Green-Wood Cemetery in the western portion of Brooklyn, NYC is widely known as the resting place of various prominent personalities including composer Leonard Bernstein, former Senator Boss Tweed, photographer Charles Ebbets, editor Horace Greeley, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and many others. But somewhere in the vast 478-acre cemetery also lies the small gravestone of Rex, a dog who died 100 years ago. The dog grave has the dog’s statue and an engraving of the name below it.
Just recently, the dog grave has been gaining a lot of attention despite being there for over a century. The gravestone has become an attraction at the cemetery lately. And people have been coming in just to see the much talked-about gravestone. To pay their respect to Rex, visitors are dropping sticks across the statue’s little paws. Since the gravestone is located under a tree, passersby began picking up sticks lying on the ground and offer them to Rex. And it somehow turned into a tradition.
People Are Bringing Sticks And Placing Them On This Dog Grave
Photos of the dog grave along with the collection of sticks have begun circulating online. And people can’t help but get more interested about the mysterious dog. A story has it that Rex was the pet dog of well-known fruit merchant John E. Stow who died in 1884. So, when Rex passed away years after, he was buried next to Stow’s gravestone as per Stow’s request. Rex actually wasn’t the only dog interred at Green-Wood Cemetery. There are four other dogs buried in the prestigious cemetery. But Rex was believed to have been the last due to a public uproar that opposed the interment of animals at the graveyard.
Since then, Green-Wood had stopped the practice of placing pets in the cemetery. But in April 2016, the cemetery offered a tour of the grounds to let visitors see the famous animals buried there. And that’s how the public came to know about Rex and the other dogs who were interred at the memorial park. The popular dog grave can be found at Lot 2925, Section 81 of Green-Wood in case you’re planning to visit and drop a stick on Rex’s statue.
“People will drop a stick across his little paws,” Stacy Locke, Communications Manager at Green-Wood Cemetery, said. “Someone also left a picture of a dog there once, maybe their little pet who passed away, as to say, ‘Rex, look after my little one.’”
Here’s what people have to say about this heartwarming tradition