Black Dog Hill

There is a dog standing guard in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia who never eats, sleeps, or barks. He stands in silent vigil over the grave of a two year old named Bernadine Rees, a youngster who died of Scarlet Fever around the 1860s. Bernadine had been fond of visiting a merchant’s shop with her mother, and this dog statue outside the business was a special attraction to the child who would pet the dog and talk to it. Bernadine’s mother was inconsolable when her baby girl died, and when the merchant owner attended the funeral, he came with the dog statue to place on the child’s grave.  The Newfoundland has stood guard on her grave ever since, and visitors sometimes leave behind pennies and little toys as tokens of respect. The area of the cemetery where her grave is located is now known as “black dog hill.” Permission to wipe away that tear.

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