The Canine Cottage on McCaulley

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Joseph J M.

87 Reviews
38 Repeat Guests
Other Sitters Nearby
  • Same day bookings are OK
  • Responds within 35 minutes
  • Cancellation Policy:

Pet Requirements

  • 1-20 lbs
  • 20-40 lbs
  • 40-80 lbs
  • 80+ lbs
All Ages OK
List of Breeds Not Accepted
Pit Bull - American Staffordshire Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog

Joseph J's Resident Pets

Fergus MacDougall (aka Gus)
Shetland Sheepdog
7 yr 10 mo old
Mixed Breed
3 yr 4 mo old
Mixed Breed
3 yr 4 mo old
Other Pets & Animals: Cats

Joseph J's House

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Outdoor area

About Joseph J

I'm a retired college professor who has owned dogs and cats for more than 40 years. I own a small historic cottage with a large fenced-in back yard in a quiet area right off the major routes to the Delaware resorts (Lewes, Rehoboth, Bethany and other southern Delaware attractions). I've been dog-sitting for friends and relatives for many years.

Since I'm home all day, I can pay special attention to your pet's needs. I would be happy to accommodate any special dietary requests, administer medications and handle basic grooming and bathing. I adhere to your requested schedule for feedings and treats. I have a number of "special needs" guests (older or fragile canines, those who need constant supervision or have physical limitations) and I make every effort to assure their comfort and safety. In some cases, I may limit boarding availability to them only during their stay so I can provide one-on-one care.

All of my guests have free-range of the house unless crating is requested by the owner (e.g. puppies in training). Sleeping accommodations are whatever makes your pet comfortable: his own bed, his crate or my bed!

I provide regular check-ins and updates throughout your pet's stay via text or email. These include brief comments about your pup's feeding habits, play activity, any behavioral issues, etc.

"Meet & Greet" visits for new guests are highly recommended. These short visits allow us and your pet to get acquainted and provide an opportunity to discuss any specific needs prior to your first reservation.

Daycare here at the cottage is offered on a half or full day basis--great for when you plan a day trip and need short-term care. The daycare rate is for 12 hours, but drop-off and pick-up times are very flexible. Please note that the nightly rate indicated is for a 24-hour period e.g. 10:00 am to 10:00 am the next day. Additional charges may apply for delayed/late pick-ups or extensions. Custom quotes are available for these situations and for returning guests, long-term stays and multiple pets.

I focus on small to medium breeds and try to limit guests to two at a time. I will consider larger dogs, but will need to discuss before booking.

Regarding calendar availability: send me an email with your requested dates even if the calendar shows "Unavailable" or "Booked." I may still be able to accommodate your pet!

Finally, please make sure your pet is using a Flea and Tick medication. Our location here in Sussex county is known for heavy concentrations of these pests and I want to make your pet's stay as comfortable and worry-free as possible.

Read More about Joseph J...
Contact Joseph J
Special Needs Accommodated
  • Advanced senior issues

Joseph J M.

87 Reviews
38 Repeat Guests
Other Sitters Nearby
  • Same day bookings are OK
  • Responds within 35 minutes
  • Cancellation Policy:


  • Available
  • Unavailable
  • 1 Spot Left
  • Booked
  • Last updated January 4, 2017


Course 101 Graduate
By completing courses at DogVacay University, hosts learn about best practices to help them provide the highest quality care for your dog.
Course 102 Graduate
By completing courses at DogVacay University, hosts learn about best practices to help them provide the highest quality care for your dog.
Facebook Connected
This Host has provided DogVacay access to their Facebook information.
Pack Promoter
Pack Promoters are active members of the community who promote DogVacay and hosting best practices.
Disaster Relief
This sitter has completed training for the DogVacay Disaster Relief Program and volunteered to help displaced pets in the event of a natural disaster.
References Checked
Our team reaches out to each of our host's references to provide an extra level of confidence and verification.
Pay through DogVacay for:
Premium Pet Insurance, 24/7 Customer Support and Daily Photo Updates!

