By Gwen Huneck
It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the death of my Husband , Stephen Huneck, Thursday January 8th. Tragically Stephen took his own life. Stephen had been despondent for some time now and was being treated for depression. Like many Americans we had been adversely affected by the economic downturn. Stephen feared losing Dog Mountain and our home.
Then on Tuesday we had to lay off most of our employees. This hurt Stephen deeply. He cared about them and felt responsible for their welfare. I could see how devastated he felt and tried to reassure him that the most important thing to me was that we were together. I told him how much I loved him, that he had accomplished so much in his life he should feel proud not ashamed.
I said how I was constantly being told by visitors to Dog Mountain how much they loved his artwork. They also told me how meaningful the Dog Chapel was to them and how grateful they are that Stephen had created it.
Stephen and I discussed his feelings of despair and he said he would be seeing his psychiatrist the next day and would talk it over with her. He seemed to be looking forward to his session. He got up early Thursday morning to go see her. Stephen drove to the doctor’s parking lot and while parked in his car, shot himself in the head.
I wished I could of reached him some how. Stephen gave so much love and joy to the world through his warmth and openness as a person and a great artist. I hope he will be remembered as that joyous soul.
One the last page of the “Dog Chapel” book Stephen wrote “you too can build a chapel, in a place that’s always open in your heart.”
In August 2009, the US Post Office released a commemorative plate of stamps that were all “TV Early Memories” and featured in that block of 20 stamps is one of Lassie. I totally missed this release and it wasn’t until a friend pointed them out to me that I became aware of them and had to immediately buy them. How I missed stamps about TV and Lassie is beyond me but I’m so happy to have them now.
The Early TV Memories commemorated in the 20 stamp set include: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dinah Shore Show; Dragnet; Ed Sullivan Show; George Burns & Gracie Allen Show; Hopalong Cassidy; The Honeymooners; Howdy Doody; I Love Lucy; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Lassie; The Lone Ranger; Perry Mason; Phil Silvers Show; The Red Skelton Show; Texaco Star Theater; Tonight Show; Twilight Zone; and, You Bet Your Life.
by Charmaine Ham
I’ve had dogs for 21 years but it wasn’t until last Fall we took our dog on vacation for the first time. We had reservations but since we knew we’d be gone a month, we couldn’t be w/o Max! We made it fun, bring besides food, his dishes, & his dog bed a bag of new dog toys. We thought if we presented a new toy it would make vacation fun.
The biggest fun was actually walking him in a dog friendly neighborhood. He enjoyed the various smells and scents (he’s beagle/Jack Russell mix) and many people walked their dogs. Even more dog friendly was the beach — oh how he loved walking on the damp sand. If it weren’t for me, he’d walk all day! One time we saw people riding their horses in the surf and I had to pull him back on his leash because he was so curious! I didn’t want him to be stomped on or spook the horses, yet he had never seen horses before.
We did all the work as we were busy cleaning out an inherited house to get ready for rental. So Max was the only one who got a vacation! Then to top it off, we only got breaks when our friends stopped to visit, and as usual, he thought everyone came just to visit him!
I recommend taking a pet on vacation, and do your homework to make the proper preparations. I promised Max we’d go walk the beach again and hope to return this Spring.