Oh to rest in peace, with piglet and ratty

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Oh to rest in peace, with piglet and ratty
Wednesday 31 May 2000

In his four years as manager of Claverhambury pet cemetery in east London, Ray Edgar has had several unusual requests. There was the 610-millimetre-high, heart-shaped headstone that he erected for Annabel, a much loved and sorely missed goldfish; the five German shepherds, all brothers, that their owners wanted laid to rest side by side; and the horse that had to be winched into a specially enlarged plot.

Dean Wayland's query, however, was quite the most extraordinary.

"Dean already has four pet rats buried here," Mr Edgar said, "and now, Little Heartbeat, his New Zealand Kune Kune piglet has died as well as another of his rats. He has put the piglet and Browning, the rat, in his freezer while we widen his plot.

"And, in the meantime, I am negotiating with our local authority to see if we can accommodate Mr Wayland's other request: that he and his partner, Mary, be buried alongside their animals."

Mr Wayland, 44, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, doesn't think his request is odd in the slightest: it is perfectly understandable, he believes, that his final resting place should be among his beloved pets.

"It is vaguely sentimental, I suppose," he said. "But entirely appropriate. I was truly devastated at the death of each of my pets. Yes, I cried. I had an uncannily close bond with my rats and, frankly, I wept more than for some humans I've lost."

In the past year, calls to the Pet Bereavement Support Service helpline, run by the Blue Cross animal charity, have increased by 60 per cent to more than 70 a month. Many, especially those who have had to make the difficult decision to have their animals put down, feel intense guilt.

And, while most callers in the past have been women, last year the numbers of men seeking counselling from the Blue Cross volunteer "befrienders" rose to 14 per cent. Such is the demand that the service now uses 85 volunteers who can spend anything from 30 minutes to several hours consoling bereaved pet owners.TELEGRAPH


and here's today's real screamer...

Foul-mouthed Fred the cockatiel lets rip with four-letter abuse every time his owner Vanessa Teasdale picks up the phone to chat to friends, and the English housewife blames it all on bad language on TV, according to a London paper.


The above offerings are tabled to bring balance to this forum - to show there's more to it than mere gas-n-politics-n-NWO junk-n-gunk.

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), May 30, 2000


Dear Pieter,

Pet Cemeteries are really healthy businesses! LOL.That is if you can afford the capital investment in cremation ovens.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), June 01, 2000.

Just thought that I would let you know that Fred did not learn his bad language from the TV, as you reported above. He in fact was a rescue bird that came to me with those bad habits. He is also quite clever in that he has many songs that he can whistle. He now lives in another village called Cotherstone in County Durham, as I now live in Spain. It was nice to read the article though Cheers!

-- Vanessa Teasdale (rmvs1@hotmail.com), March 19, 2003.

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