Beautiful Joe

I had not heard about Beautiful Joe before. But a few years ago I stumbled upon a gem.

Meaford is a quaint shore town on Georgian Bay not to far from our place. About 18 km – 20 minutes or so. Nestled among older homes and next to the river flowing into Georgian Bay is a lovely shady park dedicated to Beautiful Joe and his canine comrades.

Beautiful Joe has a story to tell that’s far from beauty until the end. You see, Joe’s owner, a mean man from Meaford, abused poor Joe to bear death. But Joe was rescued by the Moore’s who nursed him back to health and loved him unconditionally. The story piqued Margaret Saunders who wrote a book about Joe. Her story shed necessary light on the issue of dog abuse. And her story was the spark to a society dedicated to the rescue of animals and their service and loyalty to mankind.

I walk the meandering forest path with Molly and almost feel I’m surrounded by the gentle souls memorialized therein. It’s a peaceful and calm place that is for everyone to enjoy. The monuments and plaques scattered along the walking path are a heartwarming tribute to mans best friends.

There is a sheltered stand of mini plaques that individuals from all over have paid tribute to their furry friends. Reading them can bring a tear to your eye. A dogs love knows no bounds or geography; there are tributes from far and wide. There is even a cross carved out of remnants from 9/11 in memory of the service dogs involved in rescue and recovery.

We’ve been fortunate to feel the amazing love and loyalty a canine friend can bestow. I am grateful to those dedicated to eradicating animal cruelty. Grateful for Beautiful Joe.

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