Cozy Cottages & Happy Homes

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

Service Dogs (Beach Bum Biscuits)

2012 Beach Bum Biscuits Dog Contest

Beach Bum Biscuits/mermaidcottages.comOur most wonderful artist friend with a Parisian flair, Fifi Flowers, is ready to round-up a new Wag Pack of precious pooches for her 2012 Beach Bum Biscuits Dog Contest!

Fifi is inviting our pet guests and their well-behaved humans to submit one photo or one link to a photo if you’d like your dog to be considered for inclusion in Fifi’s next frameable notecard series and calendar collection.  The photos will then be posted online Monday, June 11 for the voting to begin.  You will be able to Vote once for the dog you would like to see painted and there will be six dogs chosen for the new collection.

If your dog is chosen, Fifi will create a custom painting of your dog.  Winners will each receive a set of notecards and also receive a special rate if you would like to purchase your Fifi Flowers original painting.

Email your photo or a link to a photo to: or you may post a link to your photo in the comments section on Fifi’s website no later than noon (Pacific time) on Friday, June 8, 2012.  This way, Fifi will have time to organize the photos and get them posted to her site.  Voting will last for two days and the winners will be announced on Friday, June 15th.

Fifi’s Mermaid Cottages calendars and note card collections may be purchased at Seaside Sisters on Tybee Island.  Mermaid Cottages is proud to sponsor service dogs through the sales of our Beach Bum Biscuits and Fifi’s notecard collections and through our pet-friendly vacation rentals.

Mermaid Cottages has the coziest and cutest homes away from home on Tybee Island, as we all agree, but we’re more than vacation rentals.  We’re part of a community! We’re active with the local community, including people and local organizations we love. We also contribute to  larger organizations with a wider reach. We even promote Voluntourism events, making it possible for your Tybee vacation to include volunteering with a local good cause.

Fifi’s waiting, so get those photos in!  Now, that’s something to bark about!

Beach Bum Biscuits: Vote and Help Lily Win!

Vote for Lily to be 2012's Hero Dog!

Remember our post from a few weeks ago when we told you about Lily and her hard work with Working Dogs for Conservation? Well, we have more news. Lily has been nominated as one of the Emerging Hero Dogs for the American Humane Association’s annual Hero Dog Awards! Lily’s boss and best friend, Aimee, was kind enough to share this with us, so of course we wanted to share it with you!

“Hello! It’s Aimee from Working Dogs for Conservation here. It’s good to know Lily has a fan club! She’s such an earnest and hilarious dog. Good to her very core, and a real pleasure to work with. We’ve nominated her as one of our Hero Dogs for the American Humane Association’s annual Hero Dog Awards. (You can vote for her daily here!) If she wins her category, she’ll get to walk a red carpet in Beverly Hills at an awards ceremony this fall! (And, Working Dogs for Conservation can win up to $15,000!) Please vote! Thanks, Aimee”

Meet the hard working, beautiful Lily!

Thanks for sharing Aimee!!! Voting for the Hero Dog Awards of 2012 will be open through June 30, 2012, and you can vote daily! Just click this link and vote for Lily to be Working Dogs for Conservation‘s Emerging Hero Dog! The judging period begins after June 30th, so stay tuned and we’ll try our best to keep you updated on how Lily is doing in the contest!

We’re voting…make sure you are too!

Boomer- the new love of our life!

Boomer has made it into our family.  Boomer was the guide dog puppy we sponsored two puppies ago and did not make it as a guide or service dog.  He arrived Feb 14th and immediately made it into became a part of our pack.  Sophie loves him and they play together all day long.  Danny loves him too but doesn’t care as much as Sophie does.  I know how crazy all this sounds but having a third dog really is so much fun!   Boomer loves his tennis balls ( Danny’s old ones) and he loves my chintz chair.  This picture was from a recent photo shoot and shows how relaxed he is!

Boomer and my slipcovered chintz chair

Beach Bum Biscuits: Working Dogs for Conservation

Mermaid Cottages loves our service dogs, so when we came across a certain special group of hard working canines, we just had to share!

Working Dogs for Conservation is one amazing foundation! WDC was formed in 2000 to collect information-rich wildlife and plant samples using specially trained detection dogs. They have projects all over the world, from California to Cameroon! Working Dogs for Conservation focuses on three primary goals: monitoring endangered wildlife, defining wildlife corridors, and helping eradicate damaging invasive species. And they do this all while ensuring full, rewarding lives for their dogs.

Working Dogs for Conservation has taken a leading role in using specially trained dogs in wildlife and conservation research worldwide, and we were lucky enough to find out about one of their many working dogs. Lily is a conservation dog with WDC. Along with the North Carolina Zoological Park and Wildlife Conservation Society, Lily and WDC are hard at work in Cameroon, near the border or Nigeria.

Meet the hard working, beautiful Lily! She's alerting to some dung to be studied.

Lily is helping to identify the population and disease parameters of the Cross River Gorilla, the world’s most endangered ape.  Only about 250 of these apes remain, and they are poorly understood. The hope is that Lily can help scientists to better understand these gorillas and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

In the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary

Lily sure is one hard working dog! Amiee Hurt, Co-founder and Associate Director of Working Dogs for Conservation, shared some of Lily’s photos with us as well as a few stories about Cameroon:

“Two [of the pictures] are in Mbu village, where a couple of white women and three big dogs was really big news! Ngaio is holding all 3 dogs while the village kids are intrigued. In the other, I impress the kids by playing fetch with Lily for awhile. There’s one where she’s alerting (see the two large poop piles to the right of her) and then one of her and me at the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary.

Lily did great in Cameroon. In the hot and humid coastal town of Limbe, she learned that coconuts make great dog toys. At our field sites, she worked long hours and found lots of dung- some fresh, most old. She fell in love with our field assistant, Michael, who cut our way through the jungle with a machete and would quickly come to her rescue to free her when she got tangled in vines. She got to act as ambassador dog; children and adults alike are often afraid of dogs there, but with her charming and friendly manner she made a lot of people laugh. I continue to enjoy her company every single day!”

We are so excited to know there are such hard working dogs (and people!) dedicated to conservation of our world’s endangered species! Mermaid Cottages wants to send out a huge thank you to the dogs and scientists of Working Dogs for Conservation; thank you for all you do!

If you’d like to learn more about Working Dogs for Conservation, please visit There, you can learn more about their dogs, their on-going projects, the scientists behind the work, and even how you can help the efforts!