Furry Four-Footed Friends Add to Life at United

When Pat and Darlene McCulloch were searching for an older adult community, one of their priorities was to bring their two cats with them.

“There are so many places where pets aren’t allowed, which means someone has to to give up part of their family to move in,” said Darlene.

Their two cats, Mo and Mittens, were adopted in Arizona nine years ago and have been an inseparable part of the family since. Mo most often spends time with Pat  while Mittens favours Darlene.

“I know we wouldn’t have come here without our cats,” said Darlene. “We looked at several places, but we were very impressed with Fish Creek and it was close to our family. It’s very special to come home and they are both there to greet us.”

Darlene says the cats are never let out, except to sun themselves on the balcony, and they let visitors know the cats are there in case anyone has allergies.

“It’s a definite plus for United to have a pet-friendly policy. For single residents who have lost a spouse, a dog or a cat definitely brings a smile or two during the day,” said Darlene.

United occasionally bring dogs into its communities through PALS (Pet Access League Society), which give residents who don’t have pets an opportunity to interact with them.

Jeanne, Gordon and Briggs in the Fish Creek courtyard
Jeanne, Gordon and Briggs in the Fish Creek courtyard

Gordon and Jeanne Schnell moved into Fish Creek four years ago with their dog Briggs. The community had recently opened so there were few residents. They would often walk Briggs through the community to get outside. But as more people moved in, they opted to take Briggs for walks outside directly from their first floor suite.

Briggs developed heart issues and passed away last week. He was 12 years old.

“He was a good natured dog and people really loved to see him,” said Gordon. “Our next door neighbour has a dog and they were great friends. We got a lot of cards and well wishes from the other residents. I would say that being able to keep Briggs with us when we moved in was one of the main reasons we chose United. It was a very positive experience to have him with us and we’re so glad that United allows pets. They mean so much to residents and employees. They really are family.”

Photos by United Active Living, Pat and Darlene McCulloch. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our commercial, Life Experiences.

Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!