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Kecksburg antiques store offers plenty to bark about

Panian | Mt. Pleasant Journal
Monica and Brian Howard, proprietors of the newly opened Barking Dogs Antiques in Kecksburg, with two of the couple's five resident canines: Beezer, an 8-year-old yellow lab (left), and Teea, a 5-year-old Great Dane, in a photograph taken Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. A.J.

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If you go

What: Barking Dogs Antiques Holiday Open House

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: 1277 Kecksburg Road

Information: 724-423-4288 or www.barkingdogsantiques.com

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
 

How does a coffin stand become a coffee table?

Ask Bill and Anita Wendell of Bedford.

After the Wendells finished renovating the basement of their home this fall, they set out to unearth some unique furniture with a timeless feel to fill the subterranean space.

“We were looking for an interesting coffee table,” Bill Wendell said.

The Wendells found it at Barking Dogs Antiques — the newest business in the Mt. Pleasant Township village of Kecksburg.

The store — opened by Brian and Monica Howard on Nov. 8 — occupies the first floor of a two-story house at 1277 Kecksburg Road.

“We saw that coffin stand in there and we knew it was what we were looking for,” said Bill Wendell regarding the late 19th century, wooden item with decorative, iron legs. “With antiques, it's very hard to find quality pieces like that, but I will say that Brian and Monica have them.”

Tucked into each nook, the store contains many forms of furniture, small antiques and country decor, much of which dates to the 19th and early-20th centuries.

“I always say that Monica is the buyer and I am the seller,” said Brian Howard — a Kecksburg native — before grinning in Monica's direction. “And if we had it her way, she'd be keeping a lot more than we sell.”

For the past 15 years, the Howards have been buying antiques, or “picking” them, as they like to say, from shows and auctions up and down the East Coast, they said.

“I just have a passion for this,” Monica Howard said. “It's seeking a treasure ... that's what I like to say.”

The Howards received guidance over time from Brian's brother, Glenn, who with his wife, Debbie, travel as antiques vendors under the name “Howard's Antiques” to various shows annually.

“I think they're going to do very good there,” said Glenn Howard, also of Kecksburg. And about the store's namesake ... there are dogs there, indeed.

Sometimes two, other times five, and they all like to bark.

“Anyone visiting can expect to hear them barking, but they should not be afraid; they are very friendly,” Brian Howard said.

There's Beezer, an 8-year-old, yellow Lab, and Teea, a 5-year-old Great Dane.

The Howards' daughter Natalie Lentz, a resident of Olney, Md., often visits with her three dogs — two black Labs named Murphy, 11, and Tank, 11 months; and 3-year-old Stella, a miniature English Bulldog.

Lentz — who created a Facebook page for the store and the website www.barkingdogsantiques.com — said she is proud to see her parents years of “picking” paying off.

“We just have to get the word out about the store, and we figured the holidays are a good time to do that,” Lentz said.

With that in mind, the Howards will host a holiday open house there from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

The store's regular business hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or at apanian@tribweb.com.

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