Stephen Huneck was the founder of Dog Mountain in St Johnsbury, Vermont. An artist and sculptor who suffered from ill health, he wanted people and dogs to have the most fun they possibly could and enjoy their time together. He cleared hiking trails and made ponds for dogs to swim in. In the winter, he encouraged people to come and snowshoe with their dogs.
He also established a chapel in the year 2000 where people could pay respects to their dogs who had passed or come and reflect in the company of their dog. Stephen believed in the healing powers of dogs, nature, art and love and wanted to use his Vermont property in support of those values.
The walls of the chapel are covered with photos, poems and recollections of dogs who have crossed The Rainbow Bridge.
On Dog Mountain, there are also special parties like Dog Fest where dogs and people come together. At these events, owners are encouraged to let their dogs off lead to play and act like ‘real dogs.’ These events also help to raise funds to keep Dog Mountain operating.
It’s a very special place and worthy of a visit when you travel to northern Vermont.
Postscript: Sadly, Mr Huneck is no longer with us. After a life long battle with depression, he committed suicide on the 1st of July 2010. His widow has pledged to keep Dog Mountain in business and devotes her time and efforts to this cause.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand