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The Spotted Dog - "A Year in the Life"

At the Spotted Dog in Madoc we have many ways of enjoying our great Canadian winter. There's cross-country skiing at nearby conservation areas, downhill skiing at Batawa, snowmobiling on the local trails, and ice fishing on Moira Lake. Closer to home, most years (when the weather co-operates) we put in a small skating rink (34' x 42') on the front lawn and are able to skate almost daily in the coldest months.

"Mushing" is a great winter sport, and three of the four races in the OFSS Quad Crown are in the local area, with races in Eldorado in January, Marmora in early February (the Spotted Dog is an official supporter) and Bancroft in mid-February. For pictures and many more details on how we can be part of you winter, please check out our web site at: http://www.spotteddogbandb.ca/winter

Of course, if the cold outdoors isn't exactly your cup of tea, we'd be happy to brew you a whole pot while you put up your feet and relax with a good book in our many quiet spaces!

In our first full year in operation in 2002 we were happy to welcome over 100 sets of visitors throughout the year, and have been happy to host more than 1000 in the years since - with guests from as far away as the UK, South Africa, Holland, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates - and of course from all across the US and Canada. We've had many couples, singles, and whole extended families, with ages ranging from 3 months to 90 years old. Of course, our dog Brodie enjoys the company of both two-footed and four-footed guests! Many families choose to book the whole house for several days at a time, making it a real "home away from home". We are really gratified that so many of our guests chose to come back and stay with us again - we've had many guests that have been with us for over a dozen visits, and families that come back to see us year after year.

For many of our guests - particularly those with children - the swimming pool is a real attraction. We open it early and are usually ready for swimming by mid June. Rob won't go in until it reaches 70 degrees but luckily it is usually about 75 for most of the summer, and during the hottest months hits the mid 80's for several days at a time. For those looking for a bit more strenuous exercise we have a fully-equipped mini-gym in our basement, with free weights, an exercise bike, and a health-club-quality treadmill.

Summer brings the Madoc Farmers' Market, which opens on the long weekend in May. Since 2005 this has be housed in the new "Village Square", right in downtown Madoc. In addition to fresh produce, baked goods and local crafts, the market features a different theme every weekend. Towards the end of July the theme is local history, including Heritage Day at nearby O'Hara Mill Pioneer Village and Conservation Area. We celebrate the Spotted Dog's anniversary that weekend and usually try to celebrate in some special way - one year by offering horse and wagon rides from the market to the Spotted Dog. Built in 1877 as part of the local "brickworks", our home has a firm place in the history of the area. Our friends Claudine (from Madoc) and Debby (from Toronto) served shortbreads and lemonade to the many visitors, while the children busied themselves picking raspberries from our abundant patch!

One summer Scott's sister Margie and her husband Jim did a Trans-Canada tour and visited us three times on their way east and west across the country. They took hundreds of pictures from coast to coast and racked up many KM's on their Westfalia van. One morning when they were with us we biked with them along the Trail of Two Lakes to have brunch on the shores of Moira Lake just south of Madoc - a beautiful bike ride we would recommend to any of our guests. We have bikes and helmets to lend to guests, or the trail makes a beautiful walk if you prefer.

When Scott's Mum comes to visit we try to take time to hit the golf course at Madoc's own West Highlands Golf Club (just 500 yards west of us) and June, despite being 85 years young, usually manages to soundly beat her son on the links! Another wonderful local tradition is afternoon tea in the Gazebo at Scrimshaw's just south of Marmora - a delightful summer treat in a beautiful garden setting only a 15 minute drive from the Spotted Dog. Scrimshaw's also have a great selection of perennials, plus a minitaure garden railway that delights children of all ages.

The Spotted Dog has also been popular with the local people of Madoc. We've welcomed a number of wedding parties - including one in which half the wedding party came back to the house to literally "cool their heels" by the pool before the reception! We've also hosted innumerable birthday parties. Give us a call to see how we can contribute to your special occasion.

Although we are a B&B - with the key word being "breakfast"! - we have been happy to offer other meals to guests on request. We offered a traditional turkey dinner for a house full of guests one Thanksgiving, and when visiting family or friends in the area, we're happy to extend an invitation to the local hosts so that they can join their guests for a fabulous Spotted Dog breakfast. We can also offer picnic lunches, use of the poolside BBQ in summer, and dinner can be prearranged for repeat guests at a reasonable cost.

This part of rural Ontario is a hive of cultural activity, including the Stirling Festival Theatre, which is a popular local attraction, and is great fun for all ages. We've had a number of entertainers stay with us over the years, including Royal Wood, Peter Katz, the Heartbroken, Bruce Harrott, Riki, Reta DiGhent, the Fiddlers3, and our good friend Mary McCandless - many of whose CDs are available at the Spotted Dog. We also have beautiful photo-notecards available by Wayne Skinner. Wayne and his partner Jane were one of our first repeat guests, staying with us five times over our first 18 months!

This has been another busy year for Madoc and the Spotted Dog, and we hope next year will bring more of the same. There's so much to see and do in this beautiful area. Let us build a weekend getaway for you, or come and take advantage of our weekday special, offering a Sunday to Thursday package for a reduced rate.

Please join us for a great time this year at the Spotted Dog B and B!

Copyright © 2011, Spotted Dog Bed and Breakfast, Madoc, Ontario
Original page design by M. Price