Bow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippee Yay

Oregon State Parks reconsiders its pet-policy.

March 25, 2011

We here at Portland Monthly are a dog-lovin’ bunch. In fact, as I type this one of our resident office pooches, Hemi, is nosing around my office for a biscuit. (Sorry pal, I am empty-handed today.)

The Muddy Boot is no exception to this furry love-fest. At home right now sleeps a 100-and-something-pound Heinz 57 mutt that the Mrs. and I acquired years ago in Colorado. And while he’s a bit surly for the office these days, I’m always comforted by the fact that, if I wanted to, I could tote him along for a day of fluorescent lights and keyboard clicking fun.

And while our office may have gone to the dogs, one place our crew wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms—Oregon State Parks’s Cabins and yurts. Pet owners know full well what I am talking about. For years our pals haven’t been allowed to so much as sniff the inside of these otherwise family-friendly hangouts. Thus, anytime we sought the confines of these plush woodsy retreats, we were forced to do so without the dog. But that’s all about to change.

Beginning January 1, 2012, pet owners can begin bringing their furry companion animals along with them for stays at selected Oregon State Parks cabins and yurts.

In all you can choose from 13 cabins and 20 yurts located in 21 different state parks. The list of participating parks includes Cape Lookout, Silver Falls, and Valley of the Rogue, among others. (For a complete list of parks click here.)

And this will really set tails a’ waggin’: Pet owners can start making reservations for said cabins and yurts in just a few days—April 1, to be exact. (As Oregon Parks stated in their announcement of the updated policy — No April Fools’.)

The decision isn’t one that’s been made willy-nilly, either. Quite the contrary. The change in policy comes at the conclusion of a two-year pilot program that was launched in May 2009 in which pets were allowed in cabins and yurts at La Pine, Stub Stewart, and South Beach State Parks. (Reservations will remain open for pet-friendly yurts and cabin inside these parks as well.)

It’s not all tummy rubs and catnip, though. Toting along our toothy friends will run an extra 10 bucks a night on top of the regular cabin and yurts prices and park entrance fees.

Still, that’s mere kibble compared to the toll that the painful stare from our pal’s watery eyes exacts on our souls when we tell them that they’re off to the kennel for the weekend as opposed to the beach or the woods with us. (And trust me my dog knows he’s getting the short end of the stick.)

Furthermore, let’s be clear about another detail. This isn’t a Noah’s Ark-style cattle call for all creatures great and small to shack up with campers in the Great Outdoors. As far as the Parks department is concerned “pets” means dogs and cats.

Sorry ferret owners. Your day has yet to come. And pig people, well, I wouldn’t hold your breath either.

Filed under
Show Comments