Junkyard Dogs

Sunny Sebastopol is a beautiful destination on a spring afternoon, especially if you love dog folk art – in this case, whimsical sculptures made of scrap metal and other found objects.

Canadian-born Patrick Amiot has decorated his adopted town with crafty canines large and small. They appear on the lawns of private homes and in various public places, creating a fun and funky atmosphere that perfectly suits this counter-culture cornerstone of Sonoma County.

First stop: Copperfield’s Books at 138 N. Main St. to pick up a pamphlet about Amiot’s art that includes a map to the sculptures. It will guide you to several public buildings, including the Sebastopol Humane Society, where a massive tin pooch marks the driveway. If the bookstore is out of stock, you can pick up a brochure at the artist’s own home at 382 Florence Street – check the red box on the front steps – then meander the rest of the block to see what Amiot has planted in his neighbors’ front yards. Another must stop on your tour is Marimar  Estate Vineyards & Winery at 11400 Graton Rd., where a single large dog installation eventually became a pack of three.

Amiot recommends dining at Peter Lowell’s, 7385 Healdsburg Ave, where your dog can join you at the terrace tables and the emphasis is on seasonal, local, and organic foods. Not hungry but need some caffeine to fuel your artful wandering? Stop by the tiny Sunshine Organic Coffee Roasters espresso bar at 990 Gravenstein Highway (Hwy 116), where the brew is excellent and free wireless Internet service is available.

Patrick Amiot has made Sebastopol a very special destination for dog and art lovers. You and your four-legged friends are going to love it.

For more information about the artist, visit www.patrickamiot-brigittelaurent.com.