Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dog Mountain

I went on a little adventure yesterday to pay homage...

to Stephen Huneck. His home workshop and gallery sit on a mountain side in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It's about an hour and a half from my home.

I think I deliberately requested to come pick up my favorite Huneck print, the one I bought when I was in mourning, so that I could visit the dog chapel on Dog mountain. I'd never been there.

Although Liebe and Sydney were a little nervous of the big wooden dogs standing outside the chapel, it just took a little sniff of the doberman's ass for them to get to know each other.

I was blown away when we went inside:

The pews were perfectly framed. And the walls- plastered in notes to lost animals.

There was not one single space left on the walls.

"Lucky, You are with your best friend now. Enjoy!!" The notes were so touching and real. I mean, I know some of you can't understand're not dog people. And those of you that are, makes perfect sense. Doesn't it?

Dogs do have a soul.

And from the ceiling down, I could feel the love and loss.

And the sun shone bright through the stained glass windows.

Right down the aisle...

to the angel dog.

And to Stephen's art at the door of the chapel that is inscribed in his scribble of capital letters, "IT WOULDN'T BE HEAVEN WITHOUT DOGS."

We hiked up over the gallery and chapel, up to the top of Dog Mountain.

And my black Labrador friends found many new scents.

And although I'm usually quick to pull on their collars, tug on their leashes to keep moving, I let them sniff all they wanted yesterday. I let them rejoice in the symphony of smells, with no urging to keep on.

And we took a second (well, more than one) to think about what's really important in life and that life is way too short to not start on those dreams that you've been writing about. They decided that they wanted more treats, more than just a few a day. They wanted lots more. They decided that they wanted to shed all their hair this spring outside the house instead of inside. They decided that they were done eating stuff off the counter and that life was too short to make me mad. And I decided that I'm going to scratch their butts more. Oh, and start on those dreams of mine.


  1. what a colorful and warm place. if you (or any reader) gets back out there again, please post this for me. i'll use can/fel-line generic terms, in case kitties aren't as welcome there.

    my dearest little toby,
    i really miss you riding around, draped across my shoulders, while i grew from a college kid into the person that i've become. your insatiable curiosity (though that's probably what indirectly ended your life), and your unconditional devotion (though i moved you with me 10 times), were an inspiration. i hope you have found an amazing sun-spot to relax in after all your romps in the heavenly flower beds.

  2. Awwww...crap. Now I'm missing my dog. She was awesome. Always my friend, and helped me more than any anti-depressant ever could. (Well, it was a kind of combination therapy, I guess.) 16 years. They were all precious. I hope she's looking out a window in heaven and scratching desperately to get at some squirrels.

  3. Yes heaven would not be without dogs...what a wonderful place.

    Somehow people just don't seem to get as attached to camels, lol! Kim