Creepiest Pet Memorial Ever?

March 13, 2010 at 10:47 am 7 comments

Our vote for the pet memorial most likely to give you the willies goes to the infamous Buck Booth at Huntsville, Utah’s Shooting Star Saloon.

Buck — (or maybe Newfy — no one’s really sure what his name was anymore) weighed 298 pounds, and was once listed in the Guinness Book as the World’s Largest Saint Bernard.*  After the dog died in 1957 his owner decided to memorialize him by having his head mounted by a local taxidermist.

You’d expect any 50-year old head mount to have a certain Frankensteinesque ambience, but Buck serves a double shot of creepy because he was mounted over a grizzly bear mold.  This is (hopefully) where Buck’s pugnaciously lowered head, pinned back ears and pig-eyed stare come from.

According to RoadsideAmerica:

The head juts out over “The Buck Booth,” which smart patrons know to ask for. If you didn’t know it was a dog, you’d probably think it was just another stuffed animal head (this place is dark, and adjacent are the heads of an elk and a black bear).

A dog’s head isn’t the only odd taxidermy specimen on display at the Shooting Star.  Check out their unique pronghorn mount via StraightChuter (yes Virginia, there really is a warthog’s head emerging from its ass).  Ye dogs — getting drunk at the Shooting Star could lead to some really freaky nightmares…

The Shooting Star is the oldest continuously operating saloon in Utah and word has it they serve excellent burgers. Adding another layer of oddness to the story, the only taxidermy business currently operating in Huntsville is a place called HairDog Taxidery.  Their current price list does not include dogs.


*In a somewhat uncharacteristic bit of common sense, Guinness no longer recognizes “heaviest dog” records to prevent irresponsible, publicity-hungry pet owners from creating home-grown versions of Jabba The Hund.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McMillin  |  March 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Some of my friends amusingly recall Torrance, CA’s, um, interesting juxtaposition of Chuck’s Taxidermy & Video Games right next door to Ding How Chinese Food.

  • 2. YesBiscuit!  |  March 13, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I try not to judge how people memorialize their pets but… yeah, creepy.

  • 3. Chas S. Clifton  |  March 13, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Wow, as soon as I read the first paragraph, I thought, “I bet they used a bear mold.” And I was right. See what a lifetime of compiling mental trivia will do.

  • 4. Jess  |  March 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I used to have a friend that was totally into special effects. He made masks and all kinds of weird crap in his garage. One day he dragged me over to this huge box and ceremoniously opened the lid. Inside was a HUGE fake St. Bernard head. “It was used in the movie Cujo!” He tells me, just super proud that he had scored this thing, and displays all the little tubes and whatnot so the thing could drool realistically.

    It looked a lot more real than that hideous taxidermied head.

    I did find a dog head mount in some museum in England (I think) that looked exactly like one of my current dogs. It was creepy.

  • 5. stone soup diaries  |  March 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I had an acquaintance in high school that had a really novel pillow cover that nestled with her collection of stuffed pets. It looked oddly like the pelt of a cattle dog.

    I asked her about it one day and she told me it was in fact the pelt of the dog her father had for years as a boy. He memorialized it by stretching it over the frame of a coyote and before tacking it permanently to the frame, he decided to cut it down and make a pillowcase out of it. It had matriculated from the eldest daughter to her.

    Ewwwww.

  • 6. Christopher@BorderWars  |  March 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    The choice of a grizzly skull mold makes this rather grotesque. I can’t imagine the owner was very happy with the results.

    I know some people are horrified by certain breeds looking more and more like teddy bears, but I think this proves that making dogs look more like real bears is rather problematic as well.

  • 7. retrieverman  |  March 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

    People who can drink alcohol in Utah are going to be eccentric.

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