I started playing with the idea of photographing pet cemeteries in March of 2016, then much more seriously this spring after Candy’s death in the fall, but it turns out it had been on my mind for a long time. I only kind of remembered when I started this project, but back in 2012 I must have found out about the Denver pet cemetery because I made a post on my blog with photography project ideas and included screenshots of their website and street view on Google Maps. I ended up moving to Kansas a couple months later, and last month I was finally able to visit this pet cemetery with my dad, five years later. After visiting the grave of Shep the Toll Road Dog at the Depot Museum in Broomfield, we drove to Commerce City to see the cemetery.
More than the ghost cat we saw sneaking around made me curious about this cemetery. When I was looking it up before my trip, I noticed it had a pretty new website. Based on this fact, I assumed the place would be pretty well up-to-date. The part of the cemetery near the road looked like many others I’ve seen – old, but maintained alright (also, just so dry because Colorado). There’s a house in what I thought was the back of the cemetery. When I walked around it to see if it’s a residence or an office, I realized there’s a plot of land behind the house, equal in size to the one in front, that’s full of graves that are barely visible through the tall grass. It’s so mysterious. I immediately imagined moving in and becoming the caretaker of this beautiful historic pet cemetery – my dream. I wonder what the story is here.