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- 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.
- Do you have a plan in place?
In case you become physically unable to care for your pet? Or worse, pass away? Life can be a series of unexpected surprises, some of them are hard and uncomfortable to swallow. But you chose your hairy companion, you love your hairy companion, and it would break your heart to know they went to an animal shelter because you failed to make a plan. So now let's talk about the steps you can take: A Friend or Relative Are you going to leave them to a friend? Having an open conversation with your friends and family about your wishes is a good first step. But a verbal agreement doesn't guarantee they won't put them on Craigslist as soon as they have ownership. Unexpected Accidents Pet(s) can be overlooked in cases of their human companions passing, so designate a couple of friends or relatives as emergency caregivers. Give them keys to the house, instructions for the animals care, veterinarian names and numbers, and your wishes for permanent care. Consult an Attorney The best way to ensure permanent care of your pet is to consult a lawyer and decide which legal documents are best suited for your situation. Making formal arrangements in a will or trust is more concrete than a verbal agreement from your friend. Your designated emergency caregivers circumstances could have changed since you originally came to an agreement and they may no longer be able to care for your pet. A Sanctuary There are organizations that provide a "retirement home" for your pets to live out the rest of their days, for a fee or donation. This can be the best option for you and your pet if none of the above options suit you. Make sure to visit the sanctuary and get familiar with the organization. Here at The Pet Cottage they will live out the rest of their days with us unless there is an interested adopter. Even if someone is interested in adopting, we require a 6 month minimum foster program. We want to make sure that it's a good fit for both the pet and human companion. If we have a bad feeling about a foster interview or home tour, we have no problem denying the interested foster. Our promise is to the animals for the rest of their lives. Learn more about our mission and re-homing.
- Happy Dog Mom's Day!
The role of 'Mom' comes in many different forms. Some women give birth, while some may choose to take the route of "Fur Mom" and take in strays, foster fail, rescue... Whichever category you fall under, if you are one of those ladies who has 'Proud Dog Mom' sticker on the back of your car or gush about your fur baby to anyone who will listen- then this holiday is all about you! National Dog Mom's Day falls the day before Mother's Day, this year it's Saturday, May 11th. The holiday was created by Dig, the dating app for single dog-lovers... So that you can find someone who will never give you the ultimatum, "It's me or the dog." The holiday was founded "to thank dog moms, foster dog moms, and future dog moms for all of the love they give to pups." How many of you have celebrated your dogs birthday? Got them a birthday cake? Made a social media post on their rescue anniversary, birthday or big milestone? These days dogs are considered family and they get treated as such so it's only appropriate that us dog moms have a day to be celebrated as well. TREAT YO SELF! (and of course your dog won't let you forget to treat them too). This holiday really hits home for us here at The Pet Cottage because we couldn't do what we do everyday without the help of some seriously AMAZING dog moms in our foster network! HAPPY DOG MOM DAY FROM TPC!
- The Walk
Each morning when I wake up I throw my walking clothes on and after all the dogs have been fed I begin my morning ritual of walking. There is an underlying structure to how I do things. Depending on who is living with us and who is boarding with us at the time I create a symphony of walks. I take into consideration who needs what and who can walk peacefully together. This time grounds us all for the day. Being outside experiencing nature, breathing the smells, sights and sounds of the world waking up is magical. The dogs are quick to discover what new smells have arrived since there last walk the day before. They notice their surroundings quite effectively. I have learned to pay attention and observe what is around me by being present with them. So many times, in a day I feel rushed, like I have so many things to do and so many places to be. The dogs are a shining example of slowing down and literally stopping to smell whatever delight comes before you. Walking is when I bond most strongly with them. It is the way we build our relationship. I am quiet and patient and reward them for checking in with me. I am building a trusting experience and always have their back. When a dog first comes to The Pet Cottage they are often scared, anxious, and just plain wary. It is my intention to learn who they are and what they need. It takes time and a lot of walking. I learn what frightens them, what manners they may need, and slowly we begin to understand each other. I am always fascinated by the way the relationship grows and changes all the time. As they gain confidence I see a different side of them and it is delicious when they are relaxed and trust me whole heartily. Like any relationship it takes showing up, being present, and time spent. Walking with your dog is some of the best time you will ever spend. The relationship you build with them is a relationship you will always be able to count on. Dogs are loyal and honest and adore being your companion. A mindful walk with your dog can be a moving meditation where both you and your canine breathe deeper and appreciate more this amazing earth we share.
