Volunteers spruce up Dog Mountain - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Volunteers spruce up Dog Mountain

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. - Warm summer weather means pet owners flock to the outdoors to spend time with their animals. A group of pet owners near St. Johnsbury donated their time Sunday to make sure one man's dream for his pets can live on.

Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Northeast Kingdom, hidden down the old dirt roads of St. Johnsbury lies what dog lovers call a treasure. They say it's peaceful where the only sound is the wind's quiet purr. It's a place where man and his four legged companions can escape. Dog Mountain in St. J celebrated its 14th anniversary this year. As a tribute, loyal fans of Dog Mountain have come to help paint, construct and fix up the place they love.

On a summer weekend, hundreds of dog lovers will come to the park. The park was created in 2000 by artist Stephen Huneck as a refuge for all. As Huneck recovered from a debilitating illness, he had a vision to create a place like Dog Mountain.

"Then he got really sick and his dogs helped him recover, and when he was sick, he actually ended up in a coma and when he woke up, he had had a vision of a place where dogs could be free and happy,” said mountain supervisor Katie White.

One of the cleanup volunteers, Gale Turner, admitted she feels that happiness when she comes to Dog Mountain.

"It would be a real loss if this place wasn't here and it's so beautiful,” said Turner.

Huneck died in 2010 and three years later his widow passed away as well, now it's up to the Vermonters who loved the place to keep it going. Whether Dog Mountain visitors knew Stephen Huneck, they all feel united by the bond they share with their pets.

"I think that volunteer work is important and since I have dogs and am part of a rescue network this just attracted me. It spoke to me,” said volunteer Penny Dimartino.

And here man's best friend is free.
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