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Blog Posts (17)

  • Mother's Day Tribute

    Happy Mother’s Day to all our pack member Moms. The Pet Cottage Pack is made up of amazing fur-Moms. Our foster network is composed primarily of senior women who open their hearts and homes to the pets who come to us through death, disability or deployment. Some of our fosters are Mom and daughter teams. Here I am highlighting two of them: Dena and Roz foster Anthony and Doris for The Pet Cottage. Roz is in her 90’s and her daughter Dena cares for her. Long time cat lovers their cat passed away and Dena noticed a decline in her Mom. Her Mom was grieving and very sad. Dena decided having a cat back in their home would be a positive thing. Dena discovered us through a flyer posted in her mail room in Abacoa. She had been considering just one cat, but when she saw the flyer and Anthony and Doris were the cat’s names, she wanted to meet them. Long time family friends share the names, Anthony and Doris, Dena felt it was a sign. Then Dena called and spoke to me. When she learned my name is Wendy, she realized it was meant to be. You see her very best friend’s name is Wendy too. Fostering the cats for Roz and Dena is the right arrangement. We provide hands on support and make it easy to have a pet even when your life is full of caretaking. Anthony and Doris, entertain, love on, and light up these senior ladies’ lives. Valerie and Ruthie foster Ace, a chihuahua mix. Ace’s person passed away and he was left at Furry Friends. He was very unhappy there. A senior himself who had only ever been loved on, he was miserable. Dr. Vinoski alerted us. Ace fit our mission, so we were ready to help. Valerie and Ruthie had been waiting for quite some time to foster a dog through us. Ruthie is in her 90’s and requires dialysis every day. Valerie wanted to add a pet to share their lives and re-direct their daily focus. Ruthie uses a walker and has thin skin, the dog had to be a good fit. The dog who would be the best match had not shown up yet. When I met Ace, I thought he could be it. Ace came overnight to The Pet Cottage and I quickly realized what a special little guy he is. Ace fit right in with our pack and had a very calm and endearing personality. The next day I packed Ace up and off we went to meet Valerie and Ruthie. Valerie met us in the parking lot and Ace seemed to like her right away. We took Ace into their home and got ready to meet Ruthie. Ruthie was excited and wanted to make a good impression. She put on her favorite hat and had applied beautiful red lipstick. When she came walking out of the bedroom with her walker, Ace ran over to her and declared “I am home!” He clearly was used to a walker and decided right then and there that Ruthie was his new Grandma. Since that day Ace has become the star in their lives. He accompanies them everywhere. Doctors appointments, shopping and even to their favorite pub where he has his own barstool. The support The Pet Cottage provides is how Valerie and Ruthie can have a dog. It is a win, win, win. A senior guy with two lovely senior ladies. He has changed their lives and they his!

  • The Encouragement of Light

    I came across this poem while doing my morning meditation. It Felt Love How Did the rose Ever open its heart And give to this world All its Beauty? It felt the encouragement of light Against its Being, Otherwise, We all remain Too Frightened -Hafiz I have felt frightened so often on my journey. It has only been when connecting with the encouragement of light that I have been able to pass through my fear. Often that light expresses itself through the pets that share my life. When I meet a pet in distress because they have lost their companion, the person who has kept them safe and created an environment that allowed them to trust I see their light and freely expose my light to them. Somehow it is easy to open that part of myself to a creature who is suffering. I want to communicate to them that they will be okay. By becoming vulnerable to them and only seeing their light despite what their behavior reflects, a bridge is built. Pets so freely participate in this exchange. They do not lie or hide what they feel. If I touch them in a way or a place that they do not like I can get a growl, a scratch, or may be a yelp. It is my honor to interpret what they are telling me. It takes attention, and a desire to understand from their perspective. The relationship that develops is magical and it changes and evolves with every interaction. They are often a reflection of exactly where I am at the moment and they become the one showing me it is safe. For everything they give to us with no reason to I am their champion and The Pet Cottage is built with that intention. As the founder and the leader of this modest organization that intention permeates every decision we make. I hope today you will look at your pet as a conduit of the encouragement of light and feel lighter and braver because they are in your life.

