Being from Arkansas one eventually becomes desensitized to the associated stereotyping often linked to those residing in this grand old State. Well, at least with reference to myself that is it certainly true. And if you are from Arkansas, you are almost always deemed a hillbilly, even if you’re not married to your sister or living in a run-down house trailer.
You would think over time this would change but it seems that in my lifetime it will never happen. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot again, and again, and again. Case and point…..
Several years ago Arkansas received much ill-deserved (well, perhaps not ill-deserved) national publicity when then Governor Huckabee and his wife moved into what was referred to as a double-wide trailer during his tenure as our governor. You can read about that “here”.
Then, to add insult to injury our most famous President of recent years, Bill Clinton, refused to break that mold and erected his famed Presidential Library resembling that most familiar iconic structure – the house trailer yet once again.
(Clinton Presidential Library)
And now just when you think things might turn around……I pick up the newspaper this morning only to find yet another Arkansan who has found a way to extend our misunderstood heritage even further into the future. No, it’s not about sisters or cousins or even house trailer issues again, this time it is all about a dog. Right there on the front page this morning was an attention-getting headline that read as follows….
“Dead Man’s Dog Killed To Go With Him To Grave”
Oh tell me it’s not so but…..turns out an Arkansan who recently passed away was buried with his pet dog per his wishes. Only problem was the dog had to be euthanized to fulfill the man’s wishes. The dog, a healthy two-year old Yorkshire Terrier, was indeed euthanized and buried with his dead master.
Due to copyright issues I cannot post the article and there are no links available at this time so I’ll just paraphrase some of the article on the incident below . If a link becomes available in the near future I will amend it to this post.
The deceased’s sister said that the family was only fulfilling her brother’s desire to be buried with his pet, Tom Tom, which was a Yorkie. She said her brother had told her that if he should die, he wanted his dog to go with him because nobody would love him like he did.
It was noted in the article that it was rare for a pet to be euthanized for the sole purpose of burial with its owner. This statement attributed to the funeral home employees, veterinarians and the Humane Society of America alike.
A veterinarian consultant to the Humane Society noted that there was nothing illegal about euthanizing a completely healthy pet for any reason. Veterinarians refer to the practice as “convenience euthanasia”.
The local veterinarian chosen for the euthanasia noted that he had pleaded with the family to consider otherwise but in the end complied to their wishes fearing the pet might be killed in some less humane way.
A representative from Roller Funeral Homes which has more than two dozen locations statewide said that he has never heard of a family burying a pet alongside a human, much less euthanizing the pet to accomplish such.
In closing, I suppose if he was being buried with some old scraggly hound dog, perhaps I might could muster up some sense of compassion and understanding for his request since he was a hillbilly Arkansan. But a Yorkie? I ask you….when was the last time you saw one of those old hillbilly shacks with a little ole Yorkie sitting on the front porch?
(Yorkie – Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Well I will leave it with each of you to come to your own conclusions with regard to this matter. I personally will either have to move to another State or just suffer the consequences and verbal abuse I suppose.
Oh, and if this being buried with animals thing catches on here, I suppose this will open the door for some of my other fellow hillbilly Arkansans. When they die there are some who will surely want to euthanize their favorite mistress to be interred with them, which as you all know is normally a sheep in this part of the country.