Poland fence transforms into artwork featuring dogs
We've all needed a reason to smile during the pandemic, but if you're walking past the Stanley household in Poland, it's just about guaranteed.
Thanks to a little artwork, a fence, and a couple of happy pups, it's a canvas that's suddenly a neighborhood highlight.
If you're driving down Sheridan Road in Poland, you can't miss the fence.
"We have the biggest, longest, ugliest brown fence, probably in Mahoning County," said Brian Stanley.
They also have two dogs, Burger and Ripley, hanging out behind that fence.
"Burger is the more social of the two," said Stanley. "He sees or hears a leaf blow on the other side of the fence, and he's right through it to look and see."
Last August, Burger got a little too excited about seeing what was on the other side.
"Burger just dug a hole under the fence," said Cameron Stanley, Brian's son, who is going into third grade this year.
"We couldn't have that, so I got my saw and an extension cord and cut a hole in the fence, and within seconds of me cutting it, his entire head started going through it, and it's been on since then," said Brian.
When the pandemic hit in the spring, Brian found himself furloughed from work, and Cameron was doing school from home. That's when they started kicking around some ideas to dress it up a little.
"I showed Cameron a picture of my favorite painting, which is The Scream, and I said 'we should do our version of it,' and that's really how it started," said Brian.
"It's called The Bark," said Cameron.
"We did our version of it and called it the bark, cut a hole in it, and put it on the fence, and that was the first one we did," said Brian.
The Bark led to Paws and many others, including the most recent, Pac Man, all with Burger as the centerpiece.
Suddenly, neighbors, we re-routing their daily walks to see the latest piece on display, a much-needed distraction not only for Brian and his son but for an entire neighborhood.
"We were trapped at home," said Brian. "We couldn't go anywhere; we couldn't talk to anybody. We're social people. It was nice to be able to interact with your neighbors."
It's become so popular that they couldn't possibly stop now.
"I think we made the decision, 'Let's just keep doing this.' People seem to love it. Let's just keep doing this," said Brian.
They have ideas written down that will take them through 2024, so the Poland Dog Fence is just getting started.
If you want to keep up with the progress, you can find the Poland Dog Fence on both Facebook and Instagram.
The social media accounts have also given them a chance to feature some adoptable dogs, sprinkled in with all the artwork. It's a cause Brian says is important to his family, and social media is a great place to spread the word.