Rex is still a very good boy ❤️️
Green-Wood Cemetery in south Brooklyn is home to a number of notable people, ranging from artists and singers to Civil War generals and politicians. However, one tucked-away grave has received far more attention recently than it has in the past.
Rex, a bronze statue of a dog sitting on a stone platform etched with his name, stands among the thousands of angels and obelisks. For well over a century, Rex has stood vigil over his owner’s acreage near the intersection of Sycamore and Greenbough Avenues – and he’s still a very good boy.
Rex is thought to be the dog of John E. Stow, who died in 1884 after being one of the city’s longest-serving fruit merchants. People have been collecting sticks and fallen branches for years in order to leave them at the good boy’s waiting paws.
“When it comes to Rex, he clearly sticks out,” Stacy Locke, Green-Wood Cemetery’s communications manager, told The Dodo. “People see him from the road – it’s in a conspicuous location, right off the intersection of two highways here.”
“It’s directly under a tree, with tons of sticks nearby,” Locke added. “People will smack a stick across his tiny paws. Someone once left a picture of a dog there, possibly of their late pet, as if to say, ‘Rex, look after my little one.'”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Green-Wood has become a popular place for those wishing to get away from the throng and appreciate nature. Rex’s stick collection has risen in tandem with the amount of visitors.
But Rex isn’t the only animal remembered at the 478-acre cemetery; several other cherished pets were buried with their owners before the cemetery’s board of trustees banned animal burials in 1879. “There’s another dog sculpture with a similarly fascinating provenance, but it’s a little more off the main route,” Locke explained. “And that one usually has toys on it.”
A 19th-century notation in Green-files Wood’s mentions the placing of a “bronze representation of a dog,” but whether Rex is buried alongside his owner is unknown. “I think people prefer to pretend there’s a dog interred there, and there very well could be,” Locke remarked. “However, it’s difficult to say.”
Rex’s statue serves as a wonderful reminder that a dog’s devotion endures indefinitely.