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Sunday April 20, 2014
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Pets in Peace



Since opening in 1928, Ann Arbor's forty-acre Arborcrest Memorial Park on Glazier Way has been offering a bucolic final resting place for dearly departed human family members. Now it serves their pets as well.

In 1983, two years after Hagan purchased the cemetery, a stray tuxedo cat appeared--one who would ultimately expand the cemetery's definition of family members.

"Boots just had an unbelievable ability to console people," says Hagan. "And if he knew that someone didn't like cats, he'd stay back."

Boots brought consolation to the grieving for nearly eleven years, while visiting the cemetery's office for regular meals, affection, and shelter. "He kept an eye on everything," recalls Hagan. "No other wildlife bothered him."

When he began to suffer from the effects of diabetes in 1992, Boots went to live indoors at Hagan's home in Britton, Michigan. As his condition worsened in 1999, Hagan made the decision to open Best Friends Garden, a section of the cemetery solely for family pets. A second section, the Majestic Pathway Garden, was later added.

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