{Thursday’s Thoughts} Our Trip to Pocatello Idaho

No offense, but when my husband said that he was sending our dog to Pocatello Idaho to train for bird hunting, the first thing I thought was it was the perfect place to send her.

It’s the armpit of Idaho, right?

I got this image of Pocatello from a quick overnight visit there fifteen years ago and from others candid description of the city:

“If you blink, you miss it, and frankly you’re not missing much.”

“Pocatello? It’s one of those cities you stay in for the night and leave as quickly as you can the next morning.”

“I got drunk there one night, woke up and realized why I got drunk in the first place.”


“I’ve heard of it. I had a relative that lived there once, but not for very long.”

Appearances are not always what they seem. This is the Pocatello, Idaho I was greeted by fifteen years later:

pocatello, idaho


It’s scenic, has all of my major must have stores, and is home to a zoo, university, and plenty of activities. Did I mention that the Museum of Clean is there too? We’re talking 75,000 square feet of clean fun!

While we were there, we had a great time. You can go hang out in the city and enjoy shopping or swimming at the huge aquatic center or visit the zoo and then head out on the lake, go bird hunting enjoy some fishing, take your bike out on a trail go hiking in a matter of minutes. It’s the best of both worlds in Pocatello.

While we were there, we stayed at the Clarion Hotel. My first impression was so positive. We opted for the two room suite and brought along our puppy to introduce her to our other dog before the long car ride home.

We’ve stayed in plenty of “pet friendly” hotels, and please trust me when I say our dog was in dog heaven! There were over two acres of grassy area for our little puppy to chase us around on. There were also horse shoes for the kids to play, BBQ pits, and a large covered outdoor eating area.

clarion hotel pocatello idaho

The fun didn’t stop there. Inside was a huge indoor swimming pool with a waterfall and deep end. There were also arcade games to play, a foosball table, ping pong table and pool table. Our kids were entertained for hours here!

clarion hotel pocatello idaho

Our hotel was a two room suite with a king sized bed in our room, and a refrigerator, microwave and pull out sofa bed for the kids in their room. We even had two bathrooms with full sized tubs–nice for showering and getting out to our trainer in the morning. Our little puppy chose to curl herself up on an ottoman and she slept peacefully the entire night.  clarion hotel pocatello idaho

The “pet friendly” rooms were convienently located right next to the grassy area, making it easy to run puppy out first thing in the morning. Dining, gas and activities were located close by. The prices were so reasonable for what we got and the service was great.

We even took our puppy for several walks so the kids could get ice cream. She loved the drippings the two year old left on the sidewalk as we walked back to the hotel.

pocatello idaho

After a fun morning of playing at the hotel, we headed out to our trainer’s house to see if our sweet dog remembered us after a couple of months of training. We didn’t need to worry about her. We were run over by her. She licked us, jumped on us and ran around us. She then ran around the yard showing us the birds, the horses and the other dogs she had been staying with for the last several months. We even got some horseback riding in. Which I will NEVER do again, but the kids are horse lovers! Especially my girl. She wouldn’t get off the horse for anything. Luckily they are too big to pack in a suitcase.

horseback riding pocatello idaho

Our dog trainer at Cove Mountain Kennels has turned our great dog into an outstanding pheasant hunting dog. He did an amazing job with her, and we appreciate all the care and attention he and his family gave to her while she was away from us. Although I don’t think he let her sleep in the house because she came running in the door when we got home and parked herself on the couch, the carpet and our bed where she slept for two days straight. We appreciate that he had the dogs around his kids and family a lot so she didn’t have to adjust to being back in a family setting. He really got to know us as owners and made sure that not only our dog, but the other dogs continued their normal boarding and living arrangements away from home.

He caters to smaller groups, often only boarding and training 3-4 dogs at a time. The dogs are trained for two hours in the morning, and two hours in the evening. Most dogs are trained for an average of 2-3 months, with the owners being encouraged to visit at least once during the middle of their training to see the dogs progression and work with the trainer.

Images taken from MovingCost.com, Wikipedia, SmythFarms and Clarion Hotels, Pocatello, Idaho

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  1. I live in Pocatello, Idaho and what people had to say about this small, humble town at the beginning made me laugh so hard!

    • burntapple says:

      I’m sorry! We really loved it there and want to go back. Our dog trainer lives in Pocatello and the kids loved it there and want to go back this summer!

      • Jordyn Lords says:

        It’s definitely a family town. I am currently living in the house I was raised in which is also the house that my mom was raised in. Once in Pocatello; always in Pocatello.

      • burntapple says:

        It’s a great little town and we love visiting. I should be up there in the spring to have our dog run with her trainer and hunt. I’ll email you and if you’ve got time you can let me know where the locals eat. Would love to meet you!

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