Thursday, March 11, 2010
by Broderick Perkins
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Deadline Newsroom - If you get sent to the dog house, it ought to be this one.
Cottonwood, ID's Dog Bark Park Inn Bed and Breakfast, is a throw back to those trips along Route 66 when travelers would often buy gas, eat meals or stay overnight at a building that looked unlike any other.
In this case, this stop is touted as the largest dog house of its kind -- a 30-foot Beagle named "Sweet Willy" that sleeps four.
Three-stories tall, the dog inn's first story is comprised largely of the dog's legs which offer storage space and support for the floppy-eared structure.
You'll have to use a stairway, winding around his hind legs and up to his hip, to enter the belly of the beast -- just inside the second-story's windowed deck. Upon entry, immediately to the right, should you need a rest stop before settling in, is the bath room.
"Right where it should be," in the dog's hind quarters, said Frances Conklin, who along with husband Dennis Sullivan, have been letting their bed and breakfast go to the dogs since 2003.
Inside Sweet Willy's belly there's the main sleeping area for two and a small sitting area where you can, well, digest the days events. Nearer the Beagle's chest is the hospitality area with cooking and eating facilities, along with a small alcove for respite, reading or just regrouping.
A ladder stairway gets you up to the third-level loft space built into the giant dog's head where there's sleeping room for two.
But there's more.
Willy's muzzle houses yet another nook for anyone who needs some room to, well, breathe.
"It's where you can curl up to read a book. The kids always pull a blanket up there. The wall is lined with pillows," said Conklin.
The motif, of course, is also all canine, from a smaller 12-foot "Toby" Beagle sculpture outside, serving as Willy's companion to the 26 dogs carved into the queen bed's headboard.
Wood sculptors who doggedly chainsaw some of their pieces into shape, innkeepers Sullivan and Conklin also operate the Dog Bark Gift Shop and Artist's Studio onsite.
Starting at $86 a night, the stay comes with a hospitality area stocked with homemade granola, coffee bread, muffins, even hard boiled eggs, dog-shaped cookies and other goodies you can eat at room temperature or prepare in the microwave.
While the Web site doesn't specifically say guests can bring the real deal, if you ask, you'll find they are welcome -- under certain conditions.
"Responsible dogs who arrive with well-behaved humans are welcome to stay," Conklin says.
She's not woofin'. She's just sayin'.
Learn more from the Dog Bark Park Blog.
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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop.
Perkins is also the first Examiner to cover three beats for the Examiner.com news service:
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