Services & Rates

Boarding Overnight At Joseph J's Home
$30 /night
  • Watches up to 4 dogs/night
Daycare At Joseph J's Home
$20 /day
  • Watches up to 4 dogs/day
87 Reviews
Used joe twice now both times my pups came home tired and happy :)
Very good visit with Joe! Finn was very happy! Highly recommend!
Great visit! Finn was exhausted from so much fun! Joe was great, flexible and communicative! Highly recommend!
Our dog's stay went perfectly. We appreciated Joe keeping us informed on a daily basis on our pets stay. Highly recommend Joe.
We communicated quite a bit prior to my boyz overnight stay. Joe was very lighthearted and I felt comfortable. Arriving at his home, he was very attentive to me and my pups and I left knowing they would be in great hands. Joe even sent txts and pics to keep me updated. Joe is great!!
Joe was charming and very caring of Daisy! Great host!
What a great experience my pup had staying with Joe! He was very kind and understanding of some of her stranger quirks (as she is a rescue), and took perfect care of her. I would definitely use Joe again!
Dear Joe, As always Hershey had a wonderful stay. Your kindness and care of him has always been excellent. Please see my previous reviews for more information. Thank you. Michele.
You could tell that Joe loves dogs from the moment we arrived. He took the time to go over any instructions we had in detail and also reviewed all the items we brought with us (toys, food bowls, etc) to make sure he understood her normal routine. Can't recommend him enough!
Joe is absolutely fantastic! We felt completely comfortable while our dog, Bella, was in his care. He sent daily updates complete with pictures and it is obvious that he genuinely loves animals and treats his "guests" as members of his family. We would use him again in a heartbeat!
Joe is a very sweet and caring host, but in the future we may use someone who cares for less dogs at one time, and can give more focused attention to our older pugs.
We boarded our three dogs for five days with Joe. He took great care of them! He sent us updates and pictures of the pups regularly. Joe is a very responsible caregiver!
As always, Joe gave Hershey excellent daily care. I received several updates about his day and his health. I have reviewed Joe previously so please reference those comments. Hershey always comes home happy and in a well cared for state. I would not consider leaving him with anyone else. Hershey and I am blessed to have a safe, healthy environment to depend on when I am traveling. Thank you. Michele C.
Our dog Ace stayed with Joe during our week at Rehoboth Beach. Because we live far away, we were unable to have a "meet and greet" with Joe and his dog, but based on Joe's reviews I was fairly confident all would go well, as Ace is friendly and loves other dogs. It was comforting to know Ace was not far away in case of an emergency, and that he was well taken care of. I would highly recommend Joe. He is a genuinely nice guy and it's obvious that he is a dog lover.
Scout and Britt had a great time at Joe's! This was our first time leaving the puppy and she settled right in. We are always confidant that the corgis are in good hands with joe. Looking forward to seeing him next summer!
Joe is great! He has a sweet cottage with a fabulous fenced in yard for the dogs to play in. He has an intuitive understanding of dogs and how to care for them and shares frequently updates about how they are doing. I wouldn't hesitate for him to watch Porter again! Thanks!
Joe was a great dogsitter. He texted us with concerns about our dog and kept us informed as to how she was doing. We were very pleased that our dog was in good hands while we were away.
Joe was absolutely wonderful! We are always nervous leaving our miniature dauchshund Milly, but Joe put us at ease right away. Joe is friendly, has a cozy home and it was obvious upon meeting him how much he cares about animals. This was our first experience with both dogvacay and Joe. We were very happy with our experience and would use dogvacay again. We would also most definitely have Milly stay with Joe again if we are back in the area. This is a great alternative to leaving your pet at a kennel. It was more like leaving Milly at home. Thank you for taking such good care of Milly Joe!
We have used Joe before and as always our dog is well cared for and we never worry when we are away.thanx joe
As always Joe is excellent with our Ruby - he's always our first choice ....
Barkley had a great visit with Joe and his pups over the weekend. He was a pleasure to work with and I immediately felt confident leaving Barkley in his care. Joe sent nightly updates and photos which was the perfect amount of communication. He's in a great location with a fabulous yard--Barkley and his new friends surely played the entire weekend as he slept the entire drive home! Will certainly rebook for our next trip to the shore.
Fantastic as always!!!
This was Blanche's second weekly stay at Joe's, and once again, I could not have asked for better. With his daily emails I was assured that Blanche was well taken care of. Joe truly cares about the dog's well being and I highly recommend him!
PS: Blanche said she had a wonderful time with you and the boys.
Thank you Joe!
We had a completely Positive Experience with Joe! We had a meet 'n greet during which we saw his home and yard--both perfect for our little guy. The two of them hit it off immediately; we had no concerns leaving him with Joe. We appreciated the occasional texts to keep us informed during his stay, and he was completely at ease when we came to pick him up.