- 10 Dog-Friendly Activities in Palm Beach County
1. Jupiter Dog Beach - Beach marker #25 - #59 Jupiter's dog-friendly beach areas have been defined as a 2.5 mile stretch of beach from beach marker #25 at Marcinski Road going north to beach marker #59 on the south end of Carlin Park. This is a popular off-leash dog beach so make sure to keep an eye on your furry friend, bring plenty of fresh water and shade! 2. F.I.N.D. Park - 211 River Park Drive, Jupiter, FL 33477 Great off-leash dog park with separate fenced areas for large and small breeds. There is an additional area with direct access to the intracoastal for those whose dogs like to swim. Or whose dog is like mine and is afraid of the water so he just barks from the beach. There's something for every kind of dog. 3. Jupiter Outdoor Center - 9060 W. Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FL You can rent a kayak or paddleboard from JOC for you and your pup to venture out on the water or as a part of one of their group paddles. Just don't forget your doggy life vest! 4. Surfur Dogs - Jupiter Beach Access #53 Offers dog surf lessons for $30 for 30 minute sessions. Call or text Sam Chiet 561-427-8660 to book your lesson at Jupiter beach access #53. They'll provide the surf board and the life jacket. 5. Peanut Island - Peanut Island is a dog-friendly island accessible by $10 ferry, kayak or boat. You can camp over night or kayak over at low tide so your dog can run around in the water. Don't forget sunscreen if you have a light-fur or short haired dog. 6. City Paws - 1302 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Howard Park City Paws Dog Park in West Palm Beach also has a playground and picnic tables making this a great neighborhood park for the entire family. 7. Cinquez Park - 2183 West Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FL 33458 Jupiter's newest dog park offering big and small dog runs, paved paths throughout the 13-acre property, shaded areas and a dog washing station. 8. Salty Dog Paddle - Check out their website for locations of events This is the largest water sports charity in the U.S. where all proceeds go to animals and rescue organizations. This is right in our back yard! Whether your dog is the adventurous kind and wants to sit on the board while you paddle or not this is a great charity to support! 9. West Palm Beach Greenmarket - Downtown West Palm Waterfront Commons This is a great way to spend a Sunday morning before it gets too hot in the day for your furry friend! There are treats for humans and for your dogs! Not all greenmarkets allow dogs, so make sure you visit this one! And when they close for the season you can make a trip to the Downtown Stuart greenmarket via car or boat! 10. Grandview Public Market - Between Clare Ave. and Elizabeth Ave. in WPB This is a one stop shop for all of your trendy needs! Constructed in The Warehouse District of West Palm Beach are restaurant vendors for all tastebuds, local art, event space for yoga and live music, and they allow dogs!
- Yappy Hour at Perk Coffee Tequesta
We felt the love last night at Perk Coffee House in the adorable neighborhood of Tequesta, FL. After these events we always leave feeling full of love and support from our community. It's amazing to hear how people have found out about The Pet Cottage and the answers continue to humble us and give us energy to wake up the next day to keep working at our unique mission. There was live music, puppacinos, awesome raffle items, corn hole plus lots and lots of puppy love! Here's a recap of the night and if you couldn't make this event we hope to see you at the next one! We are looking to increase these events to two/month so if you or someone you know owns a local business in the Palm Beach County area and would like to host us, send us a shout!
- We Support Our Troops!
Dash came to The Pet Cottage in July of 2017. A young military couple rescued her from an abusive situation. They loved her and helped her gain confidence. Dash came to The Pet Cottage in July of 2017. A young military couple rescued her from an abusive situation. They loved her and helped her gain confidence. We had intended to re-home Dash as soon as we found the appropriate foster, but as we have lived with her we have realized she is quite special and needs a consistent environment. She is extremely athletic and we love to witness her incredible abilities. She has become an amazing pack resident! Your support means everything to us and means we can continue serving pets for parents who serve our country. If you are interested in virtually adopting Dash, please visit our website to find out how!
