A slice of heaven for pets, people in Sunriver


For adults the word “vacation” doesn’t have the same magical promise of carefree adventure it does for the young. In fact, since the invention of online reservations and do-it-yourself travel arrangements, the “vacations” we take these days can be even more stressful than a typical work day. The convenience of technology can become a curse if websites fail to communicate with each other or — even worse — you forget the invaluable e-ticket, e-reservation, or confirmation code, bringing your vacation to a sudden halt.   

With this kind of stress it’s not surprising to hear returning vacationers say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”  

Bennington Properties, a family-owned property management company in Sunriver, OR, has a refreshingly old-fashioned take on the modern “vacation.” They're not your typical vacation property company.   

During our stay at one of their exquisite homes recently, we found the Bennington staff more like unobtrusive hosts. Helpful and friendly when needed, for the most part operating in the background to make your stay as carefree as possible.  

And they love dogs.  


“Since spending time with my dog is so important to me while on vacation, I set out to build a vacation rental company that was truly a dog-friendly business,” explains Robert Bennington, son of founders, Gene and Penny.  

Using their comprehensive website, dog families can browse over 100 dog-friendly vacation properties in Sunriver and Caldera Springs. Online you’ll find a complete list of available properties, rates and featured amenities. Comprehensive profiles and detailed photos are just a click away. Shopping for your perfect vacation home couldn’t be easier or less mysterious.  

In perfect counterbalance to the high-tech, the friendly Bennington staff personally handles the reservation — including getting the 411 on any and all traveling pooches. Each step in the process is designed for the least amount of hassle.   

I left Portland looking forward to a quick getaway — a cozy two nights with my wife and our four dogs. The process was as easy as described in the Bennington e-mail: drive to the house, get the keys from the lockbox, call the Bennington office to let them know we were “in.”   

Honestly, our awe of the scenery, giddy tour of the house, and the K9 goodie bags made picking up the phone the hardest part of checking in.  

Yes, K9 goodie bags. Four adorable kits awaited on the kitchen counter. That’s when I realized the folks at Bennington weren’t just dog-friendly, they know dogs. They thought of everything we might have forgotten: bowls, kerchiefs, treats, poop bags.  

The stroke of genius? A bone-shaped tag with the Bennington office number — just in case a pup overdoes his exploration of fence-free Sunriver.  

Next to the dog goodies were treats for the two-legged vacationers. It was shaping up to be a cozy, worry-free vacation.  

Attention to detail was apparent throughout the house. The kitchen had everything we needed, save food. A basket of a half-dozen rolled towels sat next to the back door, ready to wipe muddy paws. The fireplace was prepped with all the necessities.   

Typical vacations usually require at least one trip to the store for firewood or some item I’ve forgotten. Here, all we had left to do was sit back on the comfy leather couch and relax. The dogs had different plans — the wilds needed exploring!   


Now you might be thinking this all sounds nice and rustic, but what about the real necessities — like TV, movies, the web? Your hosts are way ahead of you. TVs in bedrooms and common areas are connected to cable and DVD players. Even better, the house has a wireless signal and easy-to-follow instructions to get connected. No e-withdrawal here. But what if you didn’t bring movies? Once again, they’ve got you covered with a complete entertainment library.   

On a cold winter’s night the cozy house invites curling up with a movie and a roaring fire, munching popcorn or sipping a luscious Pinot. During the day, it’s the stunning scenery that beckons people and pets to frolic in Sunriver’s natural playground.  

Something for everyone   

There are 30 miles of paved trails for strolling, biking or running. Bikes are available for Bennington guests, and trailers for the kids or furry ones can be rented at Sunriver’s Village Bike and Ski. Mt. Bachelor sits just minutes away, with its world-class downhill and cross-country ski areas.   


During warmer months you and the pooch can walk to the Deschutes River for a swim or a little exploring via canoe. In fact, if exploring is your thing, Sunriver sits in the middle of Deschutes National Forest. Or, as Robert says, “With the Deschutes National Forest right outside our back door we like to call Sunriver our 1.6 million acre dog park.”  

With Sebastian’s Healthy Pet Food just down the road in Sunriver Village, you also needn’t go far for pet sundries.  

Robert says there are plans to make Sunriver even more pet-friendly. An outdoor pet self-wash might soon be available adjacent the Bennington offices. “That way our guests, on their way back from the river or a hike, can stop by and wash their dogs,” he says.  

It’s that kind of anticipation of guests’ needs that makes Bennington Properties the perfect host for you and your precious pups when you visit Sunriver — perhaps Oregon's best “theme” park.  

Bennington Properties - 888-610-9700 - BenningtonProperties.com