The Dog Mountain resort in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, has been attracting dog lovers and their pups for almost 20 years—and leashes are optional.
Designed by American artist Stephen Huneck, it features swimming ponds, a doggy agility course, and a canine art gallery.
But it’s perhaps the chapel that has become most famous, with its walls festooned by notes, pictures, and poems commemorating beloved canine friends who have passed away.
“It’s a traditional New England looking chapel, where people can come, remember their dogs and celebrate the bonds they had between them and their pets, after they pass,” said Dog Mountain general manager Pam McCann.
“The chapel walls are full of remembrances, lovely notes, and photos of dogs that have passed, left by people from all over the world” she continued.
The lush grounds are set on 150 acres of private mountaintop and open year around—even these days—for free, so the public can enjoy some socially-distanced dog fun.
“We’re glad we are still 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,” states the website. “Dogs are not just welcome here, they are cherished.”
Stephen Huneck, an artist who specialized in woodcut prints of playful dogs has redefined the phrase “dog person.”
Huneck and his wife, Gwen, bought the property in 1995 and immediately began building the dreamy dog sanctuary.
After the couple died their family and friends created the nonprofit Friends of Dog Mountain, which now owns and manages the space in their memory.
Originally an art studio for Stephen, it was transformed into so much more.
“He decided he wanted to create a space that allowed people to gain closure for lost, furry loved-ones.
Now the space brings in thousands of people from all of the world, who all share the same love for dogs.