Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1838, and it’s become the final resting place for many notable New Yorkers, like Leonard Bernstein, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Some of the figures there were famous in their time, even if the average person passing through might not have heard of them.
And a lot of people are passing through. My Modern Met reports that with quarantine in New York City, Greenwood Cemetery’s foot traffic increased enormously. The area is set up like a park, with a lot of space and beautiful trees and plants. It’s easy to socially distance and get some fresh air. With more people coming through, there has been a renewed interest in a specific grave, a small one for a dog named Rex.
Rex was the dog of John E. Stow, who died in 1884. he was a famous fruit merchant, which was a thing someone could be in that era. Records from the time mention Re’s headstone next to his master, but no one is entirely certain that a real dog is actually buried there. Stacy Locke, Communications Manager at Green-Wood Cemetery, told The Dodo, “I think people like to believe that there is a dog interred there and there very well might be. But it’s hard to say.”
Right now, people passing by are definitely treating Rex’s bronze statue like it’s a real grave and they pausing to offer him the sweetest tribute: sticks.
What more could a dog want?
Perhaps more sticks than Rex could play with, even in heaven:
The cemetery officials are happy to direct you to Rex’s spot if you’re in the area, but it’s on Lot 2925, Section 81.
“It’s right under a tree and there are lots of sticks around,” Locke says. “People will drop a stick across his little paws. Someone also left a picture of a dog there once, maybe their little pet who passed away, as to say, ‘Rex, look after my little one.'”
A dog’s work is never done.