You know you're in a pet-friendly place when a sign hanging above the reception desk welcomes all furry friends by name.
There were personal greetings for a Sumo, a Sadie, a Piper and a Patches. And there was one special name which drew laughter from all our family and a curious smile from the receptionist - Mutt!
When the Summit Lodge & Spa in Whistler emailed us to ask our dog's name the week before our arrival, we told them our odd-looking dog's real name was Hershey, but (as a joke) said she also answered to Mutt.
Nevertheless, despite bearing a striking resemblance to Donkey from the movie Shrek, Hershey is a much-loved member of the Campbell family.
With that in mind, we wanted her to be a big part of our spring break vacation to one of the world's premier outdoor destinations.
To our surprise, Whistler, it seems, is just as much in love with dogs as the Lower Mainland, where one in five families own a version of man's best friend.
There is a plethora of hotels that allow dogs and many, such as the Summit Lodge in Whistler Village, positively welcome them with open arms.
Don't get me wrong, this is not Hotel for Dogs and you don't need to be shoulder checking for Rover doing a one-eighty over your head on a snowboard while puffing a Cuban.
The hotel may cater for and make them feel wanted - not least by the little welcome bowl and pack in the room - but people not used to dogs wouldn't feel intimidated here.
Every pet was well-behaved and leashed and I only recall hearing one or two small barks our entire three-night stay.
The human beings are well looked after here as well. There's free gourmet coffee in the foyer at certain times of the day and free cranberry-flavoured ice water all day.
Marble fittings and airy, daylight-infused rooms (some boasting a view and balcony looking onto Blackcomb Mountain) also lend this boutique hotel a certain quality not found in chain hotels.
Venturing outside with our dog for exercise and "business time" also didn't cause any strife, with a cracking little wooded trail right on the backside of the hotel.
Talking of the great outdoors, the one thing that Whistler always manages to pull off is a vacation/destination atmosphere, yet retaining a chilled-out vibe.
There's always something to do - winter or summer. But, unlike other tourist hotspots, there's no pressure to do it.
When we did step outside of the wellpositioned hotel, we found ourselves quite literally a stick-throw away from Olympic Plaza, a purpose-built community gathering space designed for, you guessed it, the 2010 Olympics.
This plaza is a wonderful corner of Whistler Village, which lit up at night with people browsing through cafés and stores, kids losing themselves in the wooden adventure playground, couples and families huddled around a glowing fire pit and folks of all ages sliding around the outdoor skating rink under the shimmer of a disco ball and to the tunes of the DJ.
Dogs, leashed, were a popular sight and, although we didn't get a chance to try them out, I have it on good authority that many restaurants do allow your pet inside.
Trudging in our snowboots passed the giant, glowing Olympic rings, the plaza slides effortlessly into the buzz of "Village Stroll," which will lead you onto a seemingly endless choice of restaurants, bistros, bars and barking-mad ski suits - fashion, or lack thereof, still evades some visitors to Whistler.
Dog-tired from the journey - although improvements to the Sea to Sky Highway make the trip so much easier these days - we opted for a take-out pizza and a Beaver Tail.
We had walked the entire length of the "stroll" in the moonboots, seeking out pizza, only to discover there were three such places 50 yards from our hotel. Feel free to ask reception if you go, our feet wish we had.
But it was worth it for the Beaver Tail! Having discovered these amazing culinary donut-like treats on my first visit to Whistler four years ago, I'm still wondering why there's not a Beaver shed on every B.C. street corner?
Thankfully, the hotel also has a nice hot tub on a rear patio for soothing aching feet, muscles or whatever from your day on the slopes or pizza-hunting.
Next day, we managed to get our mountain legs together and my son Ben, 9, and I strapped on boards and boldly glided up on the Whistler Village gondola to the beginners' area. In our defence, neither of us had "jumped on" for a couple of years, so the gentle, wide and sedate bunny hill was perfect to get a feel for it again. There's also a Beaver Tail shed right there.
After a morning of learning to board again, we ventured to the top of Whistler mountain, where we jumped onto the world's longest gondola, the Peak 2 Peak.
I'd heard the drop en route to Blackcomb would take my breath away - and it did.
Those of a nervous disposition should look out to the impressive snow-capped valleys to the east of Whistler Village and not down.
Pulling Hershey back into the fold, we had
planned on the third day to go snowshoeing, as a family, taking on the dog loop at Whistler Olympic Park, just a few miles south of the village, along with a bash at the Biathlon Experience.
But we had all taken ill the night before and, sadly, couldn't go through with it. Later in the day, armed with holding down some food, we wanted to see what else Whistler had to offer families with dogs.
Just a kilometre or so to the northeast of the village was Lost Lake, where we'd been told there was a great offleash dog beach, aptly named Canine Cove.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we tried, we kept hitting "no dogs" signs. Apparently, the restrictions are limited to the winter season, so crosscountry skiers can enjoy the trails around Lost Lake without fear of a Mutt or Fido taking a chunk out their calf. When the snow melts in the spring, Canine Cove sounds like dog heaven.
What we did find was a charming trail nearby (200 yards to the left of Austria House) called "Dogwalkers Trail" - little doubt who this was designed for.
Off the mutt went with Ben, sprinting (as much as a dog resembling Donkey could) and wheel-spinning around the tight bends of the trail which had been dug out from a few feet of snow-covered forest.
Little blue paw pad labels attached to the trees every so often kept us on the right track and away from the skiers.
Hershey had the time of her life and halfway up, down and round the 40minute trail there was a superb clearing with breathtaking views over the valley. In the summer, this would be a fantastic place to break for a picnic.
There are many other trails, on-and off-leash in the village and surrounding area. Tourism Whistler will point you and Rover in the right direction.
Somehow summoning up more energy, it was off to the Coca Cola Tube Park for a last bite out of Whistler's fun cake. Don't be alarmed if you heard a piercing scream about 4: 25 p.m. March 22 coming from the north.
It wasn't the result of a sasquatch sighting or an impending avalanche. It was, in fact, my wife Tracy, hurtling down her first tube lane at a hairy 34.4 kilometres per hour.
IF YOU GO
Visit www.whistler.com or call 1800-WHISTLER.
At the Summit Lodge & Spa (www.summitlodge.com), a one-bedroom studio starts at around $250 per night in the peak of winter to $130 per night in the summer.