Brown Pet Cemetery

Pssst. While there’s certainly nothing graphic, if you’re super sensitive you might want to scroll past this post. I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. πŸ˜‰
Columbus, OH, headstone, graveyard

While I was looking for things to check out on my little day trip to Columbus I stumbled across Brown Pet Cemetery. I have been to countless cemeteries over the years, like a lot a lot a lot. I blog about them so often that they’ve even earned their own tag here on the blog. I’ve never been to one that was the final resting place for people’s pets though. I wasn’t sure what to expect (yes, I did. I knew that I’d cry!) but felt compelled to check it out! What can I say, I was curious…

Brown Pet Cemetery is located in Columbus, Ohio, right across the street from the airport. Certainly not the most peaceful of resting places but an absolute beauty! Some of the oldest headstones I spotted date back to the 1920’s. Some are handmade, and others are more elaborate than some I’ve seen for humans. A surprising number of the headstones even had photos! The front of the cemetery seems to be fairly well maintained. The back half of the cemetery is nestled in the woods so it was understandable to see that a handful of headstones that have been damaged by fallen trees. It also appeared that some were slowly falling down the hill little by little each year.

The majority of the deceased seemed to be dogs, followed by cats but I also saw a headstone for a bird! Online, while researching this cemetery, I found a photo of a headstone for two ducks but I somehow missed that while I was there. Probably because my eyes were all blurry from crying!

columbus, ohio, pet cemetery, graveyard

So what was it like? Oh, I just sobbed… the whole time. Like red faced, snot nosed, runny make up SOBBING. Every time I’d start to regain my composure I’d find a headstone with an inscription that got me going all over again. Jeff texted me while I was there to say something like “Hope you’re having a nice day!” When I told him where I was his response was “What are you doing there?! Why!? That’s so sad!” While it was incredibly sad, it was overwhelmingly beautiful. Obviously I wept for their owner’s loss but half the tears came from a place of great appreciation for the friendships we form with animals. It makes my heart swell to think about those bonds. Seriously, I sometimes get teary eyed when I see strangers sharing a special moment with their pet. Basically, when it comes to animals, I’m a huge blubbering fool. 

It’s so lovely to think what an impact these animals made on their owners lives that they decided to get them such beautiful headstones when they passed. Some of the headstones with photos were so old! It’s crazy to think about a time when photography wasn’t even a fraction as popular or accessible that someone was like “Yeah, I really love this cat. I’m going to need to get some glamour shots done of her.” 

My absolute favorite photo found on a headstone at the pet cemetery.

I hesitated to share this post because it is sad and that’s not really the type of content I share on The Dainty Squid. Jeff even said “I’m not going to read that post, it’ll be too sad!” As much as I cried seeing this in person, and even though I got choked up a few times wiring it, like I said above, it really does warm my heart that people loved these animals so much! I hope you guys out there reading can see the beauty in it too.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • These shots are beautiful! I wasn't expecting so many unique headstones for a pet cemetery. I understand why you would get extra upset here though. I guess since we don't speak the same language as our pets, or other animals their pain is more intense. They can't speak for themselves, so I think we as humans feel guilty about it. A week ago a little baby bird fell out of a nest and died and ran past it and tried to remember to go back. Then I passed it again while taking out the trash and got really sad. Was no one going to move this poor bird? I eventually got back to my apartment and got gardening gloves and buried him. I just hope I won't forget and freak myself out when gardening in the future.

  • So I started reading and I was all "I can do this, it's not *my* pets," and then the first photo was of a Jack Russell that looks a lot like mine and that was that. Damn you, Kaylah!! πŸ™

    I guess, growing up in the country, we always just buried our animals on our property – we made them all little crosses and marked them with rocks with their names painted on. My parents are planning on moving next year after they retire, after living there for 22 years, and I'm sad thinking about my pets living (well, not living, but you know what I mean) on someone else's land after it sells. I suppose that's why people bury them in cemeteries so that they can visit them at any time and it's not tied to any property. But for some reason, pet cemeteries seem so much more impersonal than human ones to me.

    • Awww, I'm sorry!

      Yeah, same, my parents bury all animals on their land. Pretty sure they'll never move (the house has been paid off for like ever) but I definitely know I'd have some strange feelings about never being able to see those graves again.

  • Oh this post gave me such mixed feelings of awe and sadness. I just realized the other day that I've had my eldest cat for almost half my entire life. He's getting up there in years and just thought of him passing gets me misty eyed. (Like literally welling up just typing this T^T) What a lovely place though. I love all the photos on the tombstones! Isn't neat to see what people name their pets? I find it so fascinating.

    • Oh! Same! I can't think about any of my three passing without getting misty eyed.

      Yeah, for sure. I mentioned it in a comment above, there was a headstone in this cemetery for "Gay Bit of Copper Penny". Like, where in the world did that come from?!!

  • OK, Sit down for this. I was a junior and senior at Eastmoor High School in Columbus in 1964-65 when I worked for a Veterinarian, Walter Brown, DVM. He owned that cemetery then. I dug many of those graves during those two years. The cemetery was created by his father also a Veterianarian. That is why some date back into the 1920’s.