Idaho landmark Dog Bark Park Inn goes from small town to Netflix, Ellen and MTV Cribs


    (Photo, KLEW)

    Driving past this bead and breakfast may give you pause.

    "Why is that big dog sitting out there in the middle of nowhere, Idaho?" co-founder Frances Conklin said, repeating a common question.

    The Dog Bark Park Inn is tucked away in little Cottonwood, Idaho. But that hasn't stopped it from fetching international fame.

    "We got a mention on the Ellen DeGeneres show," says Conklin. "For 30 seconds the big dog was dwarfing Ellen in her chair!"

    For 22 years, the husband and wife duo of Dennis Sullivan and Conklin have run Dog Bark Park, where Sullivan sells his chainsaw carvings of man's best friend.

    "I was always interested and am still interested in the connection that we have with our dog," he says.

    Then he decided to go bigger. In 2003, Sullivan built "Sweet Willy," a giant beagle that houses a fully furnished suit. They’re first guest was award-winning journalist Peter Guttman, who knew Sweet Willy would be top dog.

    "He turned to me and said 'Just wait and see what's going to happen,'" Sullivan says.

    Not long after, a story from the Associated Press put them on the path to B&B stardom.

    "It was the beginning of an astounding, glorious run," says Sullivan.

    The couple says they have hosted guest from across the globe, including India, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Greece.

    Sullivan and Conklin say Dog Bark Park been featured in National Geographic Kids, Netflix's World's Weirdest homes, the Washington Post and even MTV's Cribs.

    "We're glad we were never on the Oprah show because that would've overwhelmed us," says Conklin.

    Sullivan and Conklin say it's a life that can't be beat.

    "Often people come here of course because of the love of dogs so we have something quite in common," Sullivan says. "And then to stay in a dog extends that even more."

    Sullivan and Conklin say they get booked up well in advance but added there are often a few days they can find open. They'd love for you to drop by to sit...and stay.

    "It's just what I would chose to always do," Sullivan says.

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