First in a series...
Lesson 1: A dead frozen dog placed in a freshly dug grave filled with rainwater will float unless large rocks are placed on top of it.
Last month the Chirichella Pet Cemetery had a new addition; Jackson, our long-frozen dog was finally interred. He died in January 2008 and was kept in storage at the vet's until they ran out of room in the freezer (as well as running out of patience; originally we'd promised to pick him up as soon as the ground thawed in the Spring (that was Spring of 2008) well one thing led to another and before you know it, here it is 18 months later).
The day before Jackson was scheduled to be picked up, I dug a grave for him. Overnight it rained (we've had a particularly wet summer here in the Northeast). The rain combined with our naturally high water table led to a miniature swimming pool. The following occurred while I was at work. My mother-in-law picked up Jackson (now a giant dog-shaped Popsicle wrapped in a green plastic body bag) from the vet and brought him home. Neither my wife nor my mother-in-law wanted to touch him, so they turned to Art for assistance. Art is our neighbor and go-to guy for everything from plumbing and electric work to taking care of the horses and euthanizing dying rabbits (I'll spare you the details but they involve a hammer). Jackson was placed in the watery grave (in my head, I'm speaking that phrase in a pirate voice), wherein he sunk and then bobbed to the surface. Eventually, some well placed large stones secured him in place long enough for dirt to be shoveled on top of him.
I've never really thought about the buoyancy of dead, frozen dogs before but it occurs to me that it wasn't the paucity of life boats that doomed so many of the passengers aboard the Titanic; it was the lack of dead, frozen dogs. Imagine how many lives would have been saved had there been a few dead, frozen Great Danes or Saint Bernards on board when the ship hit that iceberg!