This is Hershey Kisses third vacation with Joe M in the last two years. As usual he had a splendid time during his vacation. Joe met all his needs and special dietary meals with his usual no problem thought process. His health is always my major concern and Hershey came home very happy and his usual healthy self. We cannot thank Joe enough for all his care and thoughtfulness. His home is truly Hershey's second most loved residence. Regards, Michele C.
Recently we had to call on Joe at fairly late notice to care for our Schnauzer, Harley so we could attend an out of state funeral. Once again, Joe (and Gus) opened his home & heart to our little guy. As always Harley had a great time and came home happily exhausted. While it was a stressful week, (given the REASON we were called away) we didn't stress for a moment about Harkey! Once again, we knew he was in great hands, eating well/sleeping well and romping with the other dogs in that big fenced backyard! Thanks once again, Joe for making Harley feel so at home!
I had to travel for work and needed someone to care for my 3 month old wheaten puppy. I hated to leave him, but Joe was wonderful! He made my puppy feel right at home and kept to his schedule. Joe is a caring, thoughtful and terrific sitter. He makes sure your pet is well cared for!
Joe is attentive and your pups are in good hands!
Once again Izzy had a great vacation with her doggie friend Gus and wonderful adult friend Joe. Joe, you really do spoil her!!
I don't even know where to start! I have a senior dog (almost 18 years old) who is virtually deaf and blind and was concerned about him being in a new environment. Joe could not have been more accomodating even when my return was delayed due to weather. He was in communication every day and even sent some photos! I know Spikey was well taken care of and will definitely return! Thanks Joe for the peace of mind while I was traveling! You exceeded my expectations!
Joe genuinely cares about his dogs. We would use him again.
Thank you, Joe for taking good care of our dog. You re the best.
Izzy had a wonderful visit at her second home once again. Looking forward to volleyball season for our daughter and lots of visits for Izzy with her pal Gus!
Leaving our dogs with Joe was such a pleasant experience! Right away I felt like he was family, and I knew I was leaving my dogs in kind and very capable hands. Will definitely be using him in the future for all of our dog sitting needs.
We have tried 3 kennels in the Milton-Milford area ,two were unsatisfactory(very)and one was satisfactory,Joe's personal interest in Cooper and communication with us was outstanding.Many Thanx!
Hershey had a wonderful stay and came home happy and healthy. Please see my previous review for more details. Joe does an excellent job and truly cares about the well being of the canines left in his care. I would highly recommend his services. Michele C.
Awesome!! Sadie's visit could not have gone better! Joe is amazing. Sadie is a rescue lab and can be quirky. She loved staying here. Joe gave me text updates to keep me calm leaving my child away and allowed me to enjoy my trip. It does not get any better than this having someone you know cares about the needs of your dog keep and be with your pet in there home while you go away. I'll be back!
Cruz had a great time! Thanks, Joe.
FANTASTIC DOG SITTER! I have been rating it before. Do I need to repeat it?
Scout slept for about two days when we got home... my favorite sign of a good sitter! There were two other corgi's while we were there... seemed to enjoy his playmates. Looking forward to seeing Joe, Gus, & the kitties next year!
Maddie and Park had an awesome weekend with Joe. When we took them over, they were both very excited. Both of course were well taken care of and I got my updates everyday. I love Joe taking care of our dogs.
Joe was very thorough about understanding our pug's needs and went the extra mile to ensure that she was well taken care of. He left little texts almost every day to let us know how Freddie was doing, which was very reassuring being that this was the first time we had used DogVacay as well as Joe. We would highly recommend Joe to anyone who needs to have their dog taken care of while they are away whether it be for vacation or family obligations.
In summary, Joe was great!
We needed a place for our standard poodle to stay during a week long family beach trip and we were so glad to find Joe! He took great care of our dog and was very easy to work with. Joe clearly loves dogs and is an experienced dog owner. Our dog needed medicine and he had no problem with this. We got daily updates and when we picked our dog up at the end of the week, we could see he was comfortable at Joe's and had been well cared for. Much better than any kennel! We highly recommend Joe!
Joe is the best! He kept me up to date everyday by text. We had a "Meet & Greet" before vacation and his home is perfect for dog sitting.
His dog Gus and my Blanche hit it off very well.
I was late in picking up Blanche but it was no problem.
I recommend Joe to anybody who wants to have a sitter for their dog.
I will go back again when the next opportunity arises.
Since, I had never used DogVacay before I was a little apprehensive. But after the meet and greet with Joe, I felt totally at ease in leaving Hershey, my Jack Russell Terrier, in his care. He is extremely knowledgeable about puppies and dogs and will go out of his way to make sure his canine friends receive excellent care. Since Hershey had some medical issues he was ready and willing to give meds if needed. I received text updates on a regular basis even though I was out of cellular range at times. It was comforting to receive those messages when I was back in cell range. Hershey got along with Gus (Joe's Sheltie) very well and I think he misses him. His time in the back yard, playing and taking walks made him feel like a puppy again. When we picked him up, he was bathed, well fed, and very happy. I would use Joe in the future without reservation knowing that Hershey would receive excellent care. Michele C.
