On November 11th, 2023, I went on the 2.5 hour journey from Montréal to St Johnsbury, Vermont, to visit the Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain.
I’d heard about it recently via an article at Atlas Obscura. It’s a shrine atop a small hill, built in 2000 by Stephen Huneck, who was involved in a near-death experience in the mid-90’s. During his recovery he thought long and hard about the rituals surrounding death: why did we put so much importance in funeral ceremonies for humans, but not as much in similar ceremonies for our dearly departed furry friends? From these humble reflections he devised the idea of the Dog Chapel. Over the course of three years and with thanks to a generous donation from a local dog-loving couple, he built the chapel adjacent to his art gallery on his farm, Dog Mountain, in the Vermont countryside.
Huneck opened his property to the public, inviting anyone who had lost a pet to leave a photo on the chapel walls in their memory, and allowing anyone with a pup to enjoy the serenity of the mountain, free from leashes. Dogs of all creeds and breeds are welcome here! Sadly, Huneck took his own life in 2010, and his beloved wife Gwendolyn died three years afterwards, but his legacy lives on through the Friends Of Dog Mountain non-profit organization. Dog Mountain remains a staple New England attraction today.
In April 2023, my parent’s beloved English Staffy, Coco, passed the rainbow bridge after a long and joyful 14 years & four months with us on this planet. As soon as I heard about the Dog Chapel, I knew I had to pay a visit in tribute to our dear Coco.
So that’s exactly what I did, and I took some pics and video along the way to share with you:
Dog Mountain can be found at:
143 Parks Rd
Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819
For more details and opening hours, go to https://www.dogmt.com/