- Springtime Pet Safety
Winter is slowly retreating and wildflowers are starting to bloom, you're thinking about Feng Shui-ing your home and cleaning out the garage. Before you break out those cavity-causing candy Peeps and Marie Kondo-ing your space, let's talk about those looming Springtime pet hazards. Easter Treats & Decorations See cavity-causing candy Peeps above... and chocolate bunnies or Cadbury Eggs. Save them for yourself! Make sure your pet doesn't mistake the bowls of candy for a buffet, keep them out of reach. That also goes for any plastic tinsel you're using for Easter baskets and purchase non-toxic egg dye, for both dogs and kids. Fresh Air But first check the screens. I know you're excited to turn off the heat, open the windows and let that spring breeze blow through the house. Make sure to reinforce any screens on the doors and windows. If you have a cat you know they'll find the loose one, like a moth to a flame. Home Projects As you gear up for spring cleaning and yard work make sure all of your cleaning products, pesticides and fertilizers out of your pets' way. Paints, solvents and physical objects like staples and power tools should be used with caution and it'd be best to put your pet in a confined area while using them. Bug Protection Pollination and shedding cocoons are necessary and magical and all, but springtime is not all honey bees and butterflies. As the earth starts to defrost, so do all the bugs. Heart worm, flea and tick prevention should be practiced year-round but especially after winter and into the summer. Spring Breeding Millions of unwanted dogs & cats are euthanized each year. Even if your pets are kept indoors they can mistakenly get outside. Research animal clinics in your area that offer affordable spay and neuters to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Some clinics and rescues will even host free spay and neuter events. Sun & Heat Exposure Even if you don't live in a tropical climate dogs can get sunburnt and skin cancer from overexposure to UV rays. Ones with a thin coat, short hair, pink/light-nosed or light-colored fur are most at risk. Make sure there is shade and plenty of water available for your furry friend. You can consult your veterinarian for a pet safe sunscreen without zinc oxide as it is toxic to pets. Wild Animals They're as excited as you are to come out of hibernation and enjoy the warm breeze. Even in our suburban Jupiter neighborhood we see hawks circling overhead to catch prey. Also, many Coyotes are spotted in gated neighborhoods and golf courses. Small dogs and cats should not be left outside unmonitored.
- Why You Should Fospice
Fospicing a pet provides end-of-life comfort to pets in terminally ill situations and old age. It's providing them love and attention that they wouldn't otherwise receive in a shelter setting. While this type of fostering may be more demanding, it teaches us valuable life lessons of compassion and expands our capacity for love. Since fospice programs have grown and awareness has been brought to senior dogs and cats, there is more assistance provided from shelters/rescues. And with places like The Pet Cottage, we offer constant support with purchasing medications, rides to vet appointments, and taking care of the burial when that time comes. Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized each year due to over-crowding in shelters. Fostering helps to socialize these animals and make them more attractive to adopt. It's a no-brainer that animals don't thrive or show their personality in shelter settings. Then think about a sick or senior animal... Wouldn't have much will to live, right? I've heard people argue for why they can't foster, "It'll break my heart when they pass", and, "But I'll get attached". But those aren't reasons not to foster or fospice. Foster and Fospice parents offer an invaluable service to terminally ill and elderly pets. Without them, many pets would live out their remaining days in a shelter. While they may only have a few weeks or months to live, being surrounded by love, in those final days, makes all the difference. And sometimes we just don't know how long they have. It could turn into years, and that would make each extra day that much sweeter. We have a very special fospice parent, Nancy, who took Noah in knowing he didn't have much longer to live. She wrote this letter on his final day with us on earth and we all ugly-cried. May we all have someone to care for us like this during our final days and send us over the rainbow bridge to reunite with our loved ones. If interested in becoming a fospice or foster parent, fill out the application form and we will give you a call to talk about options and find you the perfect match! Apply to foster!
