By Robyn Larson McCarthy
Pet fees at upscale inns and hotels can be hefty--so when an award-winning resort offers to waive such charges, it's time to prick up your ears! The two-night Man's Best Friend package at the Wildcatter Ranch & Resort includes a waiver of the property's $50 nightly pet charge, plus a welcome snack and donation of 10 percent of your purchase to the SPCA of Texas. And, no doubt, a few wags from unofficial mascot Major, pictured at right.
Located on 1,500 acres in the North Texas Hill Country, Wildcatter Ranch is about 90 minutes northwest of Fort Worth near Graham, Texas. Southern Living named the resort one of "10 Top Texas Retreats" in 2007.
Outdoor activities include horseback riding, wagon rides, canoeing, fishing, archery, hiking, bike trails, skeet shooting, and pasture golf. An infinity-edge pool overlooks panoramic views of the surrounding country.
The resort management says well-behaved dogs are welcome to join their owners for almost all the fun--the skeet shooting range and horseback riding being obvious exceptions. Nor is Fido allowed to swim a few laps, but he can certainly sit with you poolside as you soak up the sun.
And talk about a tasty doggy bag. The dog-friendly package includes 10 percent off dinner for four at the Wildcatter Steakhouse. Your four-legged family member won't mind being secured in his crate and left to watch Animal Planet while you dine... provided a chunk of hand-cut steak or a few ribs make their way back to your room.
"With our abundance of wide open spaces and close proximity to the Brazos River, the ranch is the perfect place to bring your pet for enjoyable family fun," says owner Anne Skipper, who has incorporated the area's rich pioneer history throughout the property with photos and commentary.