Holy cow! Is that a giant dog?! Why, yes! Yes it is!
Welcome to Cottonwood, Idaho, home of the world’s biggest beagles, Sweet Willy and Toby (Willy’s 12-foot tall companion). The roadside attraction, also known as the Dog Bark Park Inn, is a reminder of the days when road trips were common and families would drive long miles to experience the oddity of giant cows, tiny churches, huge coffee pots, and larger than life Messiahs. These tourist traps are still all over the country, but with affordable airline fares and gas prices shooting up, they go unnoticed by the vast majority of the American population… until an e-mail featuring a giant dog shows up in Deborah Howard’s inbox.
For the average Joe, the roadside attraction might just be that, a huge canine carved by out-of-the-ordinary chainsaw artists Frances and Dennis, but this “little” treasure goes beyond the picture frame: you can stay inside it! The creative owners caught their big break in 1995 when their folk-style wood work started selling on QVC. After months of carving and hard work, they invested their earnings and created the one-of-a-kind building in 1997. The mom and pop operation still stands tall today and provides visitors a hearty breakfast which includes the owners’ secret recipe for “The Prairie’s Best Fruited Granola,” handmade wood furnishings (including a dog-themed bed), a loft in the beagle’s head (for extra sleeping space, of course), and and an alcove in the muzzle (perfect for a bit or reading and imaginary sniffing) all for around $92 a night. Responsible dogs and cats can join the fun with their well-behaved humans for an extra $10.
Let’s face it: two giant beagles on the side of the road can only mean two things: take a break because you’re hallucinating or stay the night so you can finally say: “Yeah, I stayed inside a giant dog with Fifi!” If a comfortable canine isn’t enough to tickle your curiosity (uh, why wouldn’t it?), you can always check out the Hells Canyon Jet Boat Tours, go white water rafting, or enjoy a movie at an old-school drive-in. Oh! And don’t forget to step in the gift shop! There’s not much you can do with a gigantic Fido in the backyard, but a smaller wood carving for a quaint, country accent isn’t such a bad idea. The Idaho couple can create over 60 different breeds and they accept special requests from dog lovers nationwide.
For more information on amenities and prices, check out the website, call, or send an e-mail:
Plan in advance- the inn is a one unit facility operated by two people, meaning: you get the whole barking house for yourself!
P.S. If you thought Sweet Willy and Toby were weird, check this out:
France has a Hamster Villa…
Pictures taken from the Dog Bark Park Inn website.