Tag Archives: dogs

The Dog Chapel.

If you love animals, grab some Kleenex.

If you don’t… move along, you’re not my people.

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The Dog Chapel, on Dog Mountain, built by dog artist Stephen Hunecker.

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This is Stephen, and his dogs.

The following is the story of his near death experience…

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And a few words about the special space he created.

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I’d heard of this place, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

A chapel… for dogs. Okay, got it.

But I hadn’t.

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The pews are hand carved and supported by dogs.

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The stained glass is hand made…

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And filled with dogs.

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But what takes your breath away as you stand in this unassuming little building….

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Is love.

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And an outpouring of grief so heartfelt, I wept.

Non stop, for the entire time we were there.

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The love surrounds you.

Engulfs you.

From floor to ceiling, every single inch.

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People from all over the world come to this obscure little spot on the map to leave pictures and memorials to their beloved 4 footed friends.

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If you’ve ever loved a dog, this place will move you.

If you’ve never loved a dog, this place will move you.

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It was silent, and haunting….. and beautiful beyond words.

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The loss is palpable, and deep.

But the love?

The love is overwhelming and chokes me up even now.

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So I left a memorial of my own, for a very special beagle we had when I was growing up. Hiram… my father’s steadfast companion. Who happily romped the fields and gardens with him in the good times, and lay devotedly at his side through the bad. The dog that was inconsolable when my father was hospitalized with heart attack after heart attack… as if he knew.

Hiram.

His death was the only time I ever saw my father cry.

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Oh, yes…

Yes they do.

The Stephen Huneck Gallery

 

The Dog Chapel has long been on my list of places to visit in Vermont, and while I would have preferred to go in warmer weather and walk the lovely nature trails… we happened to pass the sign so I screamed,  “Let’s go!”

Up a steep hill, and over a narrow and rutted dirt road you’ll find a 150 acre farm.

 

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The Chapel…

 

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And a frozen, peed upon pumpkin.

 

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(I’m guessing dog, but wouldn’t put it past my husband.)

 

 

 

 

There’s also a gallery/shop that houses the owner’s folk art, which as you might guess….

 

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Is clearly dog-centric.

There are dog chairs…

 

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Dog benches..

 

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Dog lamps…

 

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Dog borders…

 

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Dog railings…

 

 

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And dog mounted trophies….

 

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Don’t laugh…

It beats the trophy mounted vegetarian on this butcher shop wall.

 

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Even the bathroom was dogged.

 

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It’s pretty clear the artist loved dogs.

 

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And why wouldn’t he?

 

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They’re marvelously talented creatures….

 

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She’s a peach.

 

Technically, she’s a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog named Peaches who belongs to the farmers across the street…. but yes, she’s a peach as well.

 

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They went out of town over the weekend so we had dog duty… which isn’t a hardship because I’m currently petless for the first time in my life due to a husband who wants to travel when he retires next year.

 

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I agree Peaches.

Boo and hiss to that.

 

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Peaches is a rough and tumble farm dog who dearly missed her father…. and spent an inordinate amount of time looking for him out the window.

 

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She couldn’t quite grasp the fact that she wasn’t allowed to cross the road and go back home…. so even though she’s a free range canine, when we had her outside she had to be tied.

 

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That didn’t go over very well…

So the first thing she did in retaliation?

 

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Yeah.

Peaches – 1.

Alvin – 0.

 

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Peaches is also the only dog I know who enjoys self flagellation.

She picks up her toys and beats herself silly. To the point where I worry she’ll hurt herself.

Naturally she only flagellated half heartedly whenever I filmed, but you get the idea.

 

 

 

Hey, whatever floats your boat.

It kept her occupied, and the chipmunk population breathed a sigh of relief.