As you arrive at SunDog House, two large mango trees loom to your right. They are often laden with fruit, or abuzz with bees among the blossoms. You pass the front patio garden on your left. Red hibiscus, fuchsia bougainvillea and fragrant white frangipani mingle with green palms and pink desert rose. The sweet scent of night blooming jasmine still lingers in the air and hummingbirds and yellow sugarbirds twitter in the trees.
At about this point you are greeted by your SunDog canine hosts and hostesses, Ruby, Mini, Harvey “Houdini”, Wiley “Coyote”, and Goliath. Ruby, a tan Rottweiler mix, is loving and playful, her favorite past-time is to chew tennis balls beyond recognition. Mini is an accomplished hunter. A medium-small Cruzan mix, she can often be spotted chasing down lizards or other critters. Wiley likes lounging on the porch when he’s not foraging for grubs.
You might catch a glimpse of the newest SunDog, Harvey R. Clapp IV, a gimpy little lab with a broken leg when Terry first rescued him from beside the road, he’s now the fastest dog on the block, climber of concrete walls, and accomplished escape artist. Goliath, AKA Little Big, small in stature, big in attitude, may deign to say hello. And finally, Fiona. An honorary SunDog, both Beauty and The Beast rolled into one feisty feline, Fiona is the true ruler of the roost.
Beyond the patio garden, ascending a few gentle steps to the front entry, you’ll encounter the SunDog mural. Painted by local artist Barbara Gelardi, the mural depicts SunDogs, past and present, limin’ on St. Croix, enclosing a comfortable patio kept constantly breezy with ceiling fans, powered by the sun. You enter into the greatroom, the SunDog common room, decorated with local art. Here you’ll find cozy Caribbean chairs and a sofa for lounging; books, games, and a stereo/dvd surround system and television. Overhead are three ceiling fans, so it’s always airy.
Immediately to your right, in the south-east corner is the Percy Room, inviting Caribbean Blue Water walls, a queen bed angled toward the far corner, natural rattan furnishings and full closet. In the north-east corner, to the right of the kitchen, is the Shade Room, in soothing periwinkle with queen bed, white wicker furnishings and lavender throw rugs. Both bedrooms feature ceiling fans, organic cotton sheets and pillows, and private baths with organic bamboo towels in vibrant Caribbean colors. They look out onto the verandas, the Great Pond and Great Pond Bay in the distance.
At the far end, the greatroom is separated from the kitchen by a bar counter. The kitchen is fully stocked with dishware, flatware, eco-friendly ceramic coated cookware made from recycled aluminum, full stove, energy-star refrigerator, microwave, blender, toaster and coffee-maker. Freshly ground Dean’s Beans organic fair trade coffee is provided for your first morning cup. To the left of the kitchen is a walk-through laundry with high-efficiency front-loading washer for cleaning incidentals during your stay. All water is from roof-top rain catchment and all electricity is provided by the sun.
Beyond the laundry is a covered porch, featuring BBQ grill, bar area and beverage fridge. To the left a charming seating area opens to the upper pool deck. A pink cedar grows up through the deck, providing shaded out-door dining. Fruit trees – coconut, guava, local plum – and passion-fruit vines surround the deck. On the right, gentle steps lead down to the pool and lower pool deck with chaise lounges.
Passing around the north-west corner you’ll see a full noni tree with highly nutritious (though smelly) fruit and leaves that can be used to relieve muscle pain. Below it grow numerous aloe vera, a natural salve for sunburn, and beyond, neem and ginger thomas trees shade orchids on the north side of the house. Under the eaves are strung a few solar/wind dryers ;-), convenient lines for wet towels or swimsuits; Additional drying lines are available on the covered porch.
The east veranda, accessible from the front patio, is lined with potted Caribbean flowers and plants, ferns, crotons, palms, bougainvillea, hibiscus, and philodendron. The porch is scattered with white out-door wicker chairs and tables and a colorful woven hammock for breezy afternoon lounging.
This completes your walking tour of SunDog House. Sit down, relax and enjoy.