Here are two grave stones that have me stumped. I have been unable to find the stories behind them, despite the specific details that the pets’ owners had inscribed on their memorials. I’ll post them here in the hope that someone may know their stories and share them with me. Failing that, let us read these memorials and be heartened by the knowledge that our animal friends are capable of heroism.
I was unable to find newspaper reports of a fire at Belle Harbor in the 1930s or 1940s involving a dog named Jockey, or his owners, Mr. and Mrs. George Panopulo. Another mystery is why Jockey was buried at Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals (now known as Aspin Hill Memorial Park) instead of the much closer Hartsdale Pet Cemetery.
Inscription: Jockey Gordon Setter Fire Hero of Belle Harbor L. I. N. Y. of Mr. & Mrs. George Panopulo Died at the Age of 16 -- 1946 Location: Aspin Hill Memorial Park
I’ve always been touched by the epitaph on this memorial to Rex Kidwell, “a dear little hero dog.” I wish I knew how he saved the lives of two men, but my newspaper searches have come up empty. Nevertheless, I continue to be touched by the devotion of Rex’s owners, who used every bit of space on his tombstone to tell of his finest qualities.
Inscription: REX KIDWELL A dear little hero dog died June 5th 1949 He saved the lives of 2 men. Intelligent friendly faithful We will miss him forever. Location: Aspin Hill Memorial Park, a cemetery for pets. N 39° 04.764 W 077° 04.581