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.


Winter Activities at Dog Bark Park, a blog by Frances Conklin

Dennis & I are often asked what occupies our time at Dog Bark Park during the winter when our bed & breakfast inn is closed from November through March.

Hibernating beagles

Hibernating beagles

While the big dog is in hibernation & traffic is light out on the highway during winter, as much as we might wish to join the big dog for a long sleep, we instead focus on activities that can only be accomplished during this slower season.

During November, December & into January we’re kept busy in the carving studio making dog sculptures ordered as special holiday gifts. By the end of the holidays we’re typically depleted of inventory for our gift shop.

Dennis, Frances and Sprocket

In the studio, photo by David C.

After a short break in January, we take up the saws & paintbrushes again to begin rebuilding inventory of dog carvings in preparation for the busy summer season ahead.

Creating a dog carving

Creating a dog carving

Last week we increased our supply of carvings from 24 pieces on the shelves in our gift shop to 64 pieces completed & ready for sale.

Dog carvings on shelves

Dog carvings on shelves

We didn’t make such rapid progress this week preparing & packing some wholesale orders for shipping & doing other tasks in and away from the studio instead.
However, by the time April arrives we should have nearly 200 pieces  stocked for shipping to customers or selling directly from the shelves.

After the holidays, while our bodies continue resting from the long days of activity during the previous months, we  kick our mental energies into high gear creating new ideas for our art, business marketing & such. This is when we develop new postcard & other product designs, clean up the shop & store, order in new supplies for the inn, establish goals & objectives for the new year and the like.

We also allow ourselves more flexible work hours at the studio; sometimes not opening when the weather is too inclement.

Winter at Dog Bark Park, photo by Wild Web West

Winter at Dog Bark Park, photo by Wild Web West

We enjoy a bit more time at home reading, watching television & spending creative time in the kitchen & on the computer; all leisure luxuries mostly unavailable to us during our vibrant high season.

By mid-March we eagerly await the return of  spring’s beauty &  the opportunity to welcome visitors & guests to our wonderful part of Idaho.

Behind the scenes at Dog Bark Park

Running a small mom & pop business means that Mom and Pop are always taking care of much more then tending the shop.  They usually do everything needed to keep the business in operation from maintenance, to marketing, to shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, office work to banking to landscaping; the list goes on and on. 

At Dog Bark Park we (thats Mom & Pop!) enjoy applying our creativity wherever we can to the more rudimentary necessities of our business.  We try to put our personal touch on nearly everything.  That includes outdoor signage and decorations that need refurbishing or replacing from time to time. 

Dog Bark Park Storefront

We’re in the process right now of replacing 3 yellow storefront flags that Frances designs & then stitches on her workhorse Pfaff sewing machine.  Two larger flags flank both sides of the entryway to the parking lot which also need to be replaced this year.  One will be of green nylon & the other yellow fabric this year.  Lacking a table large enough to cut the fabric we make do by rolling 100 inches of fabric out on the living room rug to measure & cut it to size.  Then the flag pieces are taken to the kitchen table which becomes the sewing table.

Sewing a large yellow flag for Dog Bark Park entrance

We’ll be ready for the spring/summer busy season with bright new flags greeting everyone!

Also during the slower winter months we often get to let our creative pulses run free…maybe its called tinkering!  Using scrap pieces of lumber & plywood, voila, a funky yet comfortable map chair naming memorable locations of our lives.

Scrap wood becomes Map Chair

From NYC

   to Rome
      to Northampton
         to Fargo
            to Two Dot
            anyone know where that is?
to Cottonwood, Idaho and……..
the list goes on!

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!

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!

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.

Who comes to see the World’s Biggest Beagle?

That is a question often asked of us during media interviews or by drop-in visitors to Dog Bark Park.  Our reply is usually short but true, “The world, & people just like you.” 

Guest dog Miffy the beagle from Chicago


Today our visitors included two gents from Scotland on a whirlwind drive across America, a car full of young folks from Pocatello, a couple from California, a truck driver & his wife on vacation from Nampa, a guy from Nevada returning home after attending a Univ. of Idaho Vandals football game (UofI won!), a geocacher, and pug owners from California.  Some came because seeing the World’s Two Biggest Beagles was on their agenda; others were drive-by drop-ins.  
Miffy came from Chicago recently with his human parents, Nisha & Sascha, who have been teaching in America for about five years.  After reading an article about Dog Bark Park in the Chicago Tribune they planned a vacation to Idaho to include a two-night stay in the big beagle.  Miffy and Sprocket, our resident golden retriever and ambassador-in-training at Dog Bark Park, enjoyed some spirited play together.

Guests Vikram & his parents from India w/Dennis

Our first guests from India also visited recently.  Vikram & his parents were travelling around western US & he went to great lengths for the visit to Dog Bark Park to be a total surprise for his folks.  Dennis & I enjoy helping to plan surprise or special occassion visits for our guests.
Recently an Austrian magazine published an article about architectural wonders around the world. Included was a photo of Dog Bark Park sandwiched between images of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower & the Roman Coliseum.  Never would we have imagined to be in such esteemed company! 

More about Alex and Luke’s Visit

Alex and Luke, an energetic couple with a car & computer, are travelling across North America to visit every state, province & territory.  Their itinerary is guided by the suggestions received from followers of Alex and Luke social media exchanges.

Alex and Luke adding Idaho to their map of states visited

It was suggested that Alex and Luke visit Dog Bark Park while in Idaho last week. 

Every Monday evening the couple upload a video reporting of their experiences for the week.  Today’s was Episode 19 which includes Idaho.
And a few days ago they issued an original song with a short video clip of Idaho’s World’s Biggest Beagle.

Rhubarb Season & Rhubarb Recipes

It’s rhubarb season in Idaho!  And that means next year this time we’ll be cutting our first harvest from a new planting of rhubarb that grows near the front paws of the big beagle.  

Rhubarb grows below the big dog's front feet

Rhubarb is rather like zucchini – people seem to either really like it or they stay far away from these foods.  I happen to be fans of both.  Spring just doesn’t seem right without having fresh rhubarb sauce.  And summer could not exist without regular servings of sauteed baby zucchini for dinner.

Rhubarb Brown Sugar Muffins

Since Rhubarb Brown Sugar Muffins are a breakfast specialty I bake for our bed & breakfast guests, I raid neighbor’s rhubarb patches to gather in enough of the tangy fruit for a whole year’s supply.  Nothing goes to waste as all those big floppy rhubarb leaves make great green additions to our compost pile.  A quick wash of the stalks and then Dennis joins me in the kitchen as we chop & package the tart fruit for freezing.   Another evening or two later I have pies baked and delivered to my rhubard neighbors as thank you gifts.  It’s a spring ritual I would not wish to miss.

Basic Rhubarb Sauce

This is the sauce for rhubarb purists! 

4 cups washed & chopped rhubarb

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

2/3 – 1 cup sugar

pinch salt

Place all in a medium saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat & simmer for about 10 minutes until rhubarb is soft, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm or cold.  Good plain, over ice cream, with cereal and milk, or drizzle over pork or chicken cutlets during final minutes of cooking.

Rhubarb/Strawberry Sauce

This is a more elegant version with a milder rhubarb flavor.

4 cups washed & chopped rhubarb

1 cup washed & chopped strawberries

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

1 to 2 cups sugar

pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 or 2 drops red food coloring.

Cook exactly the same as Basic Rhubarb Sauce recipe.  Let cool and enjoy!

Life couldn’t be better if there’s some rhubarb in it!!

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.