- 10 Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Palm Beach County
You know when you're leaving the house because you feel the need to socialize with humans instead of spending all of your time talking to your dog(s)? Yeah, us either. The next time you go out to eat and your dog gives you those heart-wrenching puppy eyes that cut right through your core, refer to this list and get that tail wagging because Fido doesn't have to stay home! 1. Little Moir's Leftover's Cafe - Jupiter, FL (Abacoa district) Sister restaurant to local favorite Little Moir's Food Shack, Leftovers offers the same fresh food you love but unlike Food Shack, it has a pet-friendly outside dining area. Written up as #1 seafood restaurant in Palm Beach County, this is your go-to restaurant for the freshest seafood but they have a funky, diverse menu for those who aren't seafood fans. 2. Jumby Bay Island Grill - Jupiter, FL In the heart of Abacoa is Jumby Bay Island Grill with their tiki decor, affordable happy hour and large, covered dog-friendly patio. Couples, family and large groups can eat, drink and shop along this strip without having to leave their dogs at home! 3. Dive Bar - Jupiter, FL A beautiful restaurant for the sushi lover. The large, circular bar faces a large saltwater fish tank and opens up to the back patio where you can dine with your dog while looking over the Jupiter Yacht Club Marina. The patio faces west so it's a perfect place to go for sunset. 4. Civil Society Brewing - Jupiter and West Palm Beach, FL This local brewery now offering two locations has a French Bulldog in their logo, so what's not to love from the start? They have great beer with a heavy focus on the New England IPA, wine and they allow dogs! 5. Thirsty Turtle Seagrill - Juno Beach, FL A local watering hole with dog-friendly outdoor seating, big TVs, great drink prices, and large food portions! 6. Aaron's Table & Wine Bar - Jupiter, FL We recently had a happy hour event at Aaron's Table and it was huge success with a great turnout! The owner is a good-hearted, animal lover serving dishes with vegetables and meats from local farmers. This is a great date night place with a wrap around outdoor patio. 7. Square Grouper - Jupiter, FL Square Grouper has a great view of the lighthouse, tree coverage for shade, and boat access. This is a go-to stop for those who spent the day at the sandbar and need to refuel your body and your boat gas! Ask for a dog-friendly table! 8. Frigate's Waterfront Bar & Grille - North Palm Beach, FL There's something here for everyone at this waterfront sports bar. Tropical drinks, diverse menu, dog-friendly outdoor seating and 22 big screen TVs for sporting events! 9. Papi Chulo - Tequesta, FL The area's newest restaurant addition has more outside seating than inside seating. Making this place the #1 spot for tacos, tequila, corn hole, ping pong and DOGS! 10. Perk Coffee House - Tequesta, FL Perk has all of the necessities- coffee, wine, beer and puppacinos! This local, philanthropic coffee house is hosting a Yappy Hour event for us on Friday April 26th. Follow us on Facebook to stay tuned for event details. Mark your calendars!
- What We Can All Learn From Fostering A Senior Pet.
One of our foster pack member's passed today, Noah a 16-year old cat who we placed with a senior woman that passed away about a month ago. He brought her so much happiness at the end of her life and she loved him dearly. Then we placed him with Nancy, knowing that he didn't have much longer to live and she made his last days so meaningful. Below are the kindest words from Nancy on his last day on Earth with us: "Noah, my cat of seventeen days, died this morning. Last night he loved being brushed, receiving his massage and even curled up for a nap next to me as usual but It was clear he was nearing the end. He had stopped eating and movement was slow. I knew he needed me to give love and attention as needed. When I woke up this morning the house was very quiet. Too quiet. I thought I'd go into his room and find him already gone. Finished caring for the dogs and then I heard Noah calling to me. Put the dogs away (I had kept them separate) and went into his room. He was on the floor and not moving. I grabbed a dog bed to sit on and joined him on the floor. He knew I was there. I gently stroked him, long and slow movement across his thin long body. A pause to let him take that in and then again. Talked to him about crossing over. That is was OK to die and join all the beings on the other side that loved him. That I loved with him too but that he did not have to hang on for me. I thought about what a life this cat had lived. Feral at one point, then welcomed into homes where he was treated with value. He came to me with a boatload of toys. Thought about how he would take his last breaths in his own way with a friend by his side. No fear. A rich life. When he seemed full I simply held his paw. His body would occasionally jerk and his eyes began to stare long before he took his last breath. And then he went gently into the good day. I placed Noah onto a clean plastic tray and set him in the sun. I liked the thought of him having this time in nature. Here's the thing...when Wendy of the Pet Cottage called and asked me to take him in she was honest and said he had serious health issues. No clue what his life expectancy would be. It did not matter to me. When I called her today to let her know Noah had died Wendy was profoundly grateful that I had cared for him. I am grateful too. Not just for the time I had with this sweet boy but that I was entrusted with the honor. On the days that I may be tempted to beat the hell out of myself may I remember that Noah, the coolest of cool cats, and Wendy trusted me to help him. My house is clean now. All of Noah's things and Noah's body have been picked up by the Pet Cottage. They were quick about that and I am glad. I have a set of Tibetian chimes that I have been ringing in each room in my home since his departure. In his room the sound was different. I kept chiming and sending blessings till the room felt clear. A cleansing of the space and a heralding to the angels that this sweet boy is on his way. May we all go so gently forward. Thank you for reading this. <3"