Good as Gold

Ruffing It

What: A bed-and-breakfast inn for dogs and their owners
Who: Mitch Frankenberg and Jennifer Fredreck of The Paw House Inn
Where: West Rutland, Vermont
When: Started in 2001

Dogs should go on vacation, too. That brilliant idea served as inspiration for Mitch Frankenberg and Jennifer Fredreck, dog owners and former New Yorkers who moved to Vermont in search of a change.

These two pet owners know just how difficult it is to go on a vacation when you have a dog. Most vacation destinations either charge extra for what amounts to a basic kennel stay--hardly a fun time for any dog--or don't allow dogs to stay at all. "We had a hard time going out to dinner, a hard time shopping," says Frankenberg, 36. "We recognized the need."

So when the husband-and-wife team sold their house in New York City, they decided to buy a bed-and-breakfast in Vermont-and tailor it specifically to dog owners. For starters, all the rooms are pet-friendly. (Hardwood floors and washable duvets instead of traditional comforters are just a few of the amenities.)

But what really sets The Paw House Inn apart from other vacation spots is Mario's Playhouse--a special inn just for the dogs, where they can stay overnight, mingle and play with each other. The area is designed to keep the dogs not only safe, but happy as well. Background music even plays to soothe the dogs.

Dog owners who've come to The Paw House Inn are giving rave reviews, according to the couple. "They feel like they can relax when they're on vacation," says Frankenberg.

Fredreck, 32, concurs: "When they come, they don't expect it to be as nice as it is. During breakfast, the owners talk about their dogs. It's so funny--everyone has something in common."

They have been so successful, the couple is now looking to add another location, which they hope will double their nearly $250,000 in yearly sales.

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This article was originally published in the October 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Good as Gold.

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