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Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog Mountain

Day 132/Year 2
Our final stop of the Vermont weekend was at Stephen Huneck's Dog Chapel and Dog Mountain located in St Johnsbury.
If you're a dog or animal lover, this is a wonderful place to visit. Stephen Huneck was a wonderful artisit who had a vision several years ago after being in a coma from a life threatening event....that he should build a chapel for dogs. The photo above is of the outside of the chapel. It is a small replica of what the quintessential New England white steepled church looks like. Stephen made all of the stained glass windows himself, and he carved the wooden pews as well. They are a very beautiful and very unique work of art.

This is the art gallery which is located adjacent to the chapel.

View from the gallery:

Stephen Huneck was a talented artist and seemed to be very happy and "have it all". Unfortunately, he suffered from depression, and when the economy took a downward spiral, Dog Mountain was faced with an enormous debt. The bills could not be paid, and most of the staff had to be laid off. These people were like family, and Stephen could not deal with letting these people down. He ultimatley committed suicide last year. Ironically, when word of his death spread, his wife Gwen could not keep up with all of the orders. She ended up hiring the staff back. His death is what ultimately saved Dog Mountain from bankruptcy. Gwen is still facing an upward battle, but she is a fighter and through hard work and donations, the Dog Chapel and gallery are still open, free to the public....for now. It's still uncertain if it will make it. Any donations and purchases would be appreciated. It's such a beautiful place. I hope you can find some time to visit....with or without your 4 footed friend.

2 comments:

  1. lois, buster, miss sally who & lowla the fosterAugust 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    dog mountain & the chapel are an amazing place...i have been going there for about 7 years...met stephen a bunch of times...the last being the october right before he passed.

    to me it is a safe haven. a place of peace for dogs & owners. i have never witnessed as much as a doggie scuffle there...all breeds do play nicely together..rotties swimming, bassets romping, labs, danes, doxies, everyone is happy.

    dogs have saved my life. they have helped me along a path of healing. so has dog mountain..to imagine a world without the chapel it just unthinkeable.

    when i first visited the chapel, the walls were fairly bare..now go visit...they are plastered by remembrances to me that is amazing.

    i know stephen watches and smiles from the bufeet. he sees the work gwen does. he smiles. gotta keep dog mountain going. it is essential for all dogs & their peeps.

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  2. Amen to that! Thank you for your comments. Your experiences from Dog Mountain are heart warming. I feel the same way about the place. I was only lucky enough to meet Stephen on one occasion. It was a year before his death and we had a wonderful conversation at his gallery on Dog Mountain.
    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Much appreciated.
    Carol

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