THE TALE END
Raquel Wood acts as a jack-of-all-trades at the Westin Mission Hills, doing everything from helping guests to administrative work. But her passion project is the resort’s partnership with the local no-kill shelter Animal Samaritans. She helped to establish a program wherein the hotel houses a “resident dog” in its lobby, providing guests and associates the opportunity to care for and even adopt the pup.
The partnership has placed more than 120 dogs into loving homes, and 25 resort associates, including Wood, are among the happy new pet owners. In 2015, she adopted the ninth dog to participate in the program, a small black puppy Wood renamed Bagel. “We had a dog named Donut,” she says. “We had recently lost him.
We had Coffee, and we thought he needed a playmate. When we saw Bagel, he reminded us of Donut, and so we fell in love with him right away.”
The program has given Wood the opportunity to combine her passions for guest interaction, pets, and the beautiful desert. On her and her husband’s 2012 move from San Diego to a full-time residence in Palm Desert, she admits, “People think I’m crazy saying that I love it out here better than San Diego, but I really do. I take my dogs out for a walk every day, [and] I just look around and appreciate where we live.”
“I love taking visitors to Nitroinfusions in La Quinta. The salted caramel [ice cream is] my favorite.”