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Mermaid Cottages Has Tips For Traveling With Pets

Mermaid Cottages has tips for traveling with pets. Anyone who has a pet knows it’s hard to leave your pet behind. Here are some words of advice about pet friendly Tybee Island and our happy little houses by the sea. Remember, we have cottages that allow dogs, dogs and cats, and we’ve even had birds, reptiles and fish in our homes!

a long haired dachshund at mermaid cottages on tybee island ga

Pre-plan your preparedness
* Make your pet comfortable both during travel and at destination. Practice short trips to the park to associate good things with your planned method of travel.
* Try harnesses instead of leashes while traveling.
* Make sure your pet has your name and number on it, and maybe consider a tracking app.
* Work on doing their business on command. That will help when you’re stopping during travel, and will help when you get to your destination so your pet will know where to ‘go’…. read more

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The Beautiful Photography of Belinda Hall

We are already excited about our Paws4Vets fundraiser this coming Saturday, but now we have more to be excited about! The amazingly talented Belinda Hall, of Belinda Hall Photographyhas contributed some wonderful items to our Silent Auction!

Come out to our Silent Auction This Saturday and bid on this amazing package!

Make sure you come out to Seaside Sisters to win this wonderful package! Portrait photographer Belinda Hall will capture portraits of your beloved furry friend and present you with images you will cherish for a lifetime. Your choice of on-location portrait session to include your entire family (humans welcome!) or you may save the session just for your furry friend. The session includes one hour with your professional photographer, 30-50 edited images presented in a password protected online gallery for download & sharing. You’ll be able to download web friendly images & print friendly versions of your pictures. The printing release included as well!

Taken at The Enlisted Men's Mess Hall, photography by Belinda Hall

Belinda is incredibly talented, and we are proud to say she has taken some of the amazing pictures of our cottages you see around our website. Her portfolio is gorgeous, and a definite must-see! In addition to pet portraits, Belinda can help you with just about any photography need you may have.  She says it best herself:

The talented Belinda Hall, photographer extraordinaire!

“The beautiful chaos and passion that life holds drives me as an artist. My specialties include Weddings, Portraiture, Fine Art, Architectural,and Commercial Photography. I am grateful for the opportunity to capture your moments in life, they are not only special to you but dear to my heart because I am given another chance to express the poetry of life through my love, photography.” — Belinda Ann Hall

Beautiful beach photography by Belinda Hall

If you want to see even more beautiful work by Belinda, make sure to stop by her website, You can even follow her on Facebook! We couldn’t be happier about her generous contribution to our auction this weekend and would like to say a great big Thank You to Belinda. Your talent never ceases to amaze us!

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Mermaid Cottages Goodies are Here!

Mermaid Cottages 2012 Calendars and note cards are Here! Pick up your brand new Mermaid Cottages 2012 Wall Calendar today. The amazing Fifi Flowers has outdone herself once again! This beautiful 8”x8” calendar is full of gorgeous artwork featuring twelve of our Mermaid Cottages. Keep a little bit of Tybee year-round! These calendars make great souvenirs or gifts and are available for just$25 each.  And we didn’t stop there…

They're heeeeeere! Get your calendar and card sets today!

Looking for a great way to add flair to your correspondence? Look no further! The new Mermaid Cottages and Beach Bum Biscuit note card collections are sure to keep Tybee in your mind, no matter where you are! Whimsical and wonderful artwork from Fifi Flowers features our fabulous cottages in one collection, and precious pups in the other. These cards are a great way to put a special touch to your next letter or thank-you note. You could even frame them! They make great souvenirs or gifts, too. Both collections are available for just $24 each. No matter which collection you choose, you’re helping a great cause…proceeds from our Mermaid Cottages note cards help support sea turtles while proceeds from the Beach Bum Biscuit note cards support service and guide dogs.

Look at these wonderfully whimsy note card sets!

You can stock up on your Mermaid Cottages 2012 calendars and note cards now at everyone’s favorite coastal shop, Seaside Sisters right here on Tybee. Don’t wait, because they never last long! Stay tuned to our blog too, because there are even more Mermaid Goodies coming very very soon!

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Filed under CandyLand of Cottages, Fun on Tybee, Mermaids Make a Difference

Be Our Guests!

At Mermaid Cottages, we love it when you’re our guests…and that includes our pet guests, too!

With a little pre-planning and a handy checklist you’re sure to have everything you need and your pet will thank you.

* Calculate your traveling time so you can prepare to take pet rest stops at least every 2 hours.

* Don’t feed your pet before starting out for a long journey to reduce the chance of motion sickness.

* Make sure you have your vet’s contact information and that you pack any pet meds needed.

* Make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date with their vaccination information and your correct address and phone number.

* Pack both wet and dry foods your pet is used to.  Vacation is not the time to experiment with your pets digestion.

* Pack leashes, toys, rawhides, treats, grooming supplies, food and water bowls,  etc.

* Definitely make sure you pack waste bags and clean up after your pets potty breaks.

Once you get to Mermaid Cottages you’ll find fresh, all natural Beach Bum Biscuits Dog Treats and our now famous Guest Pet Tags.  Just taking a little extra time to make sure you’ve thought of everything your pet needs to enjoy his vacation will make for lots of pet smiles for everyone!


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Beach Bum Biscuits:Don’t Leave Me In Here-It’s HOT!

At Mermaid Cottages, pets are among our favorite guests!  Pets are a part of our family and many times we want them with us wherever we go.  Just remember to be extremely cautious when leaving your pet alone in your car.  Even on cooler days cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures.  If at all possible, please do not leave your pet alone in your car.  Leaving your pet to run a quick errand can have deadly consequences.

If it’s necessary for your pet to travel with you use drive-up windows as much as possible.  This works for some banks, restaurants and pharmacies.

Shop in pet welcome stores.

Utilize a travel kennel outside the car, in the shade, if possible.  Just be sure you do not leave your pet alone or in an area where the pet can be pestered or disturbed by passers-by.   A travel kennel is a great way to ensure your pet can get air circulation, water and protection from the sun.

While on Tybee, please be sure to attach the complimentary guest pet tag provided in every pet friendly Mermaid Cottage.


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Pets With TLC!

Does your pet demonstrate its ability to parent and give care?

In our Mermaid family we have Moxie, a West Highland Terrier.  She’s never had puppies, but she’s always been a terrific mom!  She’s 11 years old and she still has the very first toy we gave her, a stuffed duck.  She has mothered and protected that little duck from the other dogs and we can often find her napping with it.  She even mothers our Dachshund, Barney, and he’s older than her!

We also saw this great story about another Westie, four year old Winston, on  When his human family set up a birdbath and added some toy ducks, Winston immediately assumed guard duty.  He dutifully watches over and protects his duckies!

Some of the best life lessons we learn about love and care come from our pets!  If you pet has a great knack for TLC, be sure to let us know and post it on our FACEBOOK!

Your pet could be our Beach Bum Biscuit Pet of the Day!

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Say NO To Potty Mouths!

Remember the good old days when all we had to worry about was how many frogs we had to kiss before we found our prince?
Now, we have to worry about the potty mouths of our pets!
Dr. Oz says puckering up for our pooches can actually make us sick!  He says little puppy kisses can be fine, but we have to remember that most of our dogs are scavengers and let’s face it…they’re not always too particular about what they put in their mouths!
Toxocara, Salmonella, Guardia, Hookworm, Tapeworm, and many others can be found in the mouths of our pets.  And, Dr. Oz adds that some of our pets’ bad behaviors we ignore could be the cause of household illnesses.  If your pet, especially cats, go outside and walk through yucky stuff and then hop up on your counter tops they are contaminating places where you prepare food.  If you allow your pets to sleep in your bed you have to realize what’s been in their mouths and on their paws is now where you sleep!
What can you do?  Be sure to always wash your hands after handling any animal, don’t let them rummage in garbage or raw meat, wipe/clean their paws when they come in from outside, keep pets off surfaces where you prepare food and always maintain a healthy pet with regular visits to the vet!
For more information about Dr Oz’s recommendations go to!

