Dog memorial coming to Eagle-Vail’s West Park | VailDaily.com

Dog memorial coming to Eagle-Vail’s West Park

the idea for the new dog memorial in Eagle-Vail's West Park came about from Moose, a 12-year-old chocolate lab who passed away recently.

Eagle-Vail resident and Moose's owner, Madeleine Berenson, wanted to turn her mourning into a positive effort that honored the joy and comfort of not only Moose, but all of the Eagle-Vail dogs.

The plan, which has been approved by the Eagle-Vail Metro District and will begin in May, calls for painting the six-sectioned ceiling of the gazebo with a mural depicting six attributes of dogs that endear them to us, trimming the roof with a custom-designed flag and replacing the grill with a dog statue.

The dog park memorial is being funded by private donations and volunteer efforts by Eagle-Vail residents.

“People can sit in the gazebo and, in a way, still see their dog among friends in the park.”Stebe BarberEagle-Vail

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"Everyone is excited about the opportunity to create something in the community that brings people together in a way that reflects one of the unique attributes of Eagle-Vail," community manager Jeff Layman said. "And it turns out that in our neighborhood, the bond between dogs and people exists not only with owners, but with their owners' neighbors. And West Park has been a meeting place where everyone's gotten to know literally everyone and their dog for years."

Purchase Tiles

Through a friend, Berenson learned of Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont — a chapel created to honor and remember the dogs loved and lost — and was inspired to create a mini version of that in her own neighborhood.

After canvassing neighbors and outlining the proposed phases, estimated costs and potential sources of funding, Berenson met with Layman and Steve Barber, director of Parks and Golf Course Maintenance, who wholly supported the plan and helped bring it to votes of approval, first of the neighborhood board, and finally the board of the metro district.

"The crux of the memorial is organic — individual neighbors will be able to purchase tiles with their late dogs' names and a few words about the dog that made him or her unique and then attach those tiles to the existing gazebo supports," Barber said. "That way, people can sit in the gazebo and, in a way, still see their dog among friends in the park."

Donate, Volunteer

Fundraising and the recruiting of volunteer steering committee members is under way; donations to The West Park Dog Memorial are tax deductible through a designated account at Eagle Valley Humane Society.

Work on the gazebo is slated to begin in late May, with completion projected mid-July, marked with a dedication ceremony.

For more information or to find out about volunteering or making donation, contact Berenson at madeleine.berenson@gmail.com or visit the Eagle-Vail West Park Dog Memorial Facebook page.