Offbeat Traveler: Spend a cozy night in a giant beagle
Dog Bark Park Inn, 2421 Business Highway 95, Cottonwood, Idaho, DogBarkParkInn.com. Man’s best friend just got a whole lot bigger. Visitors to Dog Bark Park can see Sweet Willy, one of the world’s biggest beagles, and sleep inside him too: The giant pooch is also a cozy bed-and-breakfast. Dennis Sullivan, who runs the B&B with his wife, Frances Conklin, designed and created the pooch himself.
-- Kelsey Ramos, Los Angeles Times (Dog Bark Park Inn)
Dog Bark Park is in Cottonwood, Idaho, about 200 miles north of Boise, the state capital. Besides the bed-and-breakfast, which opened to guests in 2003, the property’s permanent fixtures include the couple’s carving studio and the smaller of two beagles, Toby (still a towering 12 feet).
Sulllivan, a self-taught chainsaw artist who has been carving for more than 20 years, designed and built both dogs. Conklin planned the interior design of the B&B. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
All of the whimsical carved art pieces around the property are the couples designs and handiwork, including this bicycle boy, named Rodney.
The art is designed to evoke memories of roadside architecture popular in the early days of car road trips. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
This installation -- 4-foot-square concrete blocks spelling “DOGGY,” which recall a child’s wooden blocks -- was completed in the fall. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
A chainsaw-carved pop-art installation of retro Converse shoes. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
Sweet Willy sleeps four guests comfortably.
Rates are $92 per night for double occupancy and $8 per additional person. Single occupancy is $86. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
The B&B has a double bed, two twin futon mattresses in the loft in the dog’s nose, a microwave, small refrigerator, full-size bath located -- where else? -- at the tail end of the big dog, and plenty of books, games and puzzles. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
The rates include breakfast, which, among the usual continental staples such as bagels and cereal, also includes homemade apple muffins and applesauce, and “The Prairie’s Best Fruited Granola” made from a secret family recipe. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
Conklin says the connection she and her husband feel to the B&B is not typical of the average innkeeper.
“Dog Bark Park is much more than a job for Dennis and me. It is our life, one we have created and shaped to what suits our personalities and desires,” she said in an e-mail. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
In the carving studio, Dennis Sullivan carefully shapes a dog figure with his chainsaw, one of the many wares sold in the gift store. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
The gift store and gallery specializes in folk-art-style wood carvings of 100 breeds and poses of dogs, as well as other figures. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
A giant retro toaster installation, titled “Out of Context.” (Dog Bark Park Inn)
The red fire hydrant carving hides a public restroom that serves Dog Bark Park’s drop-in visitors. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
The bed-and-breakfast is open to overnight guests from April to October and is usually booked by the beginning of summer.
Reservations are recommended as early as possible, although vacancies can open at the last minute. (Dog Bark Park Inn)
And can you bring pets?
As dog owners and lovers, Sullivan and Conklin have only this disclaimer: “Responsible dogs/pets who arrive with their well-behaved humans are welcome to stay.”
Their golden retriever, Sprocket, above, is the third in a succession of Dog Bark Park ambassadors.
The pet fee is $10 per animal, and pet reservations are required.