The Dog Mountain Resort in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, has been attracting dog lovers and their pups for nearly 20 years, and leashes are optional.
Designed by American artist Stephen Huneck, it features swimming ponds, an agility course for dogs, and a canine art gallery.
But it is perhaps the chapel that has become most famous, with its walls adorned with notes, images and poems commemorating beloved canine friends who have passed away.
“It is a traditional New England chapel where people can come, remember their dogs and celebrate the bonds they had between themselves and their pets after they passed,” said Dog Mountain General Manager Pam McCann.
“The walls of the chapel are full of memories, precious notes and photos of dogs that have passed, left by people from all over the world,” he continued.
The lush grounds are located on 150 acres atop a private mountain and are open year-round, even on these days, free of charge, so the public can enjoy the fun of socially estranged dogs.
“We are pleased to be able to offer the park space as a COVID-friendly retreat and activity,” added McCann.
“Dogs are free to run, play, swim, and (best of all) meet other dogs,” the website states. “Dogs are not only welcome here, they are appreciated.”
Stephen Huneck, an artist who specialized in playful dog woodcuts, has redefined the phrase “canine persona.”
Huneck and his wife, Gwen, purchased the property in 1995 and immediately began building the dream dog sanctuary.
After the couple’s death, their family and friends created the nonprofit Friends of Dog Mountain, which now owns and manages the memory space.
Originally an art studio for Stephen, it morphed into so much more.
“He decided that he wanted to create a space that would allow people to close the door on their lost furry loved ones.
Now the space attracts thousands of people from all over the world, who share the same love for dogs.
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