The Stories Behind Our Room Names
Why Shakespeare's Retreat? Beloved labs Mario and Shakespeare were the inspiration for The Paw House Inn and it brings us great joy to share their memory with our guests forever. We originally wanted to name the Inn Shakespeare's Retreat, but in the end decided that the name Paw House Inn conveys our message better. So we chose to name the master suite after Shakespeare (pictured right), because he was the true master of the Inn. "Shakes'" devotion to Mitch makes Stanley's devotion look like disdain. Shakespeare had eyes only for Mitch and tennis balls. He was everything a retriever is supposed to be: loyal, smart, faithful, energetic, goofy and sweet!
Bad Dog! and Good Dog!
Well when we dreamed up the names of the rooms we thought that we would be fancy and name rooms "Good Dog and Bad Dog" in exotic languages. But we weren't that smart because we weren't too confident regarding the spelling words like buen perro or bon chien and were concerned that we might butcher the grammar of a foreign language. Then we saw that Steven Huneck had done some artwork of "Good Dog" and "Bad Dog" and we were instantly convinced. The names stuck - and we didn't lose any points for bad grammar, etc.
As a caveat...just to be sure the name Bad Dog certainly DOES NOT reflect its canine tenants - all dogs are good - only the owners are sometimes bad.
When we lived in New Jersey, we used to hike with Mario and Shakespeare each day at Mills Reservation in Montclair. It was here that our goofy labs would chase anything that they could find, especially SQUIRRELS. Since then we have deeply internalized that this was irresponsible - yes -but, without shame, this is the poem Mitch was inspired to write:
The Chase was on!
And who was in first?
Why it was the squirrel
Who was fearing the worst
There were two thugs behind him
Fast on his trail
With terrible breath
And big as a whale
But the squirrel was sly
The squirrel was deft
He'd dart to the right
Then to the left
With no time to spare
He'd scale a big tree
With a smile on his face
He'd claim VICTORY!
When we purchased the inn, the soft pink walls immediately inspired us to think of a Dogwood tree and the name contained the word "dog" - bonus! So we commissioned Jen's very talented cousin to paint a mural (pictured right). Along with the hummingbirds that call this tree home, this Dogwood "grew" on us and everyone who stayed in this pretty space. But after 15 years, it was time for a change and the Dogwood room received a fresh new look. The peaceful green that now welcomes guests is reminiscent of a quiet meadow, where one might stumble upon a graceful dogwood tree.
When we purchased the Inn in 2001 this room became the "spot" where we put EVERYTHING! (Including us!) This room was not available on our grand opening, but was forced into action when we accidentally overbooked the inn for Martin Luther King weekend in 2002. (Jen was hanging the shower curtains while the people checked in!) Since that exciting day, Spot has become one of our most popular rooms.
Bark Avenue Suite
Mitch, Jen, Mario, Shakes, Brooklyn, and our oldest human son Drew called this room home until Drew cried too loud at night, woke up everybody, stressed out his parents, and forced us to move next door! Upon vacating, we held a contest to name the room and lo and behold Bark Avenue tickled our New York (ie. flatlander roots) enough to win the grand prize.
Mario was arguably the coolest dog ever, but he had one bad habit. He was a barker. When left to his own devices, he would bark himself horse. This habit of his presented a problem when we traveled with him - we could never leave him in a guest room, even if he was crated. Alas, this problem was really an opportunity and the idea for Mario's Hangout was born. Plus, Mario's is a place where dogs chill while their people are doing things without them. And there was never a dog more chill than Mario D. Dogg!