"Dogs go with snow like hot chocolate," said Vicki Abbott Bancroft. Bancroft is an enthusiastic skier, and owner of a 6-year-old golden retriever named Gunner.
She and her husband, Steve, head from home on Cape Cod to a condo at Waterville Valley, N.H., every weekend they're not off somewhere else enjoying the snow.
Her advice? Before they rent for the ski season, she calls the Waterville lodging office and asks for a list of dog-friendly condos. When she's picked one they want, she adds language to the lease that Gunner is a "mature golden retriever" and that she and Steve will have the carpets cleaned at the end of the season. "Our dog has good references in the Valley," Bancroft said, which makes it easier to rent.
Gunner gets walked a lot each evening at the resort and again each morning. That way he sleeps until noon, when someone fetches him and takes him, on his leash, to play in the snow at the base.
"We always pick up the dog droppings. In the spring, the mud is bad enough," she said.
Bancroft advised friends-of-dogs to carry a travel bowl. "Dogs get thirsty in the mountains," she said.
On her own one day with Gunner at Waterville, Bancroft said she "valeted him," asking the parking lot attendant to mind Gunner while she handled an assignment with the adaptive skiing program.
Joan Lowell Smith loves dogs and all animals and writes about them from her home in New Jersey. She used to be an avid skier, as well. Klosters and Vail are her favorites.
Smith's advice: "Make sure the dog isn't in the room alone barking."
Many lodging properties limit canine guests to a certain weight, which Smith finds odd. "Little dogs bark the most, and small dogs have the smallest bladders." She likes Bancroft's idea of wearing Gunner out. "It's not unusual for a dog to sleep 18 of the 24 hours."
The Paw House Inn, Spa and Resort at Mount Snow in southern Vermont and its related Paw House Inn, near Killington, Pico and Okemo in central Vermont, proudly announce their bias. "Some places accept dogs, other places tolerate dogs. At the Paw House we cater to dogs and their owners."
Their trademarked slogan is, "No Dog Left Behind."
At Mount Snow they offer on-site dog care, including agility training and grooming; at the other location, in West Rutland, there are "3 beautiful acres" for pets and their people to enjoy, surrounding a 1786 farmhouse bed and breakfast. Here, too, is Mario's Place, a specially constructed building open 24 hours a day where owners can leave their dogs.
For either location, you'll be asked to complete a Dog Guest Profile Form.
More information: www.pawhouseinn.com or call 866-729-4687; 145 Route 100, Dover, Vt., and 1376 Clarendon Ave., West Rutland, Vt.
The Four Seasons Resort Whistler should make you and your four-legged friend happy. There is no extra charge for dogs and companions up to 100 pounds are welcome. Pet-sitter and pet supplies are available on request.
At Whistler, dog guests receive a "Doggie Amenity" bag including a food and water bowl, bottle of still water, homemade dog treat crafted locally in Squamish, and a dog bed.
You can order from the Pet Menu 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (You have to do it unless your dog can deal with room service.) Everything is homemade, ranging from Best Friend's Breakfast of scrambled egg and steamed rice through "Catkins Diet" (albacore tuna with chopped egg) through "Eye of the Tiger," scrambled egg and poached salmon.
Also available are various Iams products.
More information: www.fourseasons.com/whistler/ or call 604-935-3400; 4591 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, B.C.
In Colorado, you'll find the Happy Paws Pet Spa in Durango, where your furry pal can receive pampered day care using natural products, and you can look for unique gifts.
More information: www.happypawspetspa.com, or call 970-279-7917; 1301 E. Florida Road, Durango, Colo.
To give you an idea of what hotels at Telluride charge for your dog's visit: Hotel Columbia, $20 a day; Hotel Telluride, $100 one-time fee per visit; the Peaks, $150; and the Mountain Lodge of Telluride, $50 a day for the first three days.
The town of Telluride is clearly dog territory with canine hitching posts to keep your friend from wandering off.
Traveling with Fido, Charlie or whatever moniker your dog answers to when he chooses to, can be pricey.
But just as the cost of human accommodation varies by stars, so, too, does the charge for doggie digs.
For instance, in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the Hostel in Teton Village has rooms with king beds and four-person quads, a total of 55 rooms serving about 160 guests. Dogs are permitted to bunk on the lower floors, which provides allergen-free space upstairs. The charge is $10 a day, and the rule is no leaving the dog alone in the room lest he or she bark.
Dogs are not allowed on the mountain at Jackson Hole, but there is a trail along the river near the hostel where locals walk their dogs, or, perhaps, are walked by their dogs.
