Thursday, June 11, 2015

Three Dog Night in the Cemetery

A couple of weeks ago I went roaming around my new neighborhood to explore and take pics. I discovered that we live three blocks from Congressional Cemetery (or two - there's no 16th Street near us.) I didn't go in, as I had been wandering for quite awhile and just wanted to go home at that point.

Tonight after work, I decided to take a walk, so I grabbed my camera and headed over there. It's hot - midsummer hot - but the humidity was reasonable and it turned out to be a good evening for a walk.

These are my pics from the walk. The dog part comes later.

One of the first headstones you notice when you enter, in stark contrast to the 19th century grave stones

Yes, there are actual congressmen buried here. These are senators.

Overachievers abound at Congressional

John Calhoun...Senator...traitor?

Henry Clay, another Senator with responsibility for causing the Civil War, like Calhoun

Poor person didn't have a tombstone. You mattered, B! You breathed, you lived!

Celtic cross - I feel like half this cemetery was Irish. They built a lot of this country, after all. I noticed this symbol elsewhere in the cemetery.

A War of 1812 soldier (cue Tchaikovsky)

Too old to read

Back when title of  Congressman/Senator was respected by Americans

Can't find a more appropriate tombstone

Not to comment on the phallic tomb in front...the area is actually quite beautiful. I was experimenting with focus here. Guess I need to experiment more.

Creepy, even for a cemetery.

I should have taken these dogs as a warning.

There's something beautiful about old tombstones that you can't find in today's. As if people actually mattered then. Maybe it's just the passage of time.

The moss covered one's were particularly interesting.

I had expected more like these. Like Pere Lachaise in Paris, where I had spent some time last time I was there.

Oh, the plebes...

Most surprising, aside from the attacking dogs, were the bees here.

There were so many overturned stones. At first I thought it was caused by vandals. The more I walked, the more I wondered if it were the dogs.

These were clearly "less important" people. You know, smaller tombstones. Ha.

These Sailors and Marines died in the Indian Wars in the 1870s. Not sure why they were buried here instead of Arlington Cemetery, but maybe Arlington, which opened in 1862, couldn't handle it yet?

So many Irish...Thanks, Edward, for your sacrifice.

I think all of us hope our tombstones don't wear away until all that's left is "WAS DUNG."

Lots of Masons buried here.

Couldn't read these, but it felt like a whole family was buried here. It was rather pretty.

You may have to be Catholic to laugh at the idea of a Father Colliflower. Maybe not. That's hilarious. How could you confess your sins to a Father Colliflower? I mean, that's not different than Father Broccoli or Father Spinach.

This one confused me. "Infants." Did they have a bunch of kids who died that they named the same? And why is their name "Gruber" different than "Wilson?"

The caretakers couldn't even leave the plant for M. They had to mow it over, too. It made me sad.

I can't quite figure out the picture. Oscar Roberts clearly had people who loved him, though.

More Congress folks. Interesting design. Will have to read up on it.

This was just weird. I liked it, though.

Really great grounds.


A Revolutionary War soldier. Thanks, Ben.

Another Mason. Great shape for its age.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy my time here, for the most part.

I like to visit cemeteries. Some of the recent ones I've visited were Pere Lachaise in Paris, where many famous French (including artist Eugene Delacroix and Writer Honore de Balzac) and non-French (Jim Morrison comes to mind) are buried, and a mountain side one along the Amalfi Coast. These were people. They lived, they breathed, they ate, they drank, they suffered, they cried, they had joys, they laughed. They once walked this earth as we do now, and others will while we're in the ground. This is their final resting spot. They deserve respect.

Dog owners will have none of that.

The rudeness of dog owners in DC is out of control. I'm not just talking about my experience tonight, and I'm not alone in my thinking. [As I was typing that sentence, NBC DC advertised a news story - "Why bad dog owners are putting you at risk!" See? I'm not making this up!] They think their dogs are more important than people. They have no respect for other people, even hate human beings - some of them - saying people are awful and dogs are wonderful. (But they've never been to a place and watched a pack of wild dogs rip other animals apart. Go to Bulgaria for the experience. It is NOT fun.)

I have no problem with dogs. I have a problem with rude owners, the dog stores taking over local communities, the disrespect they have for other people. Tonight, I was attacked - ATTACKED - by three dogs while walking through the cemetery. Not one. Not two. THREE. Only one of the owners half apologized. All of them looked as if they blamed ME for their dogs running up to me.

Was I bitten? No, by a miracle. They were snapping at me, growling at me, pulling at my shorts....

I don't know how it is in other cities, but I suspect it is similar. Too many dog owners in DC have zero respect for others, and tonight's clearly have no respect for the dead. I've had it up to here with rude dog owners in this city. Your dog is not a god. Not everyone likes dogs. Even those of us who like them don't want to be licked, jumped on, or god forbid, bitten. It should be considered assault.

I think it's a great idea that Congressional Cemetery allows people to pay to walk their dogs and let them roam leash-free. (Check out the great program.) It raises revenue for the cemetery, and it gives dogs a place to walk. But it's not right that dog owners don't respect those who have some reverence for the people buried there, and it's not right that dog owners don't respect other people who are walking in public places.

I'll be interested to see the NBC story tonight.

This time won't deter me from going to the cemetery. They're having a chamber music concert on Sunday that we're going to. And I LOVE the social media accounts they're running. (No, seriously, check out their Facebook page. It's great.] Whoever is doing that deserves a HUGE raise. But come on, man. These dog owners need to have respect for others.

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