  • The Importance of Crate Training

    Many people feel like crate training their dog is cruel. Or they go through a couple of sleepless nights from their dog whining in its cage and give up. Let’s address why crate training is beneficial to both you and your dog, and worth sticking through those (for some) first heart-wrenching weeks. The obvious first reason is potty training. It helps to control their bowels and get a sense of timing. The less obvious reason is, puppies can be fearless and some anxieties don’t develop until later on in their adult lives. They feel comfortable in a den, so getting them used to a crate as puppies can help their adult anxieties with thunderstorms, fireworks or even just being home alone. Dogs are social creatures that depend on us, they are loyal to their families and want to spend time with them. We all have lives and sometimes the dog can be overexcited or in the way if you have guests over. Utilizing the kennel allows them to be a part of the action without having to shut them off into a different room or outside where they might have the tendency to bark or dig because they are bored and frustrated. At some point, your dog will be in a kennel setting. Whether transporting to the vet, groomers or if you live in Florida, hurricane season. So getting them used to the crate will lessen the stress on both you and the dog when you are required to use one later. Crate Training Tips: #1 ALWAYS use positivity and rewards. Use treats, toys, meals and positive tones when coaxing your dog into the crate. #2 Time spent in the crate should be increased incrementally. Your dog will negatively associate the crate if too much time is spent in it during the day and at night. #3 If your puppy is whining while you’re practicing on lengths of stay in the crate while you’re at home, do not let them out! They are creatures of habit and routine, which is why the crate training works so well. They will quickly figure out that the way to get out of the crate is to whine each time they are put into it. #4 It can be hard to tell if your dog is whining to go out to the bathroom in the middle of the night or just wants to be out of the crate. If after a couple of minutes the dog is still whining, take them outside to do their business but do not allow for any playtime. Put them straight back to bed! #5 Most puppies can get the fundamentals of crate training down in the first couple of weeks. But if they don’t, don’t give up or get frustrated! Ultimately, you chose to bring home a pet companion and you owe it to them and to yourself to raise it to be a well-mannered, well-loved dog; and functional discipline is at the core!

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Other Pages (20)

  • Rehome | The Pet Cottage

    Our Pack Means Forever Rehoming a pet with us We understand that life doesn't always go as planned - things happen - and you may find yourself needing to rehome your pet or the pet of a friend or family member due to death, disability or deployment. ​ We are here for you and the pet. ​ We accept pets into our care based on our ability to keep our forever promise - to provide lifelong and loving care for the pet. ​ Each situation is unique and we accept pets on a case-by-case basis. We are a small, mission-specific animal sanctuary. Therefore, we are unable to accept every single pet that comes our way. But when we have the space and resources to accept a new pet into our pack, we do so with open arms and warm laps! ​ The rehoming process starts with a conversation. From there, there is an application and in-person visit to determine if the pet is a good candidate for our program. Once accepted into our pack, a minimum donation of $3,000 is requested to support the lifetime care of your pet. Please contact us to get started. ​ CONTACT ABOUT REHOMING The Sanctuary Residency Program "The Pet Cottage makes a very difficult situation a little bit easier." - Perry Buchalter Once accepted into The Pet Cottage pack, the pet will either be placed in our Sanctuary Residency Program and live on-site at our headquarters in Jupiter Farms or be placed in the home of one of our Guardians. Either way, your pet will receive homestyle care and an abundance of love and attention for the rest of their lives - that's our forever promise. This care includes veterinary, medications, behavioral training, and anything else deemed necessary to ensure your pet has a happy life. The Lifelong Guardianship Program Success stories Charlie Brown Sanctuary Resident Even though Charlie Brown was a beloved pet, when his owner experienced a medical hardship and required hospice care, Charlie Brown needed help asap. The Pet Cottage took Charlie Brown in and consulted with a veterinarian on his weakened medical condition. The vet said he had just a few months to live. Undeterred, The Pet Cottage gave Charlie all the tender love and care he deserved and that his owner would have wanted him to have. Charlie Brown lived for seven more years! Charlie Brown, who was our first resident pet at the Sanctuary, is a great example of what love, care, and patience can do for a living being. Dashie Sanctuary Resident Dashie was rescued by a military family from an abusive neighbor. They knocked on the neighbor's door one day, promised to give the dog a better home, and the neighbor handed her over. When the family was deployed oversees sooner than expected, they turned to The Pet Cottage for help. The Pet Cottage brought Dashie to the Sanctuary and planned to place her with a guardian. However, the team quickly realized she had some unique behavior challenges due to her rough start in life and determined that she'd already found her forever home right here at the Sanctuary! Dashie now receives the structure, leadership, and exercise space she needs to live her best dog life. We thank all military families for their service and sacrifice - Dashie does too! THE PET COTTAGE GAVE US THE PERFECT SOLUTION FOR MY BELOVED DOGS "I had been in the hospital for 16 days with a serious illness when an angel named Wendy Derhak came into our lives. I was no longer able to care for my dog Henry as he deserved. Wendy found Henry a loving guardian family that had lost their dog and were so happy to have my dear Henry. I am eternally grateful for the help I received from The Pet Cottage and their wonderful mission." - Barbara Hoy Oliver & Apple Guardian Residents Oliver and Apple were the precious pets of an elderly couple. The wife had Alzheimer's and when her conditioned worsened, her husband could not manage her care and the care of their two sweet pups. The Pet Cottage stepped in - knowing that the dogs both suffered from serious heart conditions - and placed them with Paul and Robin - two dedicated guardians who understood their unique medical needs. It's been 3 years and both dogs are thriving, receive medication for their heart conditions, and have regular check ups with veterinary specialists. And best of all, Paul and Robin regularly send updates and photos to their original dad who now has the peace of mind he made the right choice for his fur babies. Smokey & Simba Guardian Residents When their owner fell down a flight of stairs and became permanently disabled, she was no longer able to care for her darling boys Smokey and Simba. The Pet Cottage accepted these cats and matched them with a guardian named Gail. Gail was recently widowed, lonely, and hesitant at first about taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. But with the support of The Pet Cottage, which pays all vet fees for guardians, she opened up her home and these frisky felines opened up her heart. It's now been five years and they fill her home with joy, entertainment, and companionship. It's just another example of a win-win-win for The Pet Cottage and it's pets, owners, and guardians. Pawsitively Perry Fund The Pawsitively Perry Fund was created to honor avid dog lover and Pet Cottage supporter Perry Buchalter who passed away on April 7, 2020, from the coronavirus. His wife Lisa, a dedicated volunteer and board member, established The Pawsitively Perry Fund to sponsor eligible pets for lifetime guardianship. The minimum cost for a lifetime guardianship program is $3,000. When a person does not have the financial ability to meet this requirement, they can apply for The Pawsitively Perry Fund for financial support. APPLY NOW Inspired by our happy stories? Make a donation to support more new beginnings like these. DONATE

