The instant I saw it, I knew we had hit the mother lode.
It’s called the Dog Bark Inn – it’s a bed and breakfast just off the highway in Cottonwood, Idaho, shaped like a huge dog. Think Trojan Horse with floppy ears.
I almost teared up looking at the beast. “This is … perfect.”
It was gaudy to the point of beauty. A giant beagle, and you get to sleep in it! I could only hope that the inside was as over-the-top as the outside.
There were dog welcome mats, books about dogs, dog games, dog pillows, and a dog headboard.
There is even a dog blessing in the bathroom (located, appropriately, near the tail).
The surrounding grounds were littered with all sorts of carved objects (the owners are chainsaw wood carvers). There were dogs (of course), a big wooden coffee pot, a statue of a guy sitting at a picnic table, a fish, a car, a giant fire hydrant, and lots of other stuff.
We were in heartland nirvana. It was American Gothic with paws. American Dogthic. “If only there were a way to share this moment with friends and people I don’t even know,” I mused.
My wife said it first: “This is Facebook gold.”
Of course. Facebook. Although I am a novice at the website, I have seen enough to know that pictures of the “out of the ordinary” are right at home there. Now, lots of people will see our pictures whether they want to or not.
Satisfied, we settled in to watch fireworks from the dog’s balcony as the sun settled over the prairie. After a couple of beers I began to wonder how our real dog was taking it all – it must have seemed surreal to him. I wondered if he was intimidated by the big canines. It wasn’t until we got home and looked at our photos that I got my answer. Here is a picture of Elway in front of the big beagles.
Look closely and you’ll see that he is marking his territory – in full view of the giants.
So it really WAS perfect, for all of us. We left the Dog Bark Inn knowing that we had been a part of something special, and found ourselves inspired to explore more hidden treasures of this great land: The Big Cow of Middlebush, New Jersey; the world’s largest nutcracker in Lyme, Connecticut; the Shoe Tree in Beaver, Arkansas.
But all that can wait because for now I want to enjoy the memories of the Dog Bark Inn. And besides, I have some gold to deliver.