Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust Announces ‘The BIG Paws’ – Ireland’s First Annual Memory Walk

To celebrate the unique bond between dogs and their owners, we have announced plans to create the missing ritual and meaningful marker when a much-loved dog passes away. Dog lovers are being invited to join us and take part in ‘The Big Paws’ evening walk at Malahide Castle in North County Dublin on Saturday September 30th.

The walk will be lit up to create a reflective, uplifting experience for people to come together to honour the dogs in their lives, both past and present. There are also options to take part in community events taking place throughout the country or to mark the occasion in a personal way.

Last year, we launched ‘Not Just a Dog’, a campaign which aimed to normalise talking about the grief experienced when a much-loved dog passes on. As a result, we received an outpouring of grief from our supporters, highlighting the importance for an event where dog lovers can take ‘paws’ and reflect on the indelible mark dogs make in their lives.

Speaking about The Big Paws, Suzie Carley, Executive Director of Dogs Trust Ireland said: “We believe it is hugely important to acknowledge and celebrate the role dogs play in our lives. When a dog passes away, there is no funeral or ritual to mark their passing. So, we want to give owners the opportunity to celebrate their dog’s life in a meaningful, positive way.

This magical event is an opportunity to honour and celebrate the incredible bond we have with our dogs while helping to raise vital funds for our work, caring for dogs all across Ireland.”

Ciara Murran, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland continued: “We hope the turnout and support for ‘The Big Paws’ gives a special place of connection to those who may be grieving their dogs. Together we will take ‘paws’ to honour the special place dogs have in our hearts, and the big paws left to fill when they leave our lives.”

While the event is dog friendly, tickets are limited and those bringing dogs are asked to ensure their furry friends are well socialised, comfortable with other dogs, children and familiar with large crowds of people.

All those taking part are being encouraged to share photographs of their experience on social media using the hashtag #TheBigPaws to show how many people in Ireland value the huge impact dogs have on so many aspects of our lives.

We are very grateful to PetStop who are proudly sponsoring the event and 98FM who is their media partner for The Big Paws.