More information: www.hostelx.com, or call 307-733-3415; 3315 McCollister Drive, Teton Village, Wyo.
At the Four Seasons Resort at Jackson Hole, dog walks take place on a heated path around the property and into Teton Village to visit shops and restaurants. The resort accepts dogs "beagle-size or smaller." The concierge desk can provide dog beds, dog bowls, leashes, and such amenities as homemade dog biscuits. There is no charge for having a dog in your room.
Because the Four Seasons Resort is slopeside at Jackson Hole, a spokesman said your pooch might prefer a summer sojourn when he'll have the run of the mountain.
More information: www.fourseason.com/jacksonhole/ or call 307-732-5000; 7680 Granite Loop Road, Teton Village, Wyo.
At Mont Tremblant in Quebec, both the Westin and the Fairmont set aside a few units for snowsports enthusiasts of the human and canine kind.
The Fairmont has its own "ambassador dog," Gracie, a golden-labrador mix. Gracie plays with visiting youngsters and is available for walks with people who need a dog-fix. Gracie, who is 3 years old, was trained by the Canadian Association for the Blind, but proved too sociable for use as a guide dog.
Whatever Gracie weighs - one doesn't ask a lady - the Fairmont limits doggie visitors to 25 pounds, and charges a cleaning fee of $25 a day.
More information: www.fairmont.com/tremblant/ or call 866-540-4415; 3045 Chemin de la Chapelle, Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
By comparison, Timberline Lodge, near Mount Hood, Ore., has had St. Bernards named "Heidi" and "Bruno" since it opened in 1937. The current fuzzy incumbents are the 12th generation. But experience persuaded the lodge's operators some years ago not to invite other dogs into Heidi and Bruno's home. Dogs are territorial, after all.
Mammoth Mountain in California includes a number of lodging properties which permit dogs, including the Mammoth Mountain Inn, the Westin Monache and the Tamarack Lodge and Resort.
Connected to downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth by a shuttle, the Tamarack concentrates on Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. In addition to the main lodge - where dogs may not stay - there are 35 cabins, from studios to three-bedroom units which can sleep nine. Each cabin can also sleep two dogs. In the winter Tamarack asks that dogs stay in crates when their people are out.
While there are 19 miles of cross-country trails at Tamarack, there is a 3-mile trail set aside for snowshoeing, dog walking, and the like, through the woods and up to the lake basin.
More information: www.tamarcklodge.com or call 760-934-2442; Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Which raises the issue of dogs and cross-country trails. You might think that having your dog accompany you as you relax on skinny skis is a great idea.
Thom Perkins, executive director of the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, a system of 150 km of trails which wind through Jackson, N.H., is not usually given to rhetorical exaggeration. But asked about canines and X-C, Perkins said, "There are lots and lots and lots and lots of people who say, ‘Thank you for not allowing dogs on the trails'."
Because they don't wear skis or snowshoes to distribute their weight, dogs poke holes in the snow as their paws sink, disturbing the surface Nordic skiers seek. Obviously, no one wants poop on his skis or boots.
Perkins has created a "pet exercise loop" for those who want a place for their pets.
Back on the Alpine and snowboard side of the mountain is Buck Hill Ski Area, in Burnsville, Minn., an urban area which boasts four racers in the U.S. Ski Team, including World Cup champion and former Buck Hill racer Lindsay Vonn who carries American hopes in the downhill and Super G for the Winter Games at Vancouver this season.
The local tourism office lists five nearby motels which are dog-friendly: a Travel Lodge, Select Inn, America's Best Value Inn, Days Inn, and Holiday Inn.
Of its 90 rooms, the Select Inn designates "a handful" for pets and their people at an extra charge of $10 a day. Buck Hill is 10 or 15 minutes away, but outdoor dog places are even closer. "There are parks all over the area," a spokesman said.
More information: www.vistarez.com/minnesota/burnsville/ or call 952-890-9550; 250 N. River Ridge Circle, Burnsville, Minn.
Utah usually has tons of snow for skiing and riding, but, perhaps, not so much space for dogs. Furry friends are barred from Deer Valley. In addition, Nick Como at Solitude said dogs are not allowed in Cottonwood Canyon because it's a watershed.
If you're determined, though, the Holiday Inn Express and the Best Western Landmark in Park City let Fido accompany you. The charge at the Best Western is $10 a night for your friend.
More information: www.bwlandmarkinn.com or call 435-649-7300; 6560 N. Landmark Drive, Park City, Utah.