Faithfully Waiting

High atop Crowley's Ridge in Maple Hill Cemetery north of Helena, Arkansas is the grave of Dr. Emile Moore. In early 1883, Dr. Moore got into an argument with Dr. C. R. Shimault because Shimault had treated one of Dr. Moore's patients who had suffered a broken leg. The argument took place when the two men happened to meet in the middle of town. As their words grew more heated, Dr. Shimault pulled his gun and shot Dr. Moore in the head, killing him instantly. 

The deceased was the owner of an Irish Setter dog named Pedro. Dr. Moore was reputedly a hard man to like when he was drunk and he was drunk pretty often, but by all accounts, he was a good doctor when sober and he loved Pedro so much that the dog was often seen beside him as the doctor called upon the sick and injured of the community. Dr. Moore was not married and had few relatives or friends. When he was laid to rest, Pedro was in attendance at the sparsely attended ceremony. After the funeral, one of the attendants tried to take Pedro away, but the dog ran off into the woods and nobody cared enough to go after him.

Late that evening, there was only a sliver of a moon and as the darkness grew complete, residents of the few homes around the cemetery heard the mournful sound of a lonely dog up on Crowley's Ridge baying in the night. Through rain, heat, cold and snow, night after night, season after season, people would hear Pedro howling in his loneliness. Sometimes a kind-hearted person would try to take him away, but Pedro would growl at anyone who came near the grave of his beloved master and offers of food and water were not enough to coax him from his solitary vigil. He must have drank from dirty ponds or licked the morning mist from tree leaves for water and he evidently caught rabbits or squirrels in the woods for his meals. Sometimes if the cemetery caretaker had some lunch leftover, he would leave it where Pedro was sure to fine it. Over time though, people saw him grow skinny until his ribs seemed to poke out of his skin and eventually, the elements and a broken heart took their toll and the nightly baying ceased. After 2 nights of silence, several men made the trek up to Dr. Moore's grave and there they found the body of Pedro laying across it, still waiting for his master's return. 

People in the community were so touched by the dog's devotion and loyalty that after burying Pedro in Dr. Moore's grave, a collection was taken up and a monument to Pedro was placed on top of Dr. Moore's stone. Below the statue of a dog written in stone on one side is the single word "Fidelity." And on the front side - "Waiting." Even in death, Pedro remains forever faithful, keeping watch over his master.