Dog Cemetery, Chinqua Penn Plantation

Chinqua Penn was a beautiful old English manor near Reidsville, North Carolina.  Originally built by Jeff and Betty Penn.  The name Chinqua Penn comes from the name of a species of American Chestnut, the chinquapin and, of course, the family’s name.

Mr. and Mrs. Penn were philanthropists who traveled the world and furnished their house with the treasures they acquired on their journeys.  There’s even a full scale Chinese pagoda on the property.  The property was given into trusteeship by the University of North Carolina.  In 2006 the property was sold to Calvin Phelps, the founder of Renegade Tobacco Company, and was closed, with all the beautiful belongings sold at auction during bankruptcy proceedings.

We were fortunate to be able to tour the property and house before the closure.  One point of interest for us was the dog cemetery.  The Penns were dog lovers and raised Cocker Spaniels and English Setters.  The Penns buried their beloved companions in this cemetery, with Mr. Penn delivering the eulogy.  It was a nice way to memorialize the animals they loved.

Dog Cemetery

Crystal

Crystal came to us as a stray.  We had her for 12 years and we believe she was about 15 when she left us.  She was, to paraphrase A.A. Milne, a pointer of very little brain.

She lost her eyesight gradually and by the time she passed, she was completely blind.  She and I still played fetch every evening, I would direct her with “right, now left, almost there…good girl!”

One day she interrupted our fetch session and started wandering the yard.  I wasn’t worried;  the yard is fenced and she was safe.  She disappeared around the house and came back a few minutes later with a dead squirrel.  It was stiff as a board, but Crystal was proud of her prize and a bit disappointed when I took it away and disposed of it.

We named her after the Crystal Gayle song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”  She had just a couple little blue spots on otherwise brown eyes.  This photo shows her eyes well.

Crystal