Friday, July 15, 2011

At Your Service

We've all known dogs are very useful doing work outside. This may include, search and rescue, policing the neighborhood or even detecting bombs in war zones. Yet there are some dogs who have taken another route, working indoors for hotels.

Two dogs are rolling out the red carpet. At the Fairmount Hotel, located in San Antonio, Texas, this yellow lab has been welcoming guests from near and far in this historic hotel. Originally built in 1906, this independently-owned, exquisite hotel was restored in 1985 and moved on wheels to it's new location. It actually set a Guiness World Record for being the largest structure to be moved on wheels.

On the coast of the Atlantic, in the fair city of Boston, there's a lovely female black Labrador retriever who serves the hotel guests during their stay as well. This Fairmont Hotel is part of a group of hotels owned by the same company but is still distinctive, due to one of its most famous employees, Catie Copley.

Meet Luke Tips

First as a stray, who found his way from the city pound, Luke now calls this quaint 37-room hotel home. Before that time, he suffered from from worms and other ailments. It was almost certain that he would be euthanized. Yet, he got a chance at a forever home by Dick Tips, the hotel's owner. It was love at first sight.

After given extensive veterinary care and time to recover, this golden boy was officially adopted by the Tips family and called the Fairmount Hotel his home back in 2005.

A New Routine
Already trained when he joined the hotel, this 10 year-old dog keeps busy by greeting the new guests, accompanying them on guided walking tours and has been taught to deliver newspapers to guests' rooms.

For guests missing their own dog, advanced requests can be made for Luke to stay overnight in their room. Other times, you'll find Luke in his bed at the concierge desk.

All visitors are thrilled to meet Luke and a few may have a treat in their pocket for him. But, Luke has to eat a special diet since he would gain weight from the gourmet food he was given in the past. Any food donations are matched by the hotel and given to SNIPSA, a rescue group run by Dr. Shannon Espy.

Not only is he an animal advocate, he's a great representative for the hotel industry. "The biggest difference is that he makes our hotel feel like home" says owner Katie Tips. Guests tend to agree as some will stay at the hotel just because of Luke.

To keep himself in peak condition, Luke visits the hotel groomer once a week and gets a monthly checkup by the vet.

Serving The Boston Public

Originally used to promote the hotel's renovation, Catie Copley (pictured above) officially joined the Fairmont Copley in Boston seven years ago. This midnight beauty was initially trained to be a guide dog but had to drop out of the program due to small cataracts that had developed. Yet these cataracts have not prevented her from finding work. The Fairmont Copley was looking for a dog and Catie fit the bill.

Keeping Tabs On Catie

Equipped with her own business cards and e-mail (, this jetsetter is always keeping pace with the crowd. Guest can schedule a jaunt with her in the appointment book at the concierge desk. She's available for up to four walks per day and has a two-hour nap to stay refreshed. Some guests will call as early as three months in advance because her slots fill so quickly.

When not around guests, this 8 year-old will appear around local spots in Boston as an ambassador to the hotel. Catie makes appearances at schools, book stores, libraries and community events. In fact, two children's books have featured this pooch as the main character — Catie Copley and Catie Copley's Great Escape. Both were written by Deborah Kovacs.

At the end of her workday, Catie accompanies her caretaker, Joe Fallon home for a good night's sleep. In her downtime she enjoys a swim at the beach and playing with her favorite toys.

Both of these dogs show how they can make an ordinary day extraordinary.

Read More About Them

If you'd like to learn more about these guys please see the links below:

Luke Tips from San Antonio

Catie Copley from Boston

* Special Thanks to Kristin Tips and Suzanne Wenz

Let's Discuss!

Have you meet a concierge dog during your travels?


  1. Don't know if this counts, but while traveling from Oregon to Seattle on the way back from a Rainbow festival, we stopped at a 1930s ski resort for a snack. Inside the clubhouse, in front of a fireplace, we encountered a slumbering Saint Bernard who was HUGE - the size of a small bear!

  2. That's a good comparison Pat. Did he work for the hotel or was one of the guest's dogs?

  3. I don't know for sure but I got the impression the resort was his/her home. The dog was unattended in a common area by the lobby, which lead me to believe he/she worked for the hotel...



Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory