In their own ways many of Hartsdale's pets also "spoke". With skill and determination they entertained in theaters, on television and in motion pictures, and several earned recognition as champions. Hartsdale also has many heroes and heroines, as well as pets who performed extraordinary feats to help mankind.
The only canine to lose his life in the search-and-rescue efforts following the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Terrorist attacks. Sirius, who was attached to the Port Authority Police Department, was interred here in conjunction with the 2002 War Dog Memorial Celebration.
Chelsea, nicknamed the Shih Tzu Diva, was a therapy dog who healed many. Her fascinating story was told on the HBO film, A Dog's Life: A Dogamentary. This poignant documentary explores the positive effects of the intense bond between dogs and humans, as told through the story of Chelsea and her human partner, Emmy award winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum.
The inspiration for the first War Dog Retirement Law was laid to rest here following the 2001 War Dog Memorial Celebration. Robby symbolized those dogs who served this nation honorably only to be euthanized and disposed of by the military. The new law makes it possible for former handlers to adopt their former service canines and bring them into civilian life.
Engraved on some stones at Hartsdale are impressive initials and titles which stand for important awards in a wide range of areas. These monuments tell that champions rest there, still recognized for outstanding performances and superior physical characteristics.
The most colorful of Hartsdale's champions was a Kerry blue named Brian Boru O'Rourke. At dog shows, "Briney" always exhibited a decidedly devil-may-care manner, gazing at judges with disdain, lifting his leg at the wrong times, and going through obedience trials with a carefree tongue-in-cheek attitude; his sense of humor would not be tamed and the more staid audiences laughed the funnier he became. Many a bewildered judge was overheard muttering, "I don't know how to score this dog." Despite this, "Briney" was outstanding, and he became - in addition to many other honors - the first male Kerry blue in the United States and second of his breed anywhere to win the Utility Dog Championship.