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Travel In Style!

Ever notice that your pet always seems to like your best furniture for their pet naps?

Well, I guess we can be glad they have great taste, too!

Here’s a super idea that’s sure to pamper your pet in style and make use of something most of us just have lying around taking up closet space:  A Suitcase Doggy Bed!

When I first saw this idea it was on a DIY site,, but since then they’re popping up everywhere!

This is a great way to lure your pet off your furniture and into their own sanctuary.  You can custom design the interior to compliment your pet and it’s a great way to travel with their toys and food bowls.  Just pack ’em up and away you go!

If you make it yourself from an old suitcase, just be sure to fashion some way to insure it will stay open when your pet is in it.

My dogs are my best travel partners and they like to do it in style!

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Your Forever Friend Is Waiting

Your forever friend is waiting.


Will you make the call?
We received this heartfelt letter today from Cynthia Sharpley of EVERYDAY ERRANDS by way of Jane Coslick
Hi Dear Pet Friends,
This dog was found with an awful and tight choke collar around his neck.  And despite it, he is a very loveable and happy boy.  We can learn so much from animals.
He loves car rides. As his rescuer drove him to the vet, he sat in the front seat like a good boy.  He is not neutered, but appears to be a healthy 40 pounds dog.  No microchip was found.  He loves kisses and is a gentle and playful sweetheart.
His rescuer, Leza Shore, already has three rescued dogs of her own and she is unable to keep one more.  She has him temporarily in the garage since one of her dogs is agressive.
If anyone is able to give this boy a temporary or permanent home please contact Leza at
912 224 3566 or   If not, please forward this email to others. The more people we can reach the better our chances of finding this sweet guy a good home.
Thank you, as always, for caring.
Time To Simplify and Balance Your Life
Cynthia Sharpley
912 484 8826

One of the most important life lessons to be learned is that if you rescue an animal in need it will turn right around and rescue you back!
Are you ready?

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Filed under Service Dogs (Beach Bum Biscuits)

What’s In A Name?

They told me the big black lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen.
The shelter was No-Kill, clean and the people really friendly.
I’d only been in the area 6 months, but everywhere I went in the small college town people were welcoming and open.  Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt.  Give me someone to talk to.  And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news.  The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people that had come down to see him didn’t seem to look like “Lab People”, whatever that meant.  They must’ve thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things which consisted of a dog pad, a bag of toys which almost all were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.  See, Reggie and I didn’t really hit it off when we got home.  We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home).  Maybe it was the fact I was trying to adjust, too.  Maybe we were too much alike.

For some reason his stuff (except for the tennis balls…he wouldn’t go anywhere without two stufffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all my other unpacked boxes.  I guess I really didn’t think he’d need all of his old stuff; that I’d get him new things once he settled in.  But, it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn’t going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like “sit”, “stay”, “come” and “heel” and he’d follow them-when he felt like it.  He never really seemed to listen when I called his name- sure, he’d look in my direction after the fourth or fifth time I said it, but then he’d just go back to doing whatever.  When I’d ask again you could almost see him sigh and grudgingly obey.

This just wasn’t going to work.  He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes.  I was a little too stern with him and he resented it.  I could tell the friction got so bad that I couldn’t wait for the two weeks to be up and when it was I was in full-on search mode for my cell phone amid my unpacked stuff.  I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, the damned dog probably hid it on me.

Finally, I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter’s number I also found his dog pad and other toys from the shelter.  I tossed the dog pad in Reggie’s direction and he sniffed and wagged; some of the most enthusiasm I’d seen since bringing him home.  But, then I called, “Hey, Reggie.  You like that? Come here and I’ll give you a treat.”  Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction-maybe glared is more accurate – and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down-with his back to me.

