For first time visiting dogs, there is a $100+tax refundable pet deposit per cabin, which is returned to your people by check within 10 days following your visit if you have been a good dog (that is, you haven’t had an accident in the house or chewed anything you weren’t supposed to), and there is no other damage to your cabin. In the event of damage, the office will call your people within 48 hours to let them know that someone was not on their best behavior and the cost will be deducted from the deposit or charged. If there has been no damage during your first stay, there is no refundable deposit on subsequent visits unless you have a new dog in your family. If you are a regular visitor (three or more visits with no damage), there is no deposit charged for a new dog.
However, regardless of whether a deposit has been applied or not, your people are still responsible for any damage to or in the cabin by four and two- legged guests.
Is there a limit to how many dogs can stay in a cabin?
Yes. However, we do deal with multiple dogs on a case by case basis. Two dogs per cabin are included in the price of the cabin rental, with a $25 extra dog fee for each additional dog.
Our ”rule of paw “ is that you can have up to one dog per hand. If there are more than two dogs, our main concern is consideration of other guests and their dogs regarding pack barking and pack behavior. We also consider the wear and tear on a cabin’s yard when allowing multiple dogs in a cabin. Sometimes it may be necessary to book a cabin with a larger yard if multiple dogs will be using it, so Management reserves the right to redirect in that situation.
What shots do you require dogs to have?
One of the things that makes Barkwells such a haven is that we do our best to ensure every dog is safe for other dogs and people to play with. We know that dogs have different health circumstances, just like people. The receipt from your last V-E-T visit usually states what shots you received and when they are next due. That document is sufficient for us. We do accept titers; or, if you have particular health issues, a note from the vet stating that you are safe to be around other dogs and vice versa.
Oh – and because we’re not getting boarded, but instead get to hang out with our people in our own cabins, you don’t need a Bordetella shot like you would for a kennel.
Is there a vet close by for emergencies?
VET?! Did someone say vet?! Just the thought of it has got me panting! But look, I understand humans are somewhat forward thinking. So in the unfortunate case that you do need a V-E-T, we’ve got a couple just a short car ride away. Dr. Sarah Brown at HealthCare for Pets is close by and really friendly and will take care of your needs during office hours. REACH Emergency Vet is open after office hours and Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital , open 24/7, are two fine facilities, both within 15 minutes of Barkwells. Your cabin notebook contains more detailed information.
Does it snow and if so, when?
That’s the cold, white stuff that’s fun to race around and roll in, right? That stuff falls occasionally between Halloween and Easter. I think it usually happens on a Tuesday, but my days kind of run together. My people are not so great at predicting it weeks and months out, which is why we have the weather posted on the home page. Lots of cabins are available in the winter, so if it looks like it is going to snow, give us a call (my people will answer. I try to help but I’m still having trouble navigating a smart phone without thumbs. So I mostly stick to the welcome wagon). They will say “come on” or “it’s over a foot – we wouldn’t advise traveling.” Even if it’s not snowing at Barkwells, you can still get to snow from here. Check out Catalootchee and Wolf Ridge ski areas – they usually have winter snow even if we don’t and you can get detailed weather information on their websites.
How high is the fence? Can dogs get out if they want to?
The perimeter fence is 5-6 feet high. On the grounds around the pond it is a double-wire fence with lots of plants growing on it so you can hardly see a fence there. By Barkwells Lane the fencing is all chain link. The staff do regular checks of the fence just to make sure no one is digging in or out (party poopers!). As far as most of the other dogs and I are concerned, there is too much fun inside the fence to think about trying to get outside of it. But just to be super sure, we ALWAYS remind our guests that “Dogs must be supervised when on the grounds” and “Keep all gates closed at all times”. Otherwise we could come and go visiting all the other dogs and scoping out treats in the other cabins and even scoot out the gate while a car is going through – again, party poopers!
Don’t forget there is a gate outside the front door at Bo’s Hideaway, too. It leads to the world, so your people will want to remember to keep that one closed, too.
