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.


National Dog Bite Prevention Week May 15-22

According to figures from the insurance industry, dog bites account for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims & resulting in untold pain, suffering & even death for bite victims and the dogs.

Please do your part to keep dogs and humans safe.  The American Veterinary Medical Association is one resource for more information.

Idaho Rodeos

We live in rodeo country here in north central Idaho where cattle and horses are abundant; which means cowboys & cowgirls are plentiful as well.  Which means rodeo is a favorite pastime for many residents and visitors that come here in the spring, summer & fall.   In fact there are seven rodeos to choose from this year within a hour’s drive of Dog Bark Park.

    For details & dates about the rodeos click here.  (Information is from visitnorthcentralidaho.org.)

World-wide Press finds Dog Bark Park Idaho

World's Biggest Beagle - Cottonwood Idaho

From Poland to Korea to an entertainment blog on oddities around the world the turn of the year has brought some interesting exposure to Idaho’s Dog Bark Park.

A Danish travel writer/photographer team visited last August with a lovely large article appearing right after Christmas in the travel section of the Politiken newspaper.  Will forward the article via email to anyone who might be so kind to translate it for us.

Oddee, an entertainment blog about oddities around the world published an article with wonderful photos of some unusual places to stay around the world.

And then from the Korea Herald a listing of the World’s 8 Most Unusual Hotels.  All fun!

New item – Dog Bark Park Mugs

Dog Bark Park ceramic mugs


By popular request we now offer mugs decorated with our favorite images of Idaho’s famous big beagle bed and breakfast house.

Views of both sides of the big dog circle around the mug with the words Dog Bark Park Cottonwood, Idaho printed across the top.

The mugs are white ceramic with very smooth interior and exterior surfaces.  Our bed & breakfast guests have used the mugs all summer long.   They wash up easily & show no signs of coffee stains.

We have a new shipment coming in any day to have plenty of mugs on hand for the holiday season.  They are available in pairs – 2 mugs, including shipping in the continental US, are $29.50.  To order please send us an e-mail to frances@dogbarkparkinn.com or phone us at 208 962-3647.  Or, if in the area, drop by our studio at Cottonwood, Idaho to view the mugs.

We anticipate offering a series of collectible Dog Bark Park mugs with a new design issuing once a year or so.  This is the first design in the series.

Endurance and Determination

Late on a warm afternoon last week an inspiring couple bicycled into our parking lot at Dog Bark Park saying we had been their destination since May.

Feeling rested & ready for the day's ride to Lewiston, Idaho

Meet Kris and Alison from London who are on a cross-country biycle trip from New York City to Seattle.  They have been on the road since May 20th and expect to arrive in Seattle in a few days.  Many transcontinental cyclists will begin on the West Coast and end on the East Coast to take advantage of tail winds.  Not these guys!  They have been battling head winds most of their excursion making them very strong & resilient pedalers for sure!

When we met them they had come from Riggins, Idaho on the Salmon River to Cottonwood, an elevation change of apx 2400 feet with scorching heat & strong unfavorable winds.  Not knowing the exact date they might arrive, the couple had not made advance reservations. Luck of all luck was in their favor for the only day available in weeks was the day of their arrival!!  After a hard day’s ride, sore muscles and not many hot showers along the way, one can believe there were two distinct rings in the bathtub after a couple of long hot soaks that night!

We had a great visit  learning  about their trip & lives in England.  Both Alison & Kris said one of the best parts of their journey was meeting wonderful, generous & gracious people all across the country. 

Posing with the giant puppies

Keep on pedaling & keep on barking” is the motto of encouragement we thought we heard as they pedaled away from the big beagles with a nice breeze at their backs!

Fun exposure in Kids Magazine

Several families of children who read National Geographic Kids Magazine will be visiting this summer.  We’re always delighted when the story of Idaho’s big dog makes press that encourages youth to read. 

This is just one of the most recent appearances Sweet Willy has made.    Click here to see the short article and accompanying photo.  That’s Dennis at the giant fire hydrant!

Information about the big dog has appeared on standard achievement reading comprehension tests given to American school children in several states.  And often Sweet Willy’s (that’s the big dog’s pet name!) photo and description are included in tuturial magazines aimed at teaching English as a second language to youth in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other nationalities.

This is a level of appeal we never imagined for Sweet Willy.  Such fun!

