n the last few years, dying-dog bucket lists become a thing — some even going viral.
When my 150-lb. shelter rescue, Zeus, was diagnosed with cancer this summer and given 1-3 months to live, I dropped my to-do list to tackle his bucket list. At the top? A trip to The Resort at Paws Up in our home state of Montana.
Starting at $650/night per person, the Resort at Paws Up is where the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwyneth Paltrow and the Rolling Stones stay when they’re in Big Sky Country. (It’s where Usher’s entourage approached me and asked if they could take a photo of Usher Jr. standing next to Zeus.)
But the real celebrities at this 37,000-acre resort are the ones with four legs and tails that never stop wagging, even when they’re sick.
The ultimate in paws-pitality
Paws Up, once a cattle ranch owned by Charles Lindbergh’s sons and the place that introduced “glamping” into our vernacular, gets its name from man’s best friend. In fact, the resort’s logo is a paw.
Not only are guests allowed to bring their dogs if they rent any of the 28 luxury vacation homes, but the $50/night resort pet fee includes a dog bed, a kennel, dog treats, dog dishes, a Paws Up collar and even a welcome letter from Coco, the owner’s dog who lives on site.
When I opened the door to our home, Zeus made a beeline for the giant yellow lab guarding the fireplace. After a few unreciprocated sniffs, he realized it was a statue and turned his attention to the tennis ball in his welcome package.
Trails for days — no, weeks
The welcome package also includes a map of hiking trails. Located about 100 miles south of Glacier National Park, Paws Up is nestled between two national forests. Within the property, there are more than 30 miles of marked trails to explore, or in Zeus’s case, territory to mark and chipmunks to chase.
Many of the trails are historically significant. In July 1806, the Corps of Discovery covered this same ground. What’s more, Meriwether Lewis had his beloved Newfoundland, Seaman, by his side. The fact Zeus is half Newfoundland made hiking here seem even more surreal.
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