If youve ever owned a dog, you know just how important they can become to you and your family.
But when they transition, that heartbreak can often hit just as hard as when we lose a loved one.
Located in Tucson, just off the Rillito River, is a dog shrine dedicated to those who lose their best friend.
“I came across it a couple months ago,” said Stefano Natali. “I didnt know it was there, to be completely honest.”
The Larry Cowell Memorial Dog Shrine is a pyramid-like structure serving as a place for dog owners and lovers like Natali to remember our fallen canine companions.
“I think it makes me feel at peace that people would really think that much about their dogs, about their family,” he said while walking his own dog nearby. “That they would go out [of] their way to have a little memorial for them.”
I first discovered this shrine through a user on Reddit.
After doing some digging, I couldnt pinpoint when the shrine was erected or who created it. According to the Reddit user, the memorial has been around for a decade.
“I think its really cool that somebody started that and theres people that are continuing to upkeep that,” said Tess Brinkeroff.
Brinkerhoff has been around dogs her entire life and like everyone else I spoke to on and off camera, she had no idea the memorial was there, but its something shes glad to know exists.
“I love it,” the dog owner said. “Ive never seen anything like that before. And I feel that, just like how you said, our animals are our best friends, so why would we not do something to be able to remember them.”
Filled with old toys, leashes, pictures and other memorabilia dropped off by pet owners over the years, the shrine continues to serve as a space for visitors to reflect on the impact dogs have had on many of our lives.
If you would like to visit the shrine, it is located at 3725 Columbus Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712.