Backstory and Context
From the outside, the white church looks like many others dotting the New England countryside. Inside, however, its uniqueness becomes apparent. The chapel pews are flanked by wooden dogs. A series of carved dogs serves as an altar. The stained glass windows, obtained from an old church and modified, feature panels depicting dogs in a variety of scenarios: licking ice cream, playing, and flying heavenward. Thousands of photos and notecards paper the walls, left behind by visitors, often in memory of their departed pets.
An accomplished artist, Huneck’s wide-ranging skills include painting, carving, and furniture making. Several of his pieces are kept in the Smithsonian Institution. Huneck also produced ten illustrated books featuring his dog Sally, including My Dog’s Brain and Sally Gets a Job.
Beach, Laura. The Art of Stephen Huneck. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004.
Clarke, Alice. "National Dog Appreciation Day--August 26." Smithsonian Libraries. August 26, 2010. Accessed February 13, 2017. https://blog.library.si.edu/2010/08/national-dog-appreciation-dayaugust-26/#.WKH3lvkrLIW.
Congdon, Kristin, and Kara Hallmark. American Folk Art: A Regional Reference. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. p. 18.
Harris, Alison, and Leo Evangelista. "It's a dog's life." Houghton Library Blog. October 11, 2013. Accessed February 13, 2017. https://blogs.harvard.edu/houghton/2013/10/11/its-a-dogs-life/.
Huget, Jennifer. "Going to the Dog Chapel...." Washington Post, July 06, 2003. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2003/07/06/AR2005041501411.html.
Huneck, Stephen. The Dog Chapel. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002.