Friday, May 1, 2009


ABOUT THE PET CEMETERY: The Pet Cemetery is located in the San Francisco Presidio, a former military base and now a national park. For historical and other information about the Presidio Pet Cemetery, check out the National Park Service (NPS) pages on it here and here. Also, San Francisco writer Matthew Honan has photos of some of the grave markers on this page. The NPS website says that the Pet Cemetery is closed, but fear not! It's surrounded by a low picket fence, and you can just enter through a small gate in the front or at the side. I was there recently and -- even though the area is under construction -- you can go right in.

ABOUT THE TOUR: This is a self-guided audio walk in the Presidio Pet Cemetery, in San Francisco. The program contains no historical or other information about the Pet Cemetery itself. Rather, it is a story by Kris Kovick, and read by Michelle Tea, called "Sex & Dogs & Rock & Roll," about Kris putting her dog to sleep. It's funny, poignant, and contains explicit language -- so it's not intended for children. It's meant to be listened to as you walk into and around the Pet Cemetery in San Francisco, though it works fine at any other pet cemetery, or at home for that matter. Click on the links below to listen to the audio program online, or see a flyer and map of the tour. You can also right-click or option-click to download the files onto your computer desktop, to print out or put onto your portable mp3 player.

TOUR FLYER: Download a flyer to let others know about the tour

TOUR MAP: Download a map and more info on the tour
Download map (pdf)

TOUR AUDIO FILE: Available on iTunes. Or click below to listen online, or right-click or option-click to download and listen on your mp3 player (iPod, Sansa, Zune, etc.)
Download "Sex & Dogs & Rock & Roll" audio walk (mp3)

PET LOSS SUPPORT: Lost a pet? The San Francisco SPCA sponsors a pet loss support group to share photos, stories, tears. I sat in on one of the monthly meetings, facilitated by Dr. Betty Carmack, a grief counselor, and it was powerful stuff. The SF/SPCA website links to other pet loss support groups in the Bay Area, and to information for people anywhere in the country.

CREDITS: Tour created by Paul VanDeCarr (c) 2009. Story by Kris Kovick, read by Michelle Tea. Many thanks to Michael Kirchberger for sounds. Thanks also to San Francisco Arts Commission, Kevin O'Connor of Elevation, and Mary Brown. Cartoon at left by Kris Kovick.