Dig Dog Hotel

Where: 521 SE Ninth St. in Bend

Contact: 541-797-0238

For prices and reservations, go to digdoghotel.com

Wagging his tail at table-­clearing speeds and straining his leash at human-dragging levels, Murphy Himstreet’s excitement was building before he entered the lobby at Central Oregon’s first and only luxury dog hotel.

Pushing his way past the glass door, the golden retriever barked with excitement — wait, no, it’s a dog statue he’s mistaken for an actual dog — and began looking around at Dig Dog Hotel’s amenities before being escorted to the doggy play yard to join five other furry visitors.

The 4-year-old golden boy, owned by Kim Himstreet, was getting a sneak peak at the new canine lodging facility in Bend, which opens for business Monday. The luxury dog hotel is one of about two dozen nationwide and offers drop-off and pickup 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The 12,000-square-foot facility has a dog “spaw,” a health room, indoor-outdoor play area and 65 suites, including three penthouses and nine executive rooms.

Owner Robin Tomb said she knew from experience that Dig Dog Hotel would be a great fit for dogs and pet parents in Central Oregon, and she’d noticed there were no other accommodations like it in the area.

“I wanted to bring the amenities offered in big cities,” Tomb said. “I wanted to build a place people would come in and say, ‘Wow, can I stay here?’ ”

Tomb, who created the luxury dog hotel concept in 2004, opened two in Chicago and one in Sunnyvale, California, before selling the locations and concept to Petco. After helping the pet store chain scout 12 locations and open a new dog hotel in Hollywood, California, Tomb said she was ready to bow out. That was seven years ago as of Friday.

“I thought for sure I wasn’t going to do this again,” she said. The 47-year-old changed her mind.

In January 2017, Tomb bought property at Ninth Street and Wilson Avenue in Bend. The building permit was granted in September 2018, and Tomb broke ground in October.

The hotel was built with dogs in mind: concrete nonporous floors that are easy to sanitize and long-lasting; metal plates attached to the lower parts of doors to prevent scratches, low-to-the-floor seating and beds and play areas that can be divided based on dog size, age and temperament.

But Tomb also placed webcams in the penthouse and executive rooms, as well as in the play area, so pet owners can watch their furry friends online. The cams are also available in standard rooms for an extra fee.

It’s important for pet parents to see how their dogs are doing, Tomb said. “You have people’s kids in here,” she said.

Murphy and his human, Kim, are already convinced the new hotel will be popular.

Murphy’s trip to the outdoor play yard Thursday was welcomed by Tomb’s dogs, Colt, Spur and Buck, and a friend’s standard poodles, Bella and Riley. As Murphy entered, the golden boy quickly became the most popular pup in Bend. The other pooches surrounded him, barking their questions, sniffing for answers and guiding him around the grounds to the pools, toys and orange custom-made fire hydrants.

Murphy soon became overheated and ready to rest, so he was escorted inside to one of the hotel’s penthouse rooms. He hopped on the small bed, which was decorated with dog-themed sheets and a fuzzy folded-down blanket. When it was time to continue the tour, Murphy was busy watching an Animal Planet program on the room’s flat-screen TV, though he managed to tear himself away.

Forgoing the dog spa where he could enjoy a nail trim, bubble bath, tooth brushing and deshedding, he went to the large indoor playroom. He trotted to each of the elevated dog beds and plucked a couple of plush toys to swing around before he flopped on the floor to cool his belly.

He tried to use the health facility where a dog treadmill gives pups a lengthy walk, but those exercise machines are not cut out for all canines.

Tomb, who grew up in Oregon and attended Oregon State University, is excited to bring the dog hotel to the region.

“It’s super rewarding,” she said. “But it’s not easy.”

As Murphy exited the building, he noticed a minibar in the lobby and, though the cookies and goat milk looked tempting, he decided he’d forgo the treats for the sake of his waistline.

His review: “Bark, bark…bark… bark, bark — bark,” he said while heavily panting with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.

— Reporter: jlawrence-turner@bendbulletin.com or 541-383-0308

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