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.


Honoring Arbor Day

Yesterday we planted six blue spruce seedlings at Dog Bark Park for Arbor Day.  Our local library has been giving these Idaho grown seedlings to library patrons to encourage awareness of Idaho forest products and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Planting blue spruce seedlings for Arbor Day

In a few years we will move the seedlings to permanent locations on our acreage.  Right now they are together in a small plot with east sun & a bit of protection provided by the big dog from southwest winds & summer’s hot afternoon sun.
Seedlings planted a few years ago are now approaching 3-ft tall.  Other larger pines transplanted longer ago are now being used for nesting robbins as well as shelter for other songbirds, flickers, cats & at least one racer snake.
From our carving studio we can see most of the trees, all ones added to what was a grass only landscape when we founded Dog Bark Park 14 years ago.  We enjoy the beauty of the changing light on them through the day & across the seasons.
Not long ago our largest blue spruce became the canvas for nature’s art.  With an abundance of moisture this winter & spring our pines should have a great start to the growing season when warmer temperatures & plentiful sun arrives.

Blue Spruce transformed


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.)

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!

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-time near Cottonwood, Idaho

Camas Prairie Idaho in spring

Camas Prairie Idaho in spring

Yesterday was the perfect Spring evening as Dennis & I drove home to Grangeville from a long day at Dog Bark Park.   Midway through our 15 mile commute is a stretch of old apple trees growing along what is now a vacated railroad line. 

I’ve always admired these hardy scraggly trees & have picked their small fruit on occassion.  It is my hunch that the trees were probably accidentally established long ago by railroad workers or passengers discarding the cores of apples brought with them on the train.  And it is also my hunch that some of these trees have survived these many years simply because the adjoining land has not been altered for just as many years. 

And it is my hope the trees will live out their natural lives for many many more decades to come.  I enjoy thinking about the lives of those early day train travelers between Grangeville & Lewiston Idaho.  The trip took most of a day, while now by car the same distance can be travelled in just over an hour!  Much of the today’s scenery is the same as when the passenger train ran, with large grain fields rimmed by forested mountains & miles without seeing many or any houses. 

Sunset looking towards Grangeville, Idaho

Sunset looking towards Grangeville, Idaho

The abandoned railbed, with tracks & ties removed between Grangeville & Cottonwood, makes a nice corridor for mountain biking, ATV riding or walking.  During harvest season (mid-August into Sept) some sections of the railbed are used by grain trucks hauling wheat or canola to the storage elevators at Fenn, Idaho.

Stay tuned for more tree photos & report next fall about the 2009 apple crop!

Bonus Gifts w/our Earth Day Special Promotion


News  Flash    Earth Day Celebration Package   (offer expires 5/31/09)


Receive bonus gifts with our Dog Bark Park Inn B&B Celebrate Our Earth reservation package.  We’ve partnered with the publishers of Organic Gardening Magazine and forty-nine other bed & breakfast inns to promote the benefits and pleasures of careful living on this one Earth of ours.  


Celebrate Our Earth package details:


Celebrate Our Earth at Dog Bark Park Inn B&B with deck-side views of prairie grain fields rimmed by majestic mountains. After dark, feast your eyes on a lush star garden overhead.

Celebrate Our Earth package includes these free Celebrate Earth’s Harvests gifts:

            . One-year subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine (6 issues).

            . A large luscious silky bar of locally crafted Sleeping Bear soap.

            . 3 cups of our healthful Prairie’s Best Fruited Granola in a

              decorative glass cereal bowl.

            . One-dozen freshly baked Rhubarb Buttermilk muffins.


To qualify for this package:  Book a date between now & May 31, 2009 to stay at Dog Bark Park Inn B&B anytime during our 2009 season.  Be sure to mention this Earth Day Special. 


For reservations or additional information:

Please phone us 208 962-3647.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Early Summer is Spectacular

Early Summer is Spectacular








Last Minute Getaway Idea – Stay & Learn

Want to do something different this weekend?  Take a soap making class & then stay in the big dog & take a long relaxing soak using your new soap.  Call us to reserve.  208 962-3647.  Class details follow.

Heavenly Scent – a Soap Making Primer – Sat. 4/18/09
Create beautiful cold-process soap the way Grandma made it. Use updated methods and ingredients, learn safety tips and how to compose your soap. Learn how to mix, stir, fragrance, mold, and trim the finished product. Make bars of soap to take home. Bring a towel, long sleeve shirt, wooden spoon, candy thermometer and rubber gloves. No minors please.

Location: Monastery of St. Gertrude Old Kitchen (3 miles from Dog Bark Park)
Time: 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Lunch provided…………Class fee including materials & lunch: $54
Instructor: Sister Carlotta Fontes OSB is a Master Herbalist and tender of the Monastery gardens. She makes salves, soaps, and balms among other healing items.

Aah, bathtime at Dog Bark Park

Aah, bathtime at Dog Bark Park

World’s Biggest Beagle Goes Orange for ASPCA

Along with the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, Graceland and other prominent US landmarks and iconic buildings, the big beagle at Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood will light-up orange on April 7th for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Go Orange for Animals awareness campaign.  April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month and orange is the association’s signature color.

Go Orange for ASPCA

Go Orange for ASPCA


When a researcher from the ASPCA headquarters in New York invited Dog Bark Park to take part in the Go Orange campaign we jumped at the chance to participate.  What better building than Idaho’s famous dog to champion the work of the ASPCA while at the same time draw national attention to Idaho and Idahoans.

Beagles at dusk

Beagles at dusk




The ASPCA will hold several gala events in major US cities as well as pet parades, photo contests & pet education programs during April.   Go Orange for Animals television coverage is scheduled for April 13 on the Today Show, April 14 on the Martha Stewart Show, April 16 on the Home Shopping Network & again on the Martha Stewart Show during the week of April 20th.