Joe is the best- calm, caring and loving. We didn't worry for a second while Buddy was there.
Joe couldn't have been nicer and he was very flexible with our travel plans. Keeps in touch with you regularly while he's pet sitting to ease your mind. Great guy to watch your dog.
Joe was incredible. I wouldn't leave our dogs with anyone else but him. He was very accommodating and texted us everyday letting us know how things were going. We felt very comfortable leaving our corgis with him. The dogs were happy and loved it there. Our baby corgi loved playing with Gus. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better sitter for our dogs.
could not be happier, Gitmo seemed to really bond with Joe and his son, first time I have left him with someone he did not know and it worked out great. will use him again and have already recommended him to my neighbors!
Molly loves staying with Joe! He is absolutely an animal lover, and Molly can't wait to get out of the car to see him each time. Convenient location on the way to the beach; we hope to continue to board Molly with Joe!
Joe is great! He takes excellent care of our dog. He's incredibly flexible. We'll be using him in the future.
Scooter had an awesome time with Joe, his son and their fur baby, Gus. He slept like a baby when we got home. We'll definitely go back!
Pepper had a wonderful stay with Joe this past weekend! We appreciated the text message updates each day - always good to hear how things are going. Joe was very flexible when it came to drop-off and pick-up times, and had all of Pepper's belongings neatly packed up and ready to go when we came to get her. Pepper was worn out from her weekend away, playing with Gus and the other dogs - we could tell that she had a great time!
Joe is a very caring person. My dog loves him instantly. Our dog gets along with his dog, Gussy. Joe's home is very lovely and let our dog running freely. Our home is much closer to Joe's and we will send our dog to him again.
Joe and his son were great. Scooter had a wonderful time during his stay - he slept like a baby when we got home.
Fine visit for my 'brood'. First time I had boarded all 4 at the same time. Went very smoothly. Joe tossed me a note each evening with a summary of the days activities. Really set my mind at ease. Very happy with this provider; will definitely be back, and soon.
This was Ted's first stay with Joe and Cain. I'm sure there will be more stays in the future.
I am a travel nurse and moved to Delaware for 3 months for a travel nursing position. I worked 12 hour days and had no idea what I was going to do with my 3 year old Labrador Retriever, Nate. I hated the idea of leaving him cooped up, by himself for 12 hours straight. I am so thankful I found Canine Cottage through dogvaycay! Joe was so accommodating to my work schedule. He allowed me to bring my dog Nate early in the morning and pick him up in the evening which helped me so much. I had a hard time finding a dog day care that stayed open past 7pm, since I worked 7am-7pm. If I worked 3 days in a row, Joe would offer to keep Nate over night since I would just be bringing him right back again early the next morning. Joe and his son took my dog Nate in as their own for the 3 months that I was there. Nate stayed with Joe 3 days a week and absolutely loved it there. Joe fed my dog for me since I brought him so early and picked him up late. He also played with him during the day. Joe would tell me "I got Nate a Frisbee that we are going to try out today!" He was so sweet and loving to my dog. I knew my dog was in good hands at Canine Cottage. In the past, my dog has had issues with anxiety. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt my dog was a different animal after spending time at Canine Cottage three days a week for 3 months. My dog was more relaxed, calmer, and not as skittish. It was amazing. At the end of my stay in Delaware I was so sad to be leaving Joe and Canine Cottage behind. Joe was even sadder than me, Nate had become part of their family he said. He even got my dog a farewell goody basket filled with treats and toys. I have not ever had anyone take such good care of my dog as Joe did. I highly recommend Joe and Canine Cottage!! I wish I could take them with me wherever I go. I will never forget Joe's kindness and hospitality. He not only took great care of my dog but also became my friend. If only all dog day cares' could be like Canine Cottage!!
We JUST returned from a 2+ week vacation to Mexico tonite and picked up our 6 year old Schnauzer, Harley at Joe's lovely "canine cottage". Already we can tell Harley had an amazing time! We've never left Harley for 2 weeks because we never wanted him in the "traditional" kennel setting for that long. Joe's loving care allowed us to enjoy the best vacation we've had in many years because we knew our VERY spoiled boy was being equally spoiled at Joes house! We had done a "meet and greet" with Joe and Gus prior to our trip and were instantly comfortable.... We knew Harley was going to have a lot of fun and he and Gus would become buddies. Joe was very willing to keep up with Harley's quirks and special feeding/treat needs. We received regular updates and pics, which we loved! We'll definitely be calling Joe again for future trips or doggie daycare. Thanks, Joe, Gus and friends for such a great vacation for Harley and us!! See you soon.