Idaho Leaves will be Falling Soon

While our maple leaves are turning crimson & gold,  temperatures are falling from crisp to cold.   Record lows are forecast for the next few nights. At Dog Bark Park today’s high was only 36.  With winter coats &  bright sunny skies the day was pleasant though for tending to outside Fall chores. 

Here’s hoping our Halloween jack o’lantern won’t be seeing any snows like this for awhile.

Grinning no matter what the weather!

Grinning no matter what the weather!






Here’s an interesting recipe for preserving the color of Fall’s fleeting foliage. Here’s how: 

1. Pick small branches when leaves are in their fall prime & right away place stems into water.

2. Boil one part liquid glycerin (available from pharmacies) and two parts water for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat & let the solution cool.

3. Remove branches from water and pick off curled or damaged leaves.

4.  Mash the stems with a hammer.  This will increase absorption of the glycerine solution.  Or, use a sharp knife to cut length-wise slits in the stems. 

5. Stand stems in the solution and place container in a dark, cool place for a few weeks for the solution to be absorbed.  In a couple of weeks you should be able to feel it on the leaves.  Remove branches from the solution & wipe leaves with a soft cotton cloth.  Place in pretty containers or scatter across a table top or mantle.  Note: colors may deepen somewhat over time.  Enjoy the leaves for several seasons.

We’ll be issuing a very long overdue e-newsletter in a couple of weeks.  If you’d like to receive a copy click here, or subscribe by visiting our home page, lower left column.

A few words about our Breakfasts

Prairie's Best Fruited Granola & other breakast selections

Prairie's Best Fruited Granola & other breakast selections

Sweet nutty aromas of our freshly baked Prairie’s Best Fruited Granola drifting through the house prompt this article.  It is one of our featured breakfast selections.  Made in small batches with oatmeal, sunflower & seasame seeds, honey, canola oil & other healthful grains & nuts this recipe has been a family staple for over thirty years.  For our inn guests I add colorful bits of dried fruits such as cranberries, papaya, pineapple, & raisins.  Yummy with milk, yogurt, applesauce or eaten just plain like trail mix!

Another breakfast specialty is our home-baked yeast dough fruit filled coffee breads.  We like to use local fruits; often peaches, rhubarb, blackberries, nectarines, apples, huckleberries.   Some, like the blackberries & huckleberries grow wild along the river banks & and in the mountains nearby.  

Strawberry Huckleberry Cream Cheese Coffee Bread
Strawberry Huckleberry Cream Cheese Coffee Bread
Picking blackberries along Clearwater River
Picking blackberries along Clearwater River

This summer we have a quart of mountain harvested huckleberries, picked by our son on his way from Missoula, Montana to Idaho.  What a welcome surprise!  His visit, and the precious huckleberries which I am sharing with our guests in our coffee breads.

Healthful fruit muffins are another regular breakfast feature.  [By the way, all breakfast foods are in the big dog at time of guest check-in.  Either on the counter or in the undercounter refrigerator.  This allows guests to eat breakfast at a time & in the attire of their choosing.  At midnight and in their jammies if desired!]  Rhubard raisin or moist banana brown sugar muffins are guest favorites.
Rhubarb Muffins
Breakfasts are rounded out with plenty of fresh fruit, yogurts, cheeses, dry cereals, milk, vegetable & fruit juices, teas/coffee, etc.  I’ve always enjoyed cooking & it has been my pleasure to extend friendship to our guests through my signature healthful baked foods.

More Music in the Park near Dog Bark Park

July 14 & Sept 12th are the music dates.  And we have openings for staying in the dog either night.  Both performances are at the lovely Grangeville City Park.  Free, unless you want VIP seating; otherwise bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the concerts under the shade of giant elm trees.

Tuesday July 14th it’s the popular family band Barewires from Moscow Idaho playing blues as the thread that holds it all together, seasoned with rock and who knows what else sprinkled in.

Saturday Sept 12th it’s the Big Red Barn band from Spokane, WA playing a funky blend of bluegrass, blues, country, jazz & other string-band music.

Big Red Barn Band plays Sept 12, 2009 near Dog Bark Park

Big Red Barn Band plays Sept 12, 2009 near Dog Bark Park

Both performances start at 6 pm.  Check-in at the big dog can be as early as 3:30 pm giving plenty of time to dine before the concert or gather together a picnic to take with you.