A Nanaimo woman, whose mood hardened after a memorial to her late dog went missing, has seen her faith in humanity restored thanks in part to some local rock painters and the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s Beefs & Bouquets page.
After Nora Crosby’s Australian shepherd dog Tazer recently died, she placed hand-painted rocks around town at places her “fur baby” liked to go. In January, she noticed one at Planta Park was missing, prompting her to submit a beef to the News Bulletin.
The case of the missing rock was cracked with assistance from the Nanaimo Rocks Facebook group, which is part of the Kindness Rocks Project. The project sees people painting rocks with positive messaging and leaving them for others to find, similar to geocaching.
“I was just devastated because I never had children, so that was like my baby, so I‘d hand-painted all these rocks and all the other ones are still where I put [them], but somebody decided to take that one and I wasn’t sure why,” said Crosby. “Someone had mentioned to me, well try Nanaimo Rocks on Facebook. Maybe they picked it up by mistake, so I joined their club and I looked through and nobody had found it.”
Crosby assumed someone had thrown the rock into the ocean, but Nikki Magee, a Nanaimo Rocks member whose child found Crosby’s memorial, said it was an honest mistake, as she and her sons constantly find kindness rocks.
“They found the rock, it said ‘Tazer dog’ on it and had a little picture of him painted on it and I didn’t think anything of it … and brought it home and we have a bunch that we have collected by our front door,” said Magee.
About two weeks later, she read the beef in the paper, and the day after that, she happened to glance at the collection of rocks at her home.
“I looked down to where we have the collection of all the little painted rocks my kids have found and I saw the Tazer dog rock and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness! We have the rock!’” she recalled. “So it was totally an innocent thing.”
Magee said there was nothing indicating it was a memorial and she notified Crosby through Facebook and also informed her about the project. Crosby said the Facebook group showed kindness even while the rock was at large.
“When all that happened and all these caring people came forward and were making me rocks and trying to make up for it, I was absolutely flabbergasted that this many nice people were surrounding me in Nanaimo,” Crosby said.
Shannon McKay, Nanaimo Rocks Facebook page founder, is pleased her page was able to assist with finding the Tazer rock.
“I was just so impressed and thankful at the kindness of people coming around something that seemed so small, a painted rock,” said McKay. “But it meant so much to [Crosby] to have that memory of her pet, who was like her child … in this world where so much crazy stuff and bad stuff is going on, something so simple like this it brought together dozens and dozens of people with acts of kindness and giving of themselves. That’s really why we started the page.”