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Boney (The Dog`s Grave) Print Page Print this page

07-February-2014 (Chris McLaughlin)
07-February-2014 (Chris McLaughlin)

Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin / Michael Kuilboer

Monument at the site of the grave of Boney, the cattle dog of Peter Meehan who was buried here in 1863. The monument is also a tribute to the pioneers and drovers of the Omeo-Dargo track. On the larger granite headstone are two pictures, one a dog like a German Shepherd, and of a saddened drover stoking a boiling billy on a fire.

John Giannarelli, a first generation Italian member of an Australian firm of Monumental Masons was prospecting in the Omeo-Dargo district with Jack Treasure, a grandson of one of the pioneer families. When Jack told John his version of the Dog's Grave, they agreed these early pioneers and their dogs should be immortalised in stone. So on John's return to Melbourne, he arranged for a monument to be constructed as a tribute to "Boney" the dog who belonged to Peter Meehan.

John engaged the services of an overseas artist who used a diamond pointed tool to engrave two portraits. The first is the drover Peter Meehan's dog 'Boney' and the second is a lonely bushman boiling his Billy while sorrowing for his dog inspired by Frederick McCubbin's well-known painting "Down on his Luck". Set in granite, this monument stands some four feet high on its base and was conveyed to a position beside the original Dog's Grave and unveiled on May 30, 1975.

There are several versions of the Dog`s Grave. Boney was the cattle dog of Peter Meehan, a stockman working out of Cobungra Station. Meehan camped the night at a hut, when Boney took a bait laced with strychnine that was set for dingoes. Meehan was distressed by the loss, buried Boney near the hut and placed stones and rocks over the site, and erected a picket fence with a sign "Dogs Grave".  Another story of the dog was Angus, a stumpie-tailed Smithfield, owned by drover Johnny Crisp. Angus also took a bait set for dingoes.

 

 

Location

Address:Birregun Road, Dog Grave Track, Omeo, 3898
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.234444
Long: 147.380556
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Sub-Theme:Animals
Approx. Event Start Date:1863
Approx. Event End Date:1863
Monument Designer:A Giannarelli & Sons (Fitzroy)

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 30th May, 1975
Front Inscription

A Man's Best Friend

'BONEY'
Buried Here About 1863
By Peter Meehan
His Master And His Friend

This Mark Was Placed By
A Giannarelli & Sons
Monumental Masons Of Fitzroy
As a Tribute to the Pioneers and Drovers
Of the Omeo-Dargo Track

Left Side Inscription

He served none else but Peter Meehan,
his master and friend.
A comradeship wove of the bush,
to last until the end.
Mute faith in one ; a friendship bond,
in rugged ranges where
A loneliness prevailed the scene,
Just man and dog to share.

They shared each other`s humble way,
the ways of bush-lore treading.
From dawn to dusk through wilderness
where cattle-pads went threading.
Beneath Australia`sunny skies,
beneath the treeferns bending.
Along the ranges, by the stream,
a way of life transcending.

Until the end, the bitter end,
though dumb, in canine way
He wove a story of the bush that
we respect today.
He served to mould a history, though
little he was known.
He rests beside this mountain stream,
beneath these slabs of stone.

S. J. Treasure.
Dargo (1964)

 

Source: MA,RUMV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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