Elizabeth Swindells

Megan Purtell has been a business-savvy dog-lover since she started her own dog-walking business at just eight years old. As a dog lover, Megan started fostering dogs out of the Washington, D.C. area about five years ago. In that time, she has fostered over one hundred dogs!

After those dogs found their “forever homes,” the current owners would frequently ask Megan to look after the dogs when they went on vacation. They trusted Megan, and the dogs were familiar and comfortable with her. Word spread like wild fire that Megan was keeping dogs, and after two years, it became a full-time job, thus “Beagle Bed & Breakfast” was born.

Megan quit her full-time job as an executive assistant, and originally purchased property in Frederick to house all of the dogs, to provide doggie day-care services, as well as overnight boarding. After only a year in business at the Frederick location, she was already searching for another, larger property. At the beginning of April 2018, she relocated her business on 15.5 acres in Emmitsburg to accommodate her ever-growing “clientail.” The property has enough acreage, and then some, to house two large-gated dog runs—one for smaller dogs, and one for larger dogs. To accommodate her guests that live in Frederick and the surrounding areas, a shuttle goes out every morning to pick them up and take them back for a small fee. There are four pick-up and drop-off locations on weekdays. However, they will “go the extra mile” and pick up any dog, anywhere, for a small mileage fee all seven days a week.

Megan calls this new location “Freedom Farm” for a few reasons. First, because there are no kennels or crates. The dogs are FREE to roam wherever they wish—inside or out. The dogs are free to sleep wherever they get comfortable, whether that be a couch, a dog bed, a mattress, and so on.

“Freedom Farm” also represents a second chance and a fresh start for the dogs that she continues to foster. She works with a few great rescue organizations out of the D.C. area that pull dogs from kill shelters all around the tri-state area. Megan and Beagle Bed & Breakfast show no discrimination whatsoever when it comes to boarders. They are accepting of all breeds, ages, ailments, or disabilities. The only requirements to stay are up-to-date vaccines and a temperament test to assure that the boarder is not aggressive.

Megan and her staff of “dog wranglers” are dog first-aid and CPR certified. They have all had extensive training in dog safety and behavior management.

An average day at the Beagle Bed & Breakfast starts out with breakfast for overnight guests. All dogs are fed separately. Then they begin the day by greeting daycare dogs. The dogs have free time for a few hours between the backyard and indoor areas, depending on the weather. The dogs are able to play with staff, toys, pools, playhouse equipment, and each other. A snack or lunch is served to those who have brought their own. Dogs who are not participating in lunch continue to play. Beagle Bed & Breakfast requires guests to bring their own food, so as to not upset any tummies by switching food. After lunchtime, the dogs settle down for an afternoon nap. Following some quiet time, play continues while the daycare dogs begin to go home.

Dinner is then served for those guests staying the night and to the daycare dogs that brought their own dinner. Dinner is followed by some more play time and free time to do whatever it is they wish to do. There is one more potty break before bed time. Dogs are free to sleep wherever they wish. Then the day starts all over again!

Dog parents are able to view a live video stream and the staff at Beagle Bed & Breakfast take frequent pictures throughout the day to post on Facebook and Instagram. Those photos are uploaded into each individual dogs’ Facebook folder. Owners are able to access the folder and webcam footage to see what their “babies” have been up to throughout the day.

Beagle Bed & Breakfast is a great facility for dogs living in apartments, dogs with disabilities, dogs who have separation anxiety, dogs with ailments that require daily medication and supervision, dogs that have extensive energy, and dogs who otherwise would spend a long time at home alone. The dogs are always having a good time, and staff members genuinely love their jobs. All questions, contact information, and rates, as well as shuttle times and locations, can be found at beaglebedandbreakfast.com or check out their advertisement on page 12.

Beagle Bed & Breakfast owner, Megan Purtell, enjoys some outside porch time with her beagle “buddies.”

Photo by Valyrie Ellis of The BaileyGroup Maryland Realty, LLC

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