Cranky Old Bastard

I had Spirit cremated and today we are driving back to my parents’ house to bury him. My mother was adamant when he died that she didn’t want him buried here when I am going to be moving. He had to come back to where he lived from 1984 to 1997. I didn’t really care. I just didn’t want him laying in the yard with all the local buzzards coming for a feast. I hate that part of Dancing With Wolves. Makes me cry every time when the buzzards eat the horse. I know, circle of life and all, but it is rude.

They just finished a big earthmoving project in his former pasture. I don’t understand the point of it since I haven’t seen it yet but all the brush is gone in the front part near the barn so it will be fairly easy to bury him. My parents gave me a choice of locations.

1. Under the pine tree that he ate. He ate all the branches and needles off of one pine tree for as far up as he could reach (and I’m pretty sure he stood on his tiptoes). The tree was taller than him so it is absolutely bare until it outgrew him and then is a large, full pine tree. Very strange looking.

2. Under the new lilac bush that replaced the ones from my grandmother’s old house. The bush needed replaced because (of course) Spirit ate it. When I moved Spirit away I gave my mom a gift certificate from Spirit to get a new lilac bush. My golden retriever is buried under here so Spirit would have to share.

3. In the main dog and cat cemetery. Several of the dogs buried here liked to chase Spirit a lot. They thought they were making him run but careful observation would reveal that they would wait until he was already running and then chase him from the safety of the other side of the fence.

4. In his stall. My dad piles junk in here now and I know Spirit doesn’t want bicycles on his head for eternity.

So, under the pine tree it is. I figure it is only right that he helps fertilize it since he tried so hard to kill it.

I finally was able to get him out of the box that he was shipped in today. It was a big box with an enormous amount of packing peanuts. I filled a 5 gallon bucket several times with those things. I’m glad I opened it when I was alone. He is in a very nice wooden box. There was a card on top. I opened it and it was a cremation certificate that has his name and the date of cremation. Then it says:

“Many people will walk in and out of your life

But only a true friend will leave hoof prints in your heart.

Please accept the attached half heart with our compliments. The other half of the charm has been placed in the cremains of your pet. May this token of your mutual love live forever.”

I totally lost it.

There is a large name plate on the front. It has his name and date of death (wrong in this case so good thing we are burying him). It also had room for me to choose to say something else. Since the only epitaph I could come up with, “He was a cranky old bastard”, was fitting (everyone who knew him agreed entirely) but possibly inappropriate I didn’t specify anything. It must automatically go to a default. It says:

In Loving Memory
Devoted Friend, Faithful Companion

Yeah, “He was a cranky old bastard” would have summed it up better.


  • Kati

    Awwww, you’ve got me crying as well. I’m glad y’all were able to bury Spirit in one of his favorite spots, though I DID get a chuckle over the visual of your dad dancing a happy jig on Spirit’s gravesite. Sorry….. Not funny to one who loved Spirit, but I can imagine it myself. Thus, the laughing.

    Sending (((((HUGS))))).

  • Patty/Autumn

    Oh the heart made me cry. That is so sweet. I know this has been so hard for you, but I am glad you have a place to come to (uner the treeee) to be with your horse.

  • OnTheBit

    awww…I would have lost it too! Heck I was tearing up here in front my my computer and only knew Spirit from what you wrote about him. That is very cool that you can get the ashes back…none of the removal services around here offer that. I think the pine tree is an excellent location and I am sure Spirit will still do his best to kill it.
    And in a related but not entirely appropriate change of subject how is Prize doing at her new home? The cranky old bastard part reminded me of all the stories you used to tell about how he would torture her.

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