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Owners of Beagle Air B&B Wraps up 20th Year of Service

Between the rolling farm fields of North Idaho, the world’s biggest beagle, with floppy ears and doe eyes, greets travelers along Highway 95.

For two decades or almost a hundred dog years, Willy the beagle and his sidekick, Toby, have stayed on this property, creating a bucket list experience for people worldwide.

“After all these years, we’re amazed that the interest hasn’t subsided; in fact, it’s only growing. It’s humbling that an idea and creation we dreamed of people find interesting. It’s a huge honor,” said Frances Conklin.

Frances and her husband, Dennis Sullivan, own and operate the Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood, ID. The park includes an art gallery and a 30-foot-tall beagle bed and breakfast. The idea to build a beagle bed and breakfast started when the couple wanted to attract more people to their art gallery.

Dennis is a self-taught chainsaw artist specializing in wood-carved beagles.

“The beagle was the first breed that he carved, and over time it’s our best-selling piece,” said Frances.

To attract more customers, they first built Toby, a 12-foot-tall beagle. And it worked. So, they dreamed bigger. Over three years, the couple designed and made Willy and started welcoming guests. Until last year, their beloved gold retrievers would also greet new company with a wag of the tail.

“We actually never owned a beagle. We’ve always had golden retrievers. They love people,” said Frances.

The bed and breakfast sleeps up to four people – two beds in the head of the dog, with the main bedroom in the belly.

“The bathroom is located under the tail of the dog. So, it seemed to make sense,” laughed Frances.

The couple welcomes guests from all over the world, and people will often wait years to get a reservation. This year, the season booked up in just a few hours. When guests arrive, they’re greeted with freshly baked beagle-shaped butter cookies on their pillows and homemade granola in the kitchenette.

“People’s reactions are often they can’t believe they are here, and it’s better than they thought it would be,” said Frances.

Frances and her husband are wrapping up their twentieth season of the beagle bed and breakfast. They never get tired of meeting new people and helping them cross off a bucket list experience worth barking about.

“It’s all about the people you meet. They come from afar, and we can travel vicariously through them when they visit,” said Frances.

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