Wine & Bitch Weekend Event at Paws Up Resort
37,000 acres of playground for you and your pup.
Montana is different. I knew there had to be a reason why the slogan “The Last Best Place” accompanied any discussion of Montana, but only when you visit this special state does the meaning truly take hold. Paws Up Resort in Greenough, MT, held its fi rst annual Wine & Bitch event that attracted an eclectic group of mutts and mutt lovers. There are few vacations where Fido feels as welcome as you do.
Paws Up Resort is such a place. Even the name of the resort resembles owners Dave and Nadine Lipson’s love for animals and genuine family-like hospitality. The name Paws Up originated several years back when the Lipsons would visit a ranch that had two dogs that would always great them with two paws up. The welcoming gesture stayed with the Lipsons and the name expresses the nature of this resort.
Greenough is about 45 minutes away from the Missoula International Airport. If you’re fl ying into Montana, a bellman from the resort will meet you upon arrival and provide your pack with transportation to the resort. There are more than 30 homes to choose from, and all vary in size and location. With 37,000 acres, you have options! All homes are uniquely styled with Nadine Lipson’s own touch and offer plush elegance in a country setting. Guests are provided with their own electric golf cart to travel around the property on special cart paths that light up at dusk.
You sure are not limited in accommodation options. If you’d like a more rugged elegance, plan to visit the resort during the warmer months where tents and romantic furniture create a never-before-had experience. Tent city gets you closer to nature, while still in a king-size bed! The owners and staff at Paws Up Resort are innovative, and will try to accommodate most guests’ requests. (Sorry, currently no pups allowed in pup tents.)
The first night of the Wine & Bitch weekend started with all guests and their dogs invited to a cocktail reception where canine and human alike mingled in the Lewis & Clark Reception Barn. One of the famous guests at the resort during the weekend event was Kevin Salem, “the dog prodigy.” He offered priceless training advice in an upbeat manner to dog guardians throughout the weekend.
After everyone got acquainted the staff took each dog out for doggie daycare while the pet parents adjourned to the Pomp Restaurant for a delicious evening of food and wine. Mutt Lynch Winery co-sponsored this fi rst annual Wine & Bitch weekend with select wine pairings for each dish of a gourmet meal. Doggie bags were given at the end of the meal to take home to a played-out Fido.
There are many activities offered at the resort you can enjoy with Fido. Hiking is top on the list, and Paws Up Resort has an outdoor activities center that those in the know call “WO,” which stands for Wilderness Outpost. At the WO you can reserve your spot on a doggie geocache hike, where a guide leads a scenic hike, hands you a couple of GPS units and lets you and Fido fi nd some of the hidden treasures on the trail. Dogs on voice command can wander ahead as Tasha did. She was the leader of our pack and would come back, search through the crowd until she found me and then she’d bound ahead to clear the path for all. After a long hike, you may want to head to Spa Town where both you and your pup can get the royal massage treatment.
The second night of the Wine & Bitch weekend offered a unique experience for pets and pet parents. All guests were shuttled to the immaculate Saddle Club, an equestrian center, where wine and hors d’oeuvres were served while agility and training demonstrations were performed in the rodeo ring. Owners displayed a quality of confi dence in what some may consider a recipe for chaos: dogs off leash, food, wine and ringside entertainment. Instead, all dog guardians slipped into a casual role of knowing where to keep food out of Fido’s reach, and with all guests eyeing the same vision of party elegance, all canines followed suit and took their guardians’ lead of creating a calm atmosphere. This was the pinnacle of the weekend; I stood back as a proud parent and watched Tasha “work” the room, going from one person to the next canine and back to me to check in. I don’t use the word cute too often, but that was the cutest thing I have seen her do.
After we all had our individual pictures taken with our pups on hay bales we sat down in the Tack Room to an elegant doggie-themed buffet style dinner prepared by the resort’s chef. The food was delicious and with Tasha and other dogs at my feet I felt this was the life. I cannot say enough about the food prepared by the resort chef throughout the weekend. The wine pairings were perfect and each dish offered a surprise to the senses.
My only disappointment about the weekend was leaving. We could have used a few extra days at a resort that truly welcomes Fido. Some of the wonderful people I met on the vacation are throwing a post-Wine & Bitch get together, so the party continues. Sounds like Paws Up Resort made an impact!