No dogma allowed.
An Artist’s Chapel for Dogs
The artist, Stephen Huneck was “discovered” in 1984 when a man asked to purchase a carved angel that was in the back of Huneck’s parked pickup truck. Not intending to sell it and believing that the man wouldn't pay such a high price, Huneck told him that he wanted $1,000. The man, a Manhattan art dealer, eagerly paid. Now Huneck's works are in the permanent collections of museums including the Smithsonian Institution, and in private collections of admirers such as Sandra Bullock and Dr. Phil McGraw.
In 1997, Huneck began building the Dog Chapel, which took three years to complete. Huneck said, “I wanted to build a chapel, one that celebrated the spiritual bond we have with our dogs, and that would be open to both dogs and people…people of any faith or belief. It is my desire to make this a place both magical and transforming.”
The chapel resembles a 19th-century New England church from the outside, until you notice the steeple is topped with a winged Labrador. A sign proclaims: “Welcome: All Creeds, All Breeds. No Dogmas Allowed.” In addition to standard human-sized doors, the chapel also has a dog door, carved wooden dogs lining the pews and dog-themed stained glass windows. The inner walls are covered with remembrance notes and pictures of visitors' beloved deceased canines.
Huneck died in early 2010, and now his widow, Gwen, generously maintains the 150-acre Dog Mountain property, art gallery, and Dog Chapel in his memory. Admission to visitors (and their dogs!) is free. The cost of Dog Mountain is supported by the sales of Huneck’s prints, sculpture, and furniture. www.dogmountain.com