Ruff N Stuff Dog Care Rocks

Who says rocks don't grow on trees?!?! Apparently, in a local off-leash doggy park in Qualicum Beach, BC they just might!

Something strange has started happening in Qualicum Beach. It’s a rather curious phenomenon of sorts. Rocks of all shapes and sizes have started to appear in some rather odd spots in the local doggy park and it’s causing Ruff N Stuff Dog Care to wonder if perhaps they are what has inspired this truly peculiar development.

What began as creative advertising quickly put Ruff N Stuff Dog Care between a rock and a hard spot!

As a new business owner, and resident of Qualicum Beach, the owner of Ruff N Stuff Dog Care, Colleen Christensen, decided to paint rocks that her dog, Copper, brought home after their nightly walk. The rocks were painted with a non-toxic, highly visible paint. Each Rock was painted pink or blue, little paw prints were carefully drawn on to each rock along with the business name and phone number. On the back of each rock was a “reward” for its safe return. Once each rock was hand painted, and ready for its new adventure, Colleen and Copper cleverly hid the rocks. Some rocks were hidden in the planters around town, while others found a new temporary home under a mailbox. The majority of the rocks however were placed on tree stumps, logs, and branches throughout the communities popular doggy off-leash park.

Although many people loved the creative advertising campaign, the town of Qualicum Beach put a fast stop to the rocks.

Colleen was approached by the towns’ bylaw officer and informed that the rocks were considered illegal signage and must be removed immediately. Colleen, however, didn’t agree with the officers’ assessment of her rocks and refused to remove them. The bylaw officer began issuing $100 tickets for each rock that was found. Within a few short weeks Colleen’s clever marketing has resulted in three tickets!

Rocks placed on top of tree stumps
Rock placed on tree stump

Ruff N Stuff Dog Grooming quickly became the talk of the town as the story about the painted rocks was shared by the local news.

Colleen couldn’t believe she was facing $300 in fines for her painted rocks so she turned to the local radio station and social media.

Colleen’s painted rocks had caused quite the stir within the community. Many residents of the town felt that the bylaws regarding signage were severely outdated and made it extremely difficult for small businesses to advertise their products and services. Debates about the painted rocks showed up all over Facebook, community members came by Ruff N Stuff Dog Grooming to offer their support, but when everything was said and done, Colleen had no choice but to collect up her rocks and think of new ways to advertise her new business.

The town of Qualicum Beach agreed to dismiss the tickets providing Colleen agreed to stop painting and distributing the rocks.

Although Colleen had plenty of support from the community about her painted rocks, she couldn’t deny that the laws currently in place did in fact restrict her advertising with the painted rocks, so she had no choice but to agree to stop the rock campaign immediately. 

Even now, almost one year later, she still has people stopping her  to compliment her on such a unique advertising idea.

Many people were disappointed that the rocks were gone.

For many people, finding the rocks was a pleasant and welcome surprise. “Each time I saw one of your rocks it made me smile” said a Ruff N Stuff supporter.

Ruff N Stuff received a message on Facebook to let them know one of their rocks had managed to be found all the way in Lake Cowichan!

Over the next several months Ruff N Stuff Dog Care received hundreds of letters of support, phone calls and visits from members of the community. Several of the local businesses had even gone as far as to display Colleens painted rocks in their store windows.

Around the same time as the painted rock fiasco came to an end, rocks started to show up in strange and unusual places!

Throughout the dog park in many of the same places where Ruff N Stuff used to hide the brightly painted rocks, new rocks have started to appear. At first, Colleen figured it was just a coincidence. However, over the next several months even more rocks could be found in the most curious of spots!

Colleen decided to start documenting the rocks. One person said they counted 231 curiously placed rocks in the park!

Since we started taking pictures of the rocks we’ve spotted 144 rocks placed on tree stumps, branches, and even a few way off the trail, yet quite obviously deliberately placed by someone!

Check out the pictures below to see which rocks we've found so far!

So, what do you think of these oddly placed rocks? Do you think these have anything to do with Ruff N Stuff Dog Cares painted rocks, or do you think it’s just a coincidence? Do you have your own theory as to how or why the rocks are showing up all over this popular doggy park? Let us know in the comments below!