  • Pet Sanctuary | The Pet Cottage | United States

    Promising pets a loving home, forever. GET INVOLVED! Join our pack and make a difference. WAYS TO DONATE Our Purpose To celebrate and protect the magical relationship between people and their pets. Our Promise To provide homestyle care for pets who lose their humans due to death, disability, or deployment. Our Pack We are a nonprofit organization that gives people the peace of mind that their pets will always be cared for. We also provide pet companionship for senior people. Join the Happy Tails Givers Pack! MAKE A MONTHLY DONATION Our Programs At The Pet Cottage, we provide homestyle care for pets who lose their humans due to death, disability, or deployment. Through our two unique programs - The Sanctuary Residency Program and The Lifelong Guardianship Program - we promise our pets will always have the home, care, and love they deserve - for life. ​ ​ Our promise means that pets come first and we do everything we can to provide the highest quality care for our pets - including veterinary care, medications, behavioral training, and of course, love and care in the comfort of a home with a dedicated guardian. Sanctuary Residency Program Pets live on site at our 2-acre headquarters in Jupiter Farms, Florida and are cared for by our Founder, Wendy Derhak, and volunteer team. Lifelong Guardianship Program Each pet is placed in the home of a vetted guardian and receives lifelong care in the guardian's home and wellness check ups from The Pet Cottage. The need for lifetime pet care is great! Humans who can no longer care for their pets, or families who have to relinquish a pet after the loss of a loved one, find peace of mind knowing their beloved pet will continue to be cherished and cared for to the highest degree at The Pet Cottage. ​ Many orphaned pets are dogs and cats whose owners suddenly experience hardship, loss, or unexpected life events. These pets must rely on family members, animal control and rescue organizations to find a new home. If unsuccessful, the pets are often euthanized. Sadly, if the pets are seniors or big dog breeds, euthanasia is often the result. ​ The Pet Cottage fulfills this need with nonjudgemental understanding for people and an absolute, lifelong commitment to pets. Senior Pets for Senior People We acknowledge the loneliness many senior people feel and the hesitancy they experience when it comes to pet ownership. ​ What will happen to my pet if something happens to me? What if I am unable to care for my pet long term? ​ I want a pet in my life, but need backup support just in case. This is where our Lifelong Guardianship Program really shines by providing seniors and people with disabilities - who otherwise might not feel comfortable with full pet ownership - with the opportunity to experience the joys of pet companionship. With the support from The Pet Cottage for veterinary expenses, wellness checkups, and a lifelong commitment to the care of our pets, The Pet Cottage partners with seniors and others to make pet ownership a win-win-win! Our mission in action Angus & Porter "I don’t even know how to express the gratitude to you and The Pet Cottage for all you do for these sweet angels that have lost their humans. I cared for Angus and Porter for 9 months after their Dad Bob went into the hospital and sadly passed many months later. When visiting Bob in the hospital he no longer knew what day of the week it was or that he had been a Sergeant in the Marine Corps and a Vietnam Veteran or had 30 plus years as a lineman for Florida Power & Light. But he never forgot Angus and Porter. When visiting him he would always ask “How are my boys?” and now that Angus has crossed the rainbow bridge they are together again. It gives me great comfort knowing that Angus got to live out his final days with Porter, his protective “Gentle Giant” little brother who I now believe must have sensed the cancer and explains why he was always right at Angus’s side standing over him till the end. Keeping them together is all Bob would have wanted. You, the volunteers and guardian angels give so much love and care to each and every forever pack member. I love that I get to see Porter on Facebook in his beautiful air-conditioned cottage with his cozy beds, cooling pads and fenced area to run and pay in. He is a lucky boy and so very loved and spoiled with his daily walks, toys and treats. Thank you from the bottom of my heart… I know Bob is looking down from heaven with a smile!" ~ from Bob's sister Join Our Pack Where pets and people find belonging There are numerous ways to get involved in our organization and we invite you to join us and be a part of something big. Are you a dedicated pet lover with time, energy, and talents to share? GET INVOLVED Follow the Pet Cottage on Instagram! Our Sponsors and Partners Click the images below to support those who support us!

  • 404 | The Pet Cottage

    There’s Nothing Here... We can’t find the page you’re looking for. Check the URL, or head back home. Go Home

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