Respectful of the City Cemetery | Pal Continues Working

A front page story from The Alliance Review’s June 12, 1946 issue recounts the story of Pal, the little black and white terrier who adopted the Alliance City Cemetery as his home and superintendent Charlie Boyd as his keeper. Pal became the City Cemetery’s 4-legged “employee” and had an almost human personality with flashes of human insight into his surroundings and the people with whom he worked.

City Cemetery dog Pal with Mrs. Boyd and Ralph Harris

City Cemetery dog Pal with Mrs. Boyd and Ralph Harris

As reported in the paper, “Pal made an unheralded appearance in the City Cemetery one day eight years [earlier]. Appraising each worker, he trotted unhesitatingly toward the late Charles Boyd, then cemetery superintendent. From then on he was ‘Charlie’s’ and literally ‘dogged’ his footsteps.” The workers adopted him and he was as regular in attendance as any other employee.

Mrs. Boyd wasn’t as enamored of the precocious pooch as her husband. She insisted on a probationary period when Pal first followed Charlie home from work. And so Pal spent some time in the garage until one day he made his way into the house … and into Mrs. Boyd’s heart.

Respectful of the City Cemetery

Pal was very respectful of the cemetery and the ceremonies held there. When a hearse rolled into the driveway, Pal knew that it was time for him to quietly retreat. He would trot back to the office building, drop to the ground, place his head on his crossed paws, and watch the proceedings. He would remain in this position until the last car left the cemetery and then he would get up and make his rounds again.

Pal loved chipmunks but never ate or molested them after killing them. But the dead chipmunks mysteriously disappeared when no one was around. “One day when Pal had a particularly large haul of five chipmunks, Mr. Boyd decided on a bit of sleuthing and found the amazing answer. With his paws, Pal would dig a small hollow, drop the chipmunk in the ground with his teeth and lightly mound the earth into a miniature grave. He stepped back, cocked his head to one side and viewed his footwork. Then he proceeded to the business of the next chipmunk, and the next, until five graves were laid out side-by-side and as evenly as a plumb line.”

Pal Continues Working

After Mr. Boyd’s death in 1945, Mrs. Boyd’s brother, Ralph Harris, who was also a cemetery employee, would stop by her home and pick up Pal “for work.” Just like the men he worked with, Pal had his lunch at noon and gets a ride home at 5:00 if the workers were ready to go. If they had to work late, Pal would trot over to nearby home and catch a nap with the little girl of the family. Around 10 or 11 p.m. when he was refreshed, Pal would find his way back to Mrs. Boyd’s home on Geiger Avenue.

We’re not sure when Pal left this life, but he was a dynamic little bundle of affection and devotion to Charles Boyd with a long trail of human friends to remember him.


Story created from a story in The Alliance Review, June 12, 1946