Remembering Man's Best Friend at the Corrigin Dog Cemetery, Western Australia
A 1.5m (5ft) sculpture of a dog sits guarding the entrance to the Corrigin Dog Cemetery, 4km (2.5miles) from the town of Corrigin and 229 kms (142 miles) east of Perth. This farming community is known for raising crops and sheep.
Started in 1974 and added to over the years, people can bury and immortalise their four legged friends at this spot. It has become a tourist attraction, with people coming from all over Australia and even internationally to visit this homage to man's best friend.
The first dog to be buried here was the faithful furry companion of Corrigin local Paddy Wright. When Strike passed away in 1974 Paddy buried his mate 4kms from the town of Corrigin, with a cross to mark the spot.
Some of the memorial headstones are simple, a reminder to the human of the friend they have lost. Others are elaborate marble memorials, complete with photograph of their loved one.
Some of the sites have multiple friends in each gravesite. Dogs do not share the lifespan of adults. Most of the graves have favourite toys to mark their site, a reminder of happier times.
Corrigin residents love their dogs so much that in 1998 699 registered utes and dogs drove bumper to bumper 7km (4.3miles) in a continuous convoy. Two years later in Warrnambool, Victoria a similar parade was held with 797 dogs in utes.
Not to be outdone, in 2002 Corrigin took out the world record with a whopping 1,527 dogs in utes. It took more than four hours to wind the 7km (4.3 mile) stretch into the town. Over 5000 people attended to cheer on the partipants. This may sound like a small audience number, but when you realise that Corrigin has a population of only 1000 residents, this was huge. This uniquely Australian event raised funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
I love the pride in this small regional town. A fantastic example of community spirit. In the town proper they welcome travellers with picnic areas, bbqs, an information centre, a supermarket and petrol station.
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