Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary owners plan to build a group of cottages in Mt. Juliet for elderly dogs whose owners have died or who are moving to an assisted living facility.
The project is called Happy Even After. It will be between 9 and 11 cottages each housing as many as five dogs who are at least 10 years old in each 950-square-foot building on a four-acre site a few blocks from the current facility on Nonaville Road. The addition has been named “Flo’s Front Porch.”
“We had a beloved senior dog here called Florence and the neighborhood is named after her,” said Old Friends Marketing Manager Noël Kiswiney.
Groundbreaking for the cottages is expected in the next six months and the cottages are planned to open in the summer of 2023.
“We’re looking forward to introducing the Happy Even After program at Flo’s Front Porch,” said Old Friends co-founder Zina Goodin. “It’s something that people ask about often, and we are excited to have a chance to fulfill that need.”
Owners of dogs who live at the new cottages must pay for the program.
“This whole new program is for people who want to prepare their will and know they will have a secure, loving place for their senior dog,” said Kiswiney. “There is a bequeathment to the program to secure a spot.”
She said that the exact amount of the donation has not yet been determined.
“Each cottage will be designed to provide dogs in the Happy Even After program a comfortable, home-like environment, including bedrooms, a living space, small kitchen, its own yard and, of course, a dedicated caretaker during the days,” said co-owner Michael Goodin.
The cottages will be heated and cooled, as well as furnished. About 15 employees will be assigned to the program. There are about 75 employees and volunteers at Old Friends, Kiswiney said.
City laws prevent caregivers from spending the night in the cottages and no dogs will be let out between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., the same rules as Old Friends.