Have you ever noticed a pet statue or monument on your travels? If you are like me, you will have probably been rather intrigued by your find. In fact, around the world there are thousands of pet statues and memorials many with fascinating stories behind them. Some reveal insights into our social history, such as the little brown dog in Battersea that was a focus of suffragette riots. Others have wonderfully quirky origins, like the twenty-three cats of York: sculptures added to buildings designed by a cat-loving architect. Many more reveal tales of courage, loyalty, myth, and legend.
This website compliments a book – that was published this autumn – which brings together a selection of the most surprising, amusing and illuminating stories. From Egyptian cat goddesses and the heroic dogs of war, to search-and-rescue canines on 9/11 and Tombili the Turkish moggy who became an Internet sensation.
Some of these monuments help us understand the varied roles cats and dogs play in our lives, and the ways in which our relationships with them have evolved over time. (You can read an interview with more about what prompted me to write the book here).
During August 2019, Lutterworth Press, launched a crowdfunding campaign to help us publish the Monumental Tales book. In addition, the campaign provided funds for the Blue Cross who have been helping sick, injured and homeless pets since 1897. And with every book sold, more money will go to The Blue Cross!
“We all know animals play a variety of roles in our lives but few realize how these relationships often manifest themselves in the memorials erected for our non-human friends. Monumental Tales offers a fascinating summary of how grieving humans remembered their pets through time and space. With a focus on individual stories, Jackie Buckle manages to convey through words and images the endless love bestowed on companion animals, the respect granted to service animals and the mystery surrounding animals incorporated into myths and legends. Assembling this information was surely no easy task; animal memorials are everywhere and while many may know where to find memorials in their own towns, their locations are not easily searchable online. Gathering this information represents a monumental task and this book wonderfully demonstrates how an emotional connection with our non-human friends is felt by people everywhere.” –Dr. Eric Tourigny, Lecturer in Historical Archaeology Newcastle University
“In this fascinating and engaging book, Jackie Buckle introduces readers to pet monuments around the globe. Written with an eye to past histories, the book reveals a hidden landscape of pet commemoration and tells the compelling stories of prominent animals and their owners whose lives have inspired monuments. Beautifully illustrated and engagingly written, this book is a great read for anyone interested in pets and their history.” –Jane Hamlett,Professor of Modern British History,Royal Holloway University of London
A few words about me
For over twenty years I worked for a national drugs charity and I still work in the drugs field. I also volunteer as a pet bereavement support worker for the Blue Cross. I have shared my life with many beloved pets over the years, including, at the moment, a very furry Finnish Lapphund called Lexi!
Here she is with her best friend, Lucy:
Header image: With permission and thanks from Purushottam Pawar – via flickr