Meet Jake: Bed and breakfast host dog
Tucked away in the middle of the bustling tourist town of Taos, NM, is the Dreamcatcher Bed and Breakfast. Owned by John and Prudy Abeln, the Dreamcatcher is a place to relax and unwind from the stresses of the outside world while you bask in the dreamy glow of this historic and mystical place. Part of the relaxing appeal of this quiet place is the Dreamcatcher’s main greeter and host, a dog named Jake.
Jake is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise mix. Prudy says they found him on a website and Jake was flown from South Carolina to Albuquerque when he was 13 weeks old.
“We knew from the start he was the perfect B&B greeter dog,” says Prudy.
Jake’s “job” at the Dreamcatcher is to greet guests during check in from 4 to 6 PM each day and to escort them to their rooms on the property, although he is not allowed in the rooms. Jake is hypoallergenic so no guest needs to worry about allergies when around him. He makes rounds in the courtyard every afternoon and he also patrols the parking lot looking for new guests and those returning from a full day of Taos activities.
The Dreamcatcher features two, two-room suites connected to the main house and four others in two detached casitas or cottages. All rooms surround a tranquil courtyard with hammock and sun deck. The rooms also feature in room kivas or fireplaces, robes, satellite TV and wireless internet connection. The main house is where breakfast is served and also serves as a common area with books, coffee, snacks and a sitting area. Breakfast is served daily cooked up by John. Overseeing all of this activity is Jake.
The Abelns became inn owners after 20 years climbing the corporate ladder when the decided they needed a change of pace in their lives. They became, as Purdy says “corporate escapes” and purchased the B&B in 2009. They love their new lives and enjoy living in Taos, where the pace a life is a bit more relaxed.
“We love the multi-cultural aspects of Taos as well as the creative artistic community here,” says Prudy. “Both John and I have gotten very involved in the community through Rotary International and the Presbyterian Church.” Both John and Prudy serve on the New Mexico B&B Association, where John is currently President and Prudy is President of the Taos Association of B&B Inns.
“We have found Taos to be a very welcoming community and we love our many guests from throughout the country and the world,” says Prudy. Guests have included writers, painters, doctors, teachers and military veterans and Jake has happily greeted each and every one. “Everyday is different,” says Prudy, “but for some strange reason, each morning there is a special synergy about [each] particular group.” During my visit, best-selling cook book author Deborah Madison and the Austin, TX, rock band Saints of Valory sat at the breakfast table. How’s that for a diverse grouping? And Jake was there intently listening the whole time and walking around the table to check on each guest.
Jake’s other duties include patrolling the parking area and checking around guests’ vehicles. He also hangs out with guests on the patio and courtyard and escorts guests to the table each morning for breakfast. Prudy says Jake is not allowed to “beg” for snacks at breakfast, but he does want to be a part of the morning conversation and will often sit next to guests or walk under the table. Prudy says he even experience some mild depression when a guests checks out, which is the cause for his long afternoon naps. Happily as soon a new guests check in, Jake is back to his cheerful self.
Guests often grow attached to Jake and send him letters, cards and gifts. When Jake was still a tiny pup, Prudy says a retired fire fighter stayed at the Dreamcatcher. The man was quite tall and his shoes were bigger than Jake. When the guest went to check out, he presented one of his tennis shoes to Jake as a gift, however, Prudy politely refused the gift because she didn’t want Jake to think all shoes were fair game. A short time later a box was sent in the mail addressed to Jake. It was the shoe. Jake was allowed to play and sleep with the shoe and Prudy even took pictures to show the kind guest how much Jake enjoyed his gift. Ever since, Prudy has had a website page just for Jake on the Dreamcatcher’s website so guests could see how he’s doing and send him emails.
The Dreamcatcher is located at 416 La Lomita Road within walking distance of the Taos Plaza. Reservations can be made by calling toll free 888-758-0613 online at the Dreamcatcher website.