Well, that’s not going to do it either, I thought. And, I punched the shelter phone number.

But, I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope.  I had completely forgotten about that, too.  “Okay, Reggie,” I said outloud, “let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”

To Whoever Gets My Dog,

Well, I can’t say I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner.  I’m not even happy writing it.  If you’re reading this it means I just got back from my last car ride with my lab after dropping him off at the shelter.  He knew something was different.  I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door for a trip, but this time…it’s like he knew something was wrong.  And, something is wrong which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls.  The more the merrier.  Sometimes, I think he’s part squirrel the way he hordes them.  He usually always has two in his mouth and he tries to get a third one in there.  Hasn’t done it, yet.  Doesn’t matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after them, so be careful-really don’t do it by any roads.  I made that mistake once and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, Commands.  Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I’ll go over them, again.  Reggie knows the obvious ones-sit, stay, come, heel.  He knows hand signals; “back” to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up and “over” if you put your hand out right or left.  “Shake” for shaking water off and “paw” for a high five.  He does “down” when he feels like lying down – I bet you could work on that with him some more.  He knows “ball” and “food” and “bone” and “treat” like nobody’s business.

I trained Reggie with small food treats.  Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule:  Twice a day.  Once about seven in the morning and again at six in the evening.  Regular store bought stuff.  The shelter has the brand.

He’s up on his shots.  Call the clinic on 9th street and update his info with yours.  They’ll make sure to send you reminders for when he’s due.  Be forewarned.  Reggie hates the vet.  Good luck getting him in the car.  I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time.  I’ve never been married, so it’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life.  He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can.  He sits well in the back seat and he doesn’t bark or complain.  He just loves to be around people and me, most especially.

Which means that this transition is going to be hard with him going to live with someone else.

And, that’s why I need to share one more thing with you.

His name’s not Reggie.

I don’t know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter I told them his name was Reggie.  He’s a smart dog.  He’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of this I have no doubt.  But, I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name.  For me to do that, it seemed so final.  That handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting I’d never see him again.  And, if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything’s fine.  But, if someone else is reading it, well it means that his new owner should know his real name.  It’ll help you bond with him.  Who knows.  Maybe you’ll even notice a change in his demeanor if he’s been giving you problems.

His real name is “Tank.”

Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you’re reading this and you’re from the area, maybe my name has been on the news.  I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.  See, my parents are gone.  I have no siblings.  No one I could’ve left Tank with…and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq.  That they make one phone call to the shelter…In the event…to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.  Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed.  He said he’d do it personally.  And, if you’re reading this he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting downright depressing even though, frankly, I’m just writing it to my dog.  I couldn’t imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family.  But still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog is what I take with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things…and to keep those terrible people from coming over here.  If I have to give up Tank in order to do it I am glad to have done so.  He is my example of service and love.  I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right.  That’s enough.  I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.  I don’t think I’ll say another good-bye to Tank, though.  I cried too much the first time.  Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you,
Paul Mallory

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope.  Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory.  Everyone in town knew him, even new people like me.  Local kid.  Killed in Iraq a few months ago.  Posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies.  Flags has been at half mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

“Hey, Tank.” I said quietly.

The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and eyes bright.

“C’mere, boy.”

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor.  He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months.

“Tank,” I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time his ears lowered, his eyes softened and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment seemed to flood him.  I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

“It’s me now, Tank.  Just you and me.  Your old pal gave you to me.”  Tank reached up and licked my cheek.  “So, whatdaya you say we play some ball?”  His ears perked up, again.  “Yeah. Ball.  You like that?  Ball?  Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room.

And, when he came back he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Every person who has served in or is currently serving in our military is a hero.  Every man.  Every woman.
No matter what your personal beliefs and convictions.  Treat them as heroes and say “Thank You” every chance you get.

If you can’t do anything else, please consider becoming a foster family for pets our military has to surrender in order to serve and protect our nation and your home.

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Filed under Service Dogs (Beach Bum Biscuits)