Local stray cats, some of which are very overweight, wander amongst the graves, sleep, curled up in the sun and hungrily eat the food provided by the local volunteers who keep the grounds.
Probably the most famous grave is that of Rin Tin Tin, the talented award winning actor, a French German Shepherd.
Rin Tin Tin was rescued as a new born puppy during World War I by an American solider, Lee Duncan.
He saved Rin Tin Tin’s mother and the entire litter, keeping a female, who he called Nanette and Rin Tin Tin the male.
Smuggling the two puppies back to the USA, Rin Tin Tin became a movie star.
Fourteen years later when Rin Tin Tin died, Lee Duncan buried him in the backyard of his home in LA in a bronze casket with a simple timber cross.
During the depression, when Lee Duncan was forced to sell his home, he returned Rin Tin Tin to his country of birth and had him re-buried at the famous pet cemetery, Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, returning his faithful companion to his roots.
Some of the graves are simple, some date back to the late 1800’s and some are as elaborate as you will find in Père Lachaise for humans.
Large concrete dog kennels, glass domes containing tennis balls, sculptures, long heartfelt epitaphs, flowers and gifts left behind by loyal, grieving companions.
If you are looking for a quirky, unique and at times very moving experience, The Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domesticated Animals is a pleasant way to while away an hour or two on the banks of the Seine.
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Paris Adèle’s Information Necessaire :Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, – official website 4 Pont de Clichy, Asnieres-sur-Seine 92600 Opening Hours : Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm Closed Mondays & Public Holiday Entry Fee €3.50 Nearest Metro: Mairie de Clichy, Gabriel Peri
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