We’ve got Wi-Fi !

For sure this would be old news for most nowadays, wouldn’t it?!

For the 14 years Dog Bark Park Inn B&B has existed our guests have enjoyed the absence of electronics that can distract from a truly relaxing stay.  And today’s visitors will still not find a television, phone or other media devices inside the big dog.  However, Wi-Fi connectivity is now available.  We simply felt it was time to modernize just this little bit.  Thought we’d share this tiny, but perhaps, important news.


Connecting with Art – In Bed with Art

In Bed with Art by Katharina Kneib

In Bed with Art, published by Verlag-Hellblau, is a travel directory of selected inns & hotels from around the world that place emphasis on art.
The author, Katharina Kniess, contacted us many months ago with interest for Dog Bark Park to be included in the 224-page book.
Dennis & I were delighted to share our thoughts about art as it relates to our business & lives.   What follows are excerpts from the book.
We are connected to art on several fronts: the most major as husband & wife artists we produce and market our own unique artwork.  We are chainsaw carvers with folk art-style renditions of the world’s many dog breeds our specialty.
We have great interest in all genres of art and architecture.  Both of us have dabbled in artistic endeavors from our youths.  With his yearning to create art, Dennis gave up his career in the design & building trades of many years to become a chainsaw artist. We met a decade after that, which started our combined work as artists.

Dog Bark Park Inn B&B under construction

This eventually led to the design & building of Dog Bark Park Inn Bed & Breakfast located adjacent to our art studio and gallery.
The connection of art to our inn is that the very building itself is an expression of art.  The entire building is what is often referred to as mimetic architecture; a building that looks like something else; in this case, a gaint beagle dog……The big dog building was self-designed and constructed entirely by Dennis. 
We eagerly interact with our guests to share our art processes & experiences in Idaho.  This interchange enriches our lives and we think deepens the appreciation of our guests for the art and lifestyle we have here in Idaho. 
Pedestrian entrance to Dog Bark Park – Diaphonous

Working in the arts is a satisfying outlet for our self-expression.  We endeavor to exercise that creativity in everything we do at Dog Bark Park. 

In addition to our studio gallery we have an outdoor sculpture garden of self-constructed objects, like a giant red fire hydrant, an old-fashioned electric coffee pot, an intricately designed roofed walkway, etc.
We are very fortunate to earn a living doing exactly what we want to do with art!

A slideshow peek & Holiday picture of Dog Bark Park

Holiday decorations & Mr. Sprocket

Besides our regular listing & wonderful visitor reviews on Trip Advisor we can now also be found on Trip Advisor’s Vacation Rental link.  As part of that a new video-style slideshow of updated images.
Welcome to the Dog Bark Park Inn, Bed and Breakfast by Frances Conklin in Cottonwood, Idaho. Brought to you by TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals, powered by TripWow!™ 
So much marvelous technology is out there to utilize & this is but one of them.  Oh, to have the time to explore all the fun stuff out there!  Being a mom & pop business tending everything ourselves from maintenance to marketing, Dennis & I must always remain mindful of the most important parts of our endeavor – creating our chainsaw dog carvings & keeping the big dog happily housing our bed & breakfast guests.  The connections with our visitors & guests is absolutely the best part of our business!  Everything else is simply the way we get to meet and interact with our visitors.

Idaho & Czech Republic share a Connection

Until January we had not even a thought we would had any connection here in Idaho with the Czech Republic.  Other than our son visited Prague last year for a vacation.  We’re accustomed to receiving media inquiries about Dog Bark Park & that is what happened a few months ago when the editor of Dogs Magazin contacted us for information & images to include in an upcoming issue of the magazine. 

Aktuální číslo

With the central cover photo being a Beagle we knew why Sweet Willy, our big beagle bed & breakfast would be included!  An article with 6 photos of Dog Bark Park are on pages 96 & 97.    And that’s our connection to the Czech Republic.  It is a small world afterall.  It will seem even smaller if anyone from the Czech Republic comes to visit!

Jack Frost on Thanksgiving Eve

Frosty window

This was our view from our office this afternoon – a beautiful snowflake patterned frosted window.  Jack Frost nipping for certain with afternoon temperatures barely above zero and now tonight at zero or maybe less.

Outlook for tomorrow includes warmer temps than the last few days with more snow probable.  A lovely start to the holiday season.  Many of Idaho’s ski areas are now open or opening this weekend.

At Dog Bark Park the big dog is now closed for the winter & will re-open for overnight visitors next April.  Meanwhile holiday orders for our chainsaw carved wooden canines are keeping us plenty busy in the studio where the wood stove has been working overtime buring our scrap wood keeping us warm & happy these extra-cold days.

We have a good selection of small-size carvings in stock for quick shipping.  Also our Dog Bark Park mugs & selected sizes of t-shirts & ladies polos.  Phone for details/pricing.

