A Beautiful Dog Memorial


Last weekend, I flew down to San Diego, California, to spend a couple of days with my sister-in-law and niece (who had also flown to San Diego from northern California), to watch my son compete in the national finals for his sport. We watched some games, cheered and took pictures, and then went to the beach closest to the sports park where the games were held, so we could watch the sunset.

As luck would have it, the closest beach turned out to be a famous and locally loved “dog beach” – and we enjoyed the sunset there, watching a couple dozen dogs romp in the waves and dig in the sand.

I went back the next morning, before my son’s competition had started, to take some more pictures with my camera, not just a cell phone. On this visit, I spent a little more time checking out the area, and discovered something that we had walked right past on the previous evening. Right near the street, next to the dog-water fountain, is a precious little “memorial rock garden,” with the names of dogs who have enjoyed the beach and have since passed away, painted onto the rocks.

I was so touched by this little garden! It was colorful and simple, not in anyone’s way or ostentatious, but a beautiful place to remember some of the beloved dogs who had lived near and enjoyed that particular beach in the past. I can so easily imagine walking my dogs to the beach for a play session, and calling out a cheery “Good morning!” to the stone bearing my deceased dog’s name. It would comfort me to see the stone and my dog’s name (and perhaps, some of his playmates!) every time I visited, to remind me of joyous visits to that beach in the past.

Dog Beach Memorial Rock Garden in Del Mar, CA

Is there a pet memorial at a dog park or beach near you? I would love to see this catch on and appear elsewhere!


  1. I absolutely love this dog memorial rocks idea! I often been to Huntington Beach, CA dog beach. I no longer live nearby but would love to see this started there. And as noted above, any and all dog gatherings would be a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  2. What a lovely idea. I live on my Son in Laws property between us we have 15 beloved dogs who have taken their journey. I am going to gather rocks and paint their names and make a memorial garden.

  3. We went multiple times (Del Mar Dog Beach) while the Encinitas dog park was closed for the whole month of October. Coop-Dog loved it ….. spent today cleaning all the sand out of the car ….. It was worth it. We will now alternate between the two.

  4. Wow! Your article brought back some of the best memories I have of my dog Aussie! We spent a majority of his life romping on the beach and went to Dog beach in Del Mar almost every afternoon for a few years. He was a big dog and lived 16 healthy years. I no longer live in the area, but will make a day trip with my new pal, to place a rock in his memory…he was such a happy boy, loved to surf the waves with me. Thanks for the wonderful article🐾💕😊