Can dogs swim in the pond?
YES! YES! YES! Especially if there’s a ball in the pond – that’s the best time to swim. And we even let people swim in the pond, but they should stay out of our way…especially if there’s a ball in the pond. And definitely, NO DIVING! There is even a paddleboat (people life vests are on the barn porch). It is easy to walk in and out at the beach if you are the timid type (but I prefer to take a flying leap off the banks). The pond is tested every year for cleanliness and has fish for catch and release, as long as you make sure no hooks are left behind where we can get into them. Hooks in my paws? No thank you!
The one thing that is weird is that in the winter the pond water gets hard and sometimes the ball rolls out onto the pond without splashing. Then I get yelled at not to follow it into the pond, which is hard to do, but my people say it’s very important!!
Where do dogs do their business?
When nature calls, we must answer, right? That’s why there are DOGIPOT waste bags at every cabin so your people can pick up after you. The used bags can go in the trash can at your cabin or in one of the two DOGIPOT receptacles on either side of the pond. There are also bags at the DOGIPOT stations in case your people forgot to bring one with them. With 9 acres to cover and so many of us romping around out here, it is important to keep an eye on where and when to clean up – nobody wants to step in our mess. You can go where you need to, but please not in the gardens. We want our flowers and vegetables to grow and thrive without being trampled by two or four feet.
Are there cats at Barkwells?
We do our best to make sure that everybody gets along and has fun here, but cats just complicate things (don’t ya know?) Plus, we have staff who are terribly allergic, so no, your kitty cannot come and play with the pups here. In fact, if a cat comes in, a deep clean for cat dander must be done and that would cost your people $200, so staff will be happy to help you find alternate accommodations for the felines in your family.
Are there bears nearby?
Well, none inside the fence that I have ever seen. : ) Instead, we have to keep busy chasing the occasional bunnies and keeping those pesky squirrels away from the bird feeders.
Can we feed the goats and chickens?
Feed, yes. Eat, no. The goats and chix are boring vegetarians (not meat lovers like us) and love cut up fruits and veggies, as long as you don’t feed them onions or pumpkin rinds or bread or things that make them bloaty. There is a list of foods they like on a sign on the fence at their pen, but if you have any questions, just ask at the office. (They usually are fed organic feed, so they prefer organic produce, too, to produce their delicious organic eggs.)
Are the eggs available?
Yep, as long as the girls are in the mood, their eggs are available at the office. Proceeds from any donations are provided to Brother Wolf (that’s where I came from !) and the Asheville Humane Society, so it works out for everyone!
What are the big bird houses on poles with fences around them?
Every year, Purple Martins migrate from South America all the way up the east coast, east of the Mississippi. They like to be out in the open near water and are instrumental in containing the bug population. They are not afraid of people or dogs and may swoop close when babies are in the nest, but they won’t attack. The fence is to give the fledglings a chance to survive (so the dogs won’t get them ) until they can fly off. They appear in March and stay till August and it is great to encourage them and enjoy their flying antics.
What kind of birds are in the small birdhouses?
Hopefully those are bluebirds. If you see a starling in there it is ok to bark and scare them off, but don’t eat any babies as they come out of nests!
What about bees?
During the summer there are peaches, pears, apples and cherries in the trees near Snickers’s cabin. When they fall on the ground, bees like to get in them. Don’t step on those or try to eat them. They are honeybees and we encourage their activity here. You can have the fruit if you get it before the bees do. Otherwise the goats and chickens also love the fruit!
Yellow jackets are also around in the summer sometimes. They nest in the ground and are hard to see, but if you step in a nest or get near them, you’ll know it! Please call the office if you come across a nest.
There are mason bee nests on the side of the red well pump house near the pond. These are harmless and beneficial bees.
Being as we are in the country in a healthy environment, snakes do live in the area. In this region, we mostly have black snakes and some Carolina water snakes. Both are beneficial, but if you see one and don’t like snakes or are unsure what kind of snake it is, call the office and staff will remove it.