Many of the Westminster Dog Show participants temporarily reside at the historical Hotel Pennsylvania during the show.  The travel, the primping, and the tension of competing prove to be exhausting for the canines and their humans. Jerry Grymek, Doggie Concierge (wearing a Corgi tie and his Doggie Concierge nameplate), told FIDO Friendly that his job is to hand out delicious Fat Murray cookies and cater to every need of the pooches participating in the show. He arranges “pawtograph” requests, handles the “puparazzi,” and generally keeps the canines and their people happy. Some of the more interesting requests he’s satisfied were finding an opera singer to serenade a dog (while he wore a tuxedo and top hat for the performance) and a red carpet roll out for the arrival of another pooch. Hotel Pennsylvania was named Pet Friendly Hotel of the Year by the Pet Fashion Show organizers who held their event at the hotel on the Friday before the Dog Show. Other Fido-related events are hosted at the hotel, including the Dog Writer Association of America’s banquet.

The midtown hotel located across from Madison Square Garden has been operating since 1919. They welcome dogs of all sizes. You might see a toy breed in someone’s arms or a large Mastiff could stroll through the cheerful, elegant lobby filled with mirror panels, flowers, comfortable bench seating, and a gleaming floor.

During the Westminster show 600-800 dogs stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania. A doggy spa is set up a floor below the lobby. Some of the things available to the pups are a groomer; a “relief” area; an agility arena; Ball Dynamics, which offers different shaped balls to increase body core strength and body awareness in the dogs; and a masseuse.

The Agility course was popular with the doggies that needed to get a work out to decompress in between showings. Debbie Hetzel who managed the area said that most dogs will happily and quickly learn the course with a yummy treat strategically placed in front of their snout (especially if the dog hasn’t eaten in the last hour or two). Affordable Agility offers teeters (like a see-saw), a tunnel, a “Mini A” frame, and bar jumps for your doggy playground. Any size canine enjoys the mental and physical stimulation.


Many of the pooches visited the treadmill and Ball Dynamics area where they utilized stability balls for strength building. Catherine Rios explained that the peanut shaped balls create Puppy Buns of Steel; Paw Pods build leg muscles for standing in the ring; and a giant, flat ball disc for doggies works their bodies and minds. People can purchase this equipment for their pets to do doga, puppilates, et cetera at home. If you want to do some strength training with your dog see

After the work outs, the dogs visited Diane Cohen of Paws to Relax for massages. She massaged the pups AND their humans! Providing double relief helped them team up for their performance in the ring. She mentioned that one Corgi had a difficult airplane flight and his human reported sleeping “like a log” after the massage. She said her animal clients all “relax, yawn, and then fall down.” Her Facebook page describes her services. She’s based in New York City.

Now you know all about the secret Hotel Pennsylvania Doggie Spa. If you’re so inclined, you can set up your own Doggie Spa gym for your fur baby at home. Don’t forget that Fido likes vacations as well as working out so go to Hotel Pennsylvania if you’re ready for a New York City getaway.

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