Clingendael Landhold has many hidden gems, and one I recently ‘discovered’ is its not-quite-ancient but still really old pet cemetery (or, if you’re keen to practice your Dutch, ‘hondenbegraafplaats’). Only a few steps from the mansion-like (and private) Clingendael Institute, this little scrap of land is so small that it doesn’t show up on Google Maps, due to the massive tree branches hanging over it. But on the land are about a dozen headstones set in the ground that mark the lives and deaths of what must have been some awfully pampered pooches from the turn of the 20th century.
Yes, there is a ‘Lassie’, and you’ll even find some tearjerker memorials, but the curiosities continue as you notice that all of the inscriptions are in English rather than Dutch (which I find confusing indeed). Perhaps indicative of the longevity of the Dutch fondness for the English language? My researchers are still getting back to me.
In the meantime, I enjoy connecting with the humanity of people long since deceased who would take the time to put down for posterity such words for their furry friends:
‘Here lies Togo (1921-1935)