P.S: Harley LOVED the "goodies" you sent him home with, too.
Dogs were just fine when I picked them up. Joe is a patient soul to keep up with my dogs. When I got them home, they were exhausted from their day at camp. I look forward to the next time as I am sure they do as well.
Joe did a wonderful job with our dogs. He followed all of our instructions and the dogs routines. We are so pleased with his care that we will be using him again this weekend. Joe is very personable as well. Asks all of the right questions. Great people and dog skills.
Such a relief to know we have such a terrific place to leave our doggie!!
Another great vacations for our doggie! Gus and Izzy are becoming best friends!
Great vaca for Izzabella once again!!!
Joe was wonderful! Very accommodating to our schedule and easy to reach. Nori and Napoleon had a great time with Gus!
Once again we and our doggie had a great visit with Joe and Gus! Izzy came home happy and obviously well carried for in the comfort of home. We recently moved to Delaware and are thrilled to know we have such a "happy" place to leave our pet when we can not take her with us.
I left my dog with Joe for 3+ weeks this summer and I couldn't have asked for a better experience! Joe was wonderful, flexible, communicative and happy to let my crazy dog make herself at home in his little corner of paradise! When I ended up staying a few extra days at the beach, Joe was happy to keep Katherine without much advance warning, and even extended me a discount. . . he was willing & able to administer medicines as requested/if necessary, and happy to let the dogs run around and enjoy themselves without being overly strict. I'm pretty sure my dog had a great time, and at half the price it would have cost to stay with her walker in NYC. I've already referred friends & family. Thanks, Joe!
Joe is a wonderful easy going caring person. My dog is quite old and he is very gentle and supportive with him.
What a wonderful overnight vacation our doggie had with Joe and Gus!!! Thank you both for taking such good care of Izzy. It is great to know that we have such a great place to leave our 7 year old Bichon where she is loved and cared for as if she was home!!! We will certainly be using your services whenever we travel in the future.
Joe was great! He seemed to genuinely care about our little dog and we felt confident he was taking good care of her. We'll definitely be using him in the future.
Joe is a true animal lover. I believe he truely cares for the animals in his keeping. We will use him again!
The visit went very well. Joe was really responsive to Maxie's needs. As an older dog he has go out more often and Joes just manages that easily and with no fuss. He is very easy going.
Joe was a delight to work with and his dog Gus was friendly and nice. Our dog Emma made out well and we were very pleased with her care.
This is my second day visit and it went just as well as the first I plan next to do an overnight with Joe
Joe was so sweet and kind - Maxie is an older dog that doesn't see very well- he was responsive to his needs.
We enjoy Joe and we know our dog does also. Joe is a true animal lover. He cares for the animals. We will be using him again. I believe we have found a wonderful substitute for the kennel.
Joe was very pleasant; he let us know how Molly was doing throughout our trip. Molly seemed to enjoy her time with his dog, Gus.
Joe and Gus were excellent hosts for Scout! Joe was very flexible, which allowed us to come get the pup for a couple hours in the middle of vacation to take him to the dog beach for a swim. Scout loved the play mates he met at Joe's and came back to us happy, well fed, and very sleepy.
We found while watching TV and decided we should take a look at it.