We enjoyed making these two custom dogs (Akita & Beagle )that mailed out to the new families this week.   Customers usually send photos of their dogs for us to use as guides in painting the carving to look like their special pet.  And if photos aren’t available we often can work from descriptions of the dog’s markings.

Akita custom painted dog


Beagle custom painted

Aren’t these guys cute? 

We hope their new owners are pleased, too.
Enjoy Thanksgiving.  And if Jack Frost decorates your windows, enjoy the magical configurations & think of warmer days ahead!

The neatest people come to visit

Meet Alex and Luke, recent guests & now social media friends.

Alex & Luke at Dog Bark Park

This dynamic two-some from Toronoto, Canada are on a grueling mission to travel to every state & province on the North American continent between March and mid-October.  With car, computer & suggestions on where to go, eat, stay received along the way from social media followers Alex & Luke are documenting their travels in a grand experiment & journey of discovery.   Alex commented to me this morning that as lovely as the diversity of scenery is across our huge continent, it is the people she is most attracted to, and it is the people met that will hold in her memory far sharper than the landscape.  Learn more about their journey from their website or social media links at AlexandLuke.com.

Finding that people everywhere are friendly & generous when given the chance to share their experiences, knowledge & interests has been heartwarming & humbling says this wonderfully gracious & energetic couple.  

That is the exact sentiment Dennis & I have heard from others of our visitors, like the cross-country bicyclists reported on in our previous blog

Another bonus Alex mentioned has been meeting  & observing the lifestyles of small business owners, where often there is no distinction between their work life and non-work life as all are combined.  That is certainly how Dennis & I view our endeavors at Dog Bark Park; we are our work and our work is us – it is who we are.

Adding Idaho to Alex and Luke's car

Luke’s VW  is looking pretty good for all the miles travelled since March.  It is decorated with decals from many of the places visited. Soon the entire surface of the car will be covered! Fortunately a spot was found to display our Dog Bark Park bumper sticker.

Dennis & I think we have the best occupation possible because not only are we doing the artistic types of things we love but also because through our gallery gift shop and unique little bed & breakfast we get to meet such interesting people from all over the country and world.   Remarkable sums it up.  And may the Alex and Luke’s of the world please keep on barkin’!  The world needs you.

Big dog travels to pages of Playboy Mexico

We didn’t quite know what to expect when the editors of Playboy Mexico Magazine contacted us a few months ago seeking images for an article in their architecture section of the magazine.

Sweet Willy looking proud

The finished article with photos turned out so nice.  Click on the link above or here to view.

It’s always fun to see where Sweet Willy will appear next!

Bookings are coming in at a faster pace than previous years.  June is now completely booked!  Still have dates in July, Aug and beyond.

Spring activities at Dog Bark Park

Spring in Idaho involves all kinds of weather.  April at Dog Bark Park  has seen snow, been warm as summer, rained plenty, & also was just plain lovely with pleasant sunny days. 

Shockingly bright tulips

These red/orange tulips are especially shocking on recent overcast days. Their color shouts out for attention.

A few daffodils are the only other flowers in bloom right now.  Soon tulips will be showing their red and pink colors.  And we always welcome the tiny white or pink blossoms of our honeysuckle shrubs.  One small lilac bush will flower at about the same time.  Ah, spring!

On one of the summer-like days last week, Dennis was able to begin re-painting the big beagle.   He’s on a 20 foot ladder and will definetely not be there when the prairie winds are a’blowing.  In this photo he’s just finishing the dog’s black saddle.

Repainting Sweet Willy

 This is the first entire re-do of the dog’s coat since the original painting  ten years ago.  If time & the weather allows we plan to have the entire beagle refreshed before Fall arrives.  With one ladder and one gent it is not a quick weekend task that’s for sure.  I do plan to help paint the lower sections. One would think, after spending a few summers on high forest fire lookouts in the mountains, heights would not bother me….but that was a long time ago & time has a way of changing us!

Even ambassadors need a rest

Sprocket resting on his wooden gate

Mr. Sprocket, our golden retriever Dog Bark Park Ambassador-in-Training, takes a beauty rest from time to time while on the job.  It is his primary task to greet visitors at his wooden gate in the entryway between our office/giftshop and our carving studio behind him.  He will not cross the low wooden carving, usually standing there wagging his tail in an attempt to get visitors to step closer so he can receive proper greetings from them.  After that, and particularly when conversations between humans get too lengthy for his canine attention span, he’ll do just this – relax and take a snooze.

Spring 2010 Newsletter

In this newsletter:

This is our 1st newsletter for 2010 – our lucky 13th year! Thank you for your business and referrals that have been key to our longevity. Our kennel of friends would not continue to grow without you.

We never tire of carving the wooden dogs that have been the mainstay of our business for longer than the 13 years we’ve been at Dog Bark Park. Nor do we weary of meeting visitors and guests to the big dog that has brought us a bit of world-wide fame – Dog Bark Park Inn Bed & Breakfast.