The big beagle, located on US Hwy 95 just south of the north entrance to Cottonwood, will be lit in orange several hours each evening during April.  Finding orange theatrical gel & figuring how to secure it over outdoor floodlights was a bit of a challenge, but we’re set to be orange all month now.

Beagles Go Orange

Beagles Go Orange


For more information about the ASPCA & a complete list of Go Orange locations, visit www.ASPCAApril.org.






February 2009 Greetings

Dog Bark Park Inn Newsletter, Cottonwood, Idaho

In this newsletter:

Dog Bark Park Winter 2009Here on the Idaho prairie, shrinking snow cover and sightings of robins suggest Winter will soon be dancing with Spring. When snow showers do arrive we let the soft flakes kiss our faces. And when the wind blows everything into fantastic white formations we marvel at the new landscape. One of Sweet Willy’s ears blew up on the back of his head where it has remained crinkled & frozen, reminding us of a frisky puppy with ears turned inside out after an energetic romp! And in this photo we think Sweet Willy has been wagging his tail so energetically to stir up the clouds!

Spring Stay & Learn Packages

Soap MakingWe invite you to combine a stay at the big dog this spring with a fun one-day class. Want to know how to make bread or soap, do Dutch oven cooking, pick up some photography tips, do grant writing or make herbal salves & tonics? These are fun, informative & tasty activities we’ve teamed up with Lewis Clark State College to offer. The classes are held at different locations near Cottonwood. Some are just a few hours long while others are about full day. For class descriptions & dates see our website, www.dogbarkparkinn.com/stay_and_learn.html.

We’re Blogging

“What’s that”, we asked a couple years ago when seemingly the whole world was abuzz with this latest web communication tool. Another new fad we figured & left it at that. Like the advent of so many other innovations, blogging is here to stay and is truly as useful as having another gadget in the kitchen drawer.
(Speaking of handy kitchen gadgets, we were given one recently, a pair of tongs with flat silicon paddles for turning or lifting items from the frying pan or grill. We use them all the time now!)
And now we’re also splashing about in the world of blogging. Won’t you join us? We’ll be posting new blog articles to our website so catch us there if you’d like. The direct link is https://dogbarkpark.wordpress.com. Our blog articles aim to be informative descriptive vignettes of life and goings on at Dog Bark Park with entries made more frequently than this quarterly newsletter. Our past newsletters are also archived on the blog site as well.

Share your Photos

We invite you to share your Dog Bark Park photos with us for posting to our new Customer Photo Gallery, which we’ll feature in every newsletter. They can be images taken during a visit to Dog Bark Park or photos showing one of our wooden creations at its new home. Send photos to frances@dogbarkparkinn.com. Emma the Bassett

Here’s Emma the basset hound posing with our wooden hound at Dog Bark Park. Both appear to be asking Dorothy share the sandwich on her lap. Meanwhile, Dorothy is waving to a friend just beyond camera view. This photo is from Kimberly and Quincy who have been guests at Dog Bark Park, taking the Dutch oven cooking class last year during one of their visits.

Bojangles and Beagle

The real Bojangles meets his wooden beagle twin. This photo is from Nate in Nashville who has several of our wooden canines and is a long-distance Dog Bark Park friend. Perhaps one day he’ll travel to Idaho for us all to meet in person. Imagine Bojangle’s surprise to learn there’s a much larger beagle too!

In the Media & Trip Advisor

Sometimes it feels that a big beagle in Idaho wouldn’t be of interest to the giant media world out there. Amazingly, we’re finding the opposite to be true.

Three days before Christmas we logged onto the Internet via MSN.com and there was a photo of the big beagles announcing Dog Bark Park to be an MSN 2008 Top Travel Story of the Year!

A lengthy article appeared in the December issue of Tourism Review Magazine. In May, look for Dog Bark Park in National Geographic Kids & Country Living magazines. On the international front we’ve been contacted from editors in Cape Town South Africa, Germany, England, Hong Kong, Greece, Poland, Norway & Brazil for articles that will be appearing soon. Amazing that in a few computer keystrokes information is transmitted & then printed or distributed!

For those of you that have stayed at Dog Bark Park we invite you to post a review at the very popular TripAdvisor.com website. It is easy to do. Just log onto www.TripAdvisor.com, find the write a review tab & follow the instructions. Pictures can even be posted should you want to provide a snapshot of your stay. Thanks so much! Your referrals help introduce Dog Bark Park to others.
A recent customer comment: “I was really over the moon when I received my wooden dogs. Thanks so much for the smooth purchase & fast delivery.”…Anne


Although Dog Bark Park Inn B&B doesn’t open for guests until April, reservations for the spring and summer are coming in. We hope you’ll consider a visit, or return visit. Our rates are not changing this year. Idaho has always been known as an affordable destination for travel & we’re doing our part to keep it that way.

A guest’s message: “Thank you again for your great hospitality & making my parents feel truly at home at the Inn. American friendliness, openness & generosity seem to have fallen into oblivion in other parts of the world.”…Isabella, from Germany. 

Did you know Idaho is home to 3200 miles of whitewater, more than any other state in the lower 48? Idaho offers so much to experience including mountains to climb, trails to hike, lakes to fish. Whether it’s outdoor recreation or cultural & urban activities that are of interest, we hope you’ll take a break from it all and come out to play, learn, & visit in Idaho. We’re happy to suggest activities & itineraries; just be in touch.
Dog Bark Park Inn – Bed and Breakfast and World’s Biggest BeagleVisit our website: http://www.dogbarkparkinn.com

Email: frances@dogbarkparkinn.com
For Reservations 208-962-3647

Where being in the dog-house is a GOOD thing!