The city of Billings, Montana is a dream destination for dogs. On top of all the gorgeous walking trails and scenic parks, several restaurants and businesses also cater to the pooches.
So when an impromptu memorial honoring man’s best friend began appearing around the city at Christmastime it was no shock to Marcia Clausing, co-chair of the organization Friends of Billings Dog Parks.
“It’s probably the work of a neighborhood dog-walking group. They probably do it because they love their pets and because it’s fun for other people to see it,” she said.
In past years similar dog themed Christmas trees have appeared in other areas of the city, including Norm’s Island. This year’s snow covered juniper tree stands proudly against the Rimrocks along a walking path off Rocky Mountain Road.
A popular spot for dog walkers, it’s the perfect location for a holiday memorial and symbol of love for Billings’ four-legged friends. Green, gold and silver garland has been wrapped festively around the live growing branches. A long strand of silver bells sway from a red ribbon.
Ornaments range from colorful pups wearing Santa hats, paw prints of varying color and size, stockings, snowflakes, dog bones, dog houses, plush pups and classic colored bulbs.
Among these are placed meaningful personalized memorials to Billings’ most loved dogs, past and present. A large red paw print bears the name “Buck.” A handmade wooden circle has been branded with the name “Hooch” and a simple Christmas star. A sparkly silver dog bone honors a pooch named “TR.”
Another loving pup parent has placed the following memorial among the juniper boughs:
“I love my dog Heidi, 1999-2013,”
The holidays are a time to hold our loved ones close and remember those who are no longer by our sides, but will always remain in our hearts. The dog lovers of Billings have found a simple, but beautiful way to honor their furry friends each Christmas.
H/T to The Billings Gazette