McCarthy & Stone’s pet-friendly policy* is a clincher for some looking to move into a retirement development. See how it gives animals as much of a new lease of life as their owners.
With five walks a day in local woodland and a new town to explore, 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel Becky is finding life more than agreeable at McCarthy & Stone’s Hillborough House at Bexhill-on-Sea, in East Sussex.
While her owner Frank Brewer, 78, says that leaving his home of more than 50 years in Lydd, Kent was “a real wrench”, it was the warm welcome the company extended to his dog that clinched the deal for him.
“I don’t have children or any family and, after my wife died five years ago, I was incredibly lonely,” Brewer says. “I knew that a retirement community with a lively social side would probably help me to combat my isolation, but many of the apartments that I looked at didn’t accept pets and I was forced to reject them.”
Four months since the duo moved to the development – a short walk away from the local village of Little Common and close to a dog-friendly promenade – both Frank and Becky have made plenty of new friends. “I get talking to all sorts of dog-walkers when I’m out in the woods, and what with keep-fit class and other on-site events, I’m getting to know my neighbours too. “All in all, both our lives have opened up since we moved into our new home.”
Two of Brewer’s neighbours are Brian and Joy Hellberg who, together with their nine-year-old shih tzu Lizzie, moved into their new apartment in May.
“Brian and I were keen to enjoy a more carefree retirement but in making the decision to sell our bungalow and buy
a home that was easier to run, Lizzie’s happiness was always a major priority." Joy says.
“Like Frank, we did extensive research into retirement options but it was McCarthy & Stone’s pet-friendly policy which was the deciding factor in our buying an apartment here.”
Although Lizzie loves being on the lead in the woods, she also enjoys playing with her toys when she gets home.
“I think most of us take the view that having the occasional four-legged creature around the place makes the whole development feel far more like home,” Joy says.
Brewer agrees. “I’ll never replace Becky because it simply wouldn’t be fair to leave a young dog behind, but just having her by my side makes me feel happy.
“The prospect of getting rid of my constant companion of more than a decade was unthinkable and if I had done so, I know that I’d be very miserable now.”
With a third dog, another shih tzu, soon to arrive at Hillborough House, both Frank and Joy look forward to the development having a small canine community of its own for walks and companionship for the dogs.
Says Joy: “All of us here want to remain active and mobile for as long as we are able and, with our impatient dogs to exercise, there is really no excuse not to get out and about whenever we can.”
* Terms and conditions apply. Contact McCarthy & Stone on 0800 153 3594 for more details.