About the Big Dog & Pricing

Apple Sauce MuffinsSweet Willy welcomes his first 2010 overnight guests in early April. Hard to believe this is the big dog’s 8th season!

Reservations are coming in at a good pace. Happily, more people stay every year. So far this year our bookings include several international visitors, some interesting small groups, and families from across the country.

Unlike the price of gas or cost for a bag of dog food, our rates will not change for the 4th year running. Be assured our amenities remain the same; our fresh and home-prepared breakfast & snack selections are as plentiful as ever. Only things we have cut are the dog’s toe nails & our hair!

Gift ShopSpring Activities

 With Spring arriving early this year, we’re busily sprucing things up both indoors and out. A new patio floor for the giftshop entry is underway. We’ve re-painted and re-arranged the giftshop/office, adding some new products as well, like the cutest artisan-crafted glycerin bath soaps decoratively embedded with dog portraits! In the big beagle, Sweet Willy has received a thorough grooming with some new touches added as well.

Video Tour

Please join us for a 3-minute visit complements of the Purina Company. Last November, a videographer on assignment for Purina visited with us on the snowest day of winter. To view the video click here. Nearly 48,000 people have viewed it already, making it one of Purina’s most successful video clips.

Great Idaho Getaway

Ever wondered what Idaho looks like? Or what there is to do in Idaho? Here’s an entertaining 30-minute mini-movie of a family’s vacation through Idaho. And guess who’s included? – the big beagle, of course! To see the movie go to www.greatidahogetaway.org

A 30-member film entourage and the family descended on Dog Bark Park in two motor homes for part of a day last June. The weather was perfect Idaho gorgeous and the cameras rolled while the adventurous family looked about & visited. This day was another example of the job benefits Dennis & I are grateful to enjoy – meeting new people and Coffee Pot at Sunsetthe new experiences that result.

New Outdoor Art

Last October’s newsletter included pictures of the giant Corning Ware-like coffee pot that we built in early 2009. Late last summer Dennis finished his second giant pop art installation for the year – oversized Alphabet Blocks!

They, like the coffeepot, are modeled after objects of yesteryear, in this case painted wooden alphabet blocks with raised letters and borders. These are a bit Close-up Concrete Blocksdifficult to stack or re-arrange since they’re made of concrete and each letter is 4-ft square!

Construction-wise, the blocks were a more challenging endeavor than building the giant coffeepot. Fashioning the wood forms needed for pouring the concrete so that the letters and borders protruded beyond the flat background surfaces of the concrete blocks was not quick or easy work. Additionally, it was no small feat to wrestle & secure the heavy bulky forms into position without having them tip over as the optical illusion suggests.

Oversize Alphabet Blocks

We’re not sure what big outdoor sculpture might be next. So far, we’re focused on preparing for the new concrete patio entryway – an on the ground rather routine project! No doubt, once that’s done we’ll be scratching the ground for another “fun” art project.

Customer Photos

These snapshots are from Dog Bark Park visitors and customers.We invite you to e-mail your favorite digital memories of a visit to Dog Bark Park or of your dog with its wooden companion. Be sure to include a little background info as well & we’ll post your pictures in a future newsletter.

  English residents - the Beagle Trio Maddie the Beagle Twins
Dylan dogs living in the United Kingdom Maddie's human parents - the Topps

Creating a Dog – the Process in Pictures

This series of photos illustrates the transformation of Idaho pine into a wooden dog. Apollo, a custom order was made to approximate the real dog by the same name.

We attempted to highlight the unique features of the furry Apollo that will best make our carved rendition recognizable.

We emphasized Apollo’s black eye patch, his alert ears and the overall mottled appearance of his coat.

Rounding Apollos Back

The dog begins to emerge

The dog begins to emerge

Rounding Apollos back

Working on Apollos back

Working on Apollos back

Giving Apollo a hip

Giving Apollo a hip

Apollo gets his first coat of paint.

The completed Apollo

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Seeing is believing – Combine Demolition Derby

What do you get when you put a dozen or so decorated old harvest machines (combines) together in a small rodeo arena all trying to wreck into each other to be the last one running?  Action, noise, excitement, dust, laughs, cheers, fun, disbelief – an afternoon of family entertainment like nothing else!

Combine Demoliton Derby

Combine Demoliton Derby

Where?  Nezperce, Idaho  (not far from Dog Bark Park)

When?  Sunday, Sept 27, 2009

Who? Lewis County Fair Finale, sponsored by Nezperce Lions Club

Why? Celebrate end of grain harvest season.  Raise a little money for the community of Nezperce projects such as the Lewis County Fair.

Where to stay? At Dog Bark Park Inn B&B, of course!

More info?   contact us at Dog Bark Park.