The years of unconditional love and joy our dogs provide can never truly be repaid. But for Grant Bercik of Southern Vermont, he knew he had to try. Grant’s beloved pup General passed away a few months ago, and the 25-year-old embarked on a mission to commemorate and thank the bull mastiff for a life of companionship and happiness. That mission led Grant to a local stream, where he found an unconventional method to both heal and honor General’s death. He began constructing hundreds of rock cairns, each one representing a remembrance of General. VTica caught up with him about the project and his pup.
“I needed to do something for him.” He went on to say, “I’m not the type of kid that goes home and plays video games or enjoys wasting time vegetating in front of the computer.”
The rock memorial caught on with many local residents, who marveled at the cairns’ beauty and the emotions they represented. People began accompanying Grant to the stream to admire his work and help build. WCAX spoke with resident Kate Logan.
“What was so beautiful about the whole thing was that it had spread,” Logan said. “It wasn’t just about Grant anymore, it was about all these different people going down there, being creative, being in the elements. And to some degree, I am sure lots of people were having their own little moments of healing and creativity.”
However, not everyone fell in love with the rock memorial. On Wednesday morning, Grant awoke to find his cairns had turned to crumbles, vandalized and destroyed in the river bed. A resident has already taken responsibility, citing stream aesthetics and safety as a concern. But Kate Logan told WCAX this isn’t going to stop her and other residents from doing what’s right.
“Rebuild the sculptures and bring everybody together and turn it back into a positive thing.” she said.