A Dog’s Vacation

You and your dog are our primary focuses. We understand that it is difficult to leave a pet behind when you take off on a vacation. The guilt sets in particularly hard when you have to leave your pet in a place that does not feel good. When you look into your dog’s eyes and see disappointment, fear and sadness, it is hard to go on and fully enjoy your getaway. The Cottages understands that taking care of your pet means also taking care of you. If you know in your heart that your dog is being loved, cared for and understood by the boarding facility you choose, you will have a better vacation. And your dog will get a vacation all his own!

When I lived in a city and shared my home with one dog, I struggled to leave her. Whenever possible, I would have a caregiver stay in my home to watch her in order to avoid sending her to a kennel. But this meant a lot of extra work on my behalf to prepare the house for a guest, go over all of my dog’s needs and wants with the caregiver and have a virtual stranger staying in my home. In the end, I still had to look at the beautiful, disappointed face on my dog when I left her. Finally I found  a wonderful boarding place for her. They exercised her, cared for her and met her specific elderly lady needs. When I left her there for a second time, I knew the fit was as good for my girl as I thought it was. After checking her in and saying my goodbyes, I turned to walk towards my car. Being the uber attached human as I am, I turned back to look at her. She was trotting off with the caregivers towards the play yard. She did not even look back at me but I knew her expression was content. That vacation was one of the best I have yet to enjoy.

All dogs are different. But, like humans, they all want to be loved and feel safe. When a dog knows that a person is there to love and care for him, he can let go of the fear and begin to enjoy his new environment.  The Cottages promises to love your dog (almost) as much as you do.

Driving Force

The driving forces behind the cottages are to:

1. Provide top quality loving and fun dog boarding services in cottages style homes with lots of outdoor time

2. Use a portion of the profits from the dog boarding facility to help homeless pets find their forever homes.

In the Charlottesville and Richmond areas, we are blessed with many wonderful non profit organizations dedicated to helping homeless pets. Rather than start a new rescue The Cottages will work with existing shelters and private rescues to fill in the holes and provide needed services. The non profit will be call Adoption and Rehoming Cottages (ARC) and will provide foster type boarding for dogs who are in need of a break from the busy shelter life or in need of foster care and have not yet found a residential foster home. The nonprofit will focus on filling the gap between the services currently available to dogs, such as fostering, sheltering and rescues, and the need for temporary bandwidth so these dogs will have a home while they await their foster and or forever homes. Over the last several weeks I have been meeting with local shelters such as the Louisa Animal Shelter and the Fluvanna SPCA as well as private rescues such as the Louisa Humane Society, Green Dogs Unleashed and the HOWS Project to find out what their most urgent needs are and how the Cottages can help meet those needs. The overwhelming response has been that these organizations at times are in need of temporary foster situations for their dogs when they are either full or not able to immediately locate a foster home. The adoption or rehoming cottages will focus on providing a nurturing, safe and fun environment for homeless dogs on a temporary basis, recognizing that the best situation for these pets would be to be in a residential home surrounded by their family. However when that is not possible the cottages will be able to provide them the safe place that they need well they travel their journey to their forever home.