We couldn't have been happier with Joe, Gus and I will admit that when we were headed to drop Coco off I was a bit nervous but as soon as we pulled up I felt at ease. Joe has a great dog named Gus who welcomed Coco into their home, Joe was very accommodating and professional throughout the entire process and Coco really enjoyed her special treat bag he gave to her.

Coco enjoyed her stay and this is the perfect place to have your dog stay if you are visiting the beaches.

Thanks Joe & Gus,
Joe was a fantastic host for Ollie! Our 7 year old vizsla still has energy like a puppy-- Joe was very accommodating and I have no doubt that Ollie kept him very busy for the week we were away:) But you wouldn't know it-- Ollie slept the entire way home and seemed exhausted from playing with Joe and Gus. We received regular texts and an email of pics to let us know that Ollie was enjoying his stay. We will definitely use Joe (and Gus) again:)
Joe was such an incredible, accomodating host! Due to unforeseen traffic issues, we were about 4 hours late from our ETA, but Joe didn't mind one bit. Doug really enjoyed his stay with Joe and Gus as he was incredibly tired when we picked him up. Everything was so easy and hassle-free.
We have brought our dog to Joe 2 times this year. He's done a great job; attentive to our dogs needs as well as easily accessible by phone or texting. We've enjoyed him as a sitter for our dog and will be returning to him for our next trip.
Just as the first time I left Tito with Joe, it was absolutely wonderful. He accepted my request minutes after I sent the email and only 1 day before i left for the trip!! What a wonderful host ! Joe is very flexible and makes the process effortless. I can't want to have Tito visit them again!
Joe and his dog Gus couldn't have been better hosts. Tito was worn out when he returned home. Joe is a great host with a wonderful, clean house and a spacious yard, toys and treats. I would highly recommend everyone to use his services. I am
Looking forward to bringing Tito back to Joes home on my next trip to the beach!
Joe was very flexible. And Caico had a great time -- I think she still misses Gus!
What a terrific experience! The dogs were happy when we picked them up and
I felt like they were really cared for by Joe. They clearly had been
playing and not just cooped up in a kennel as they passed out within a
minute of getting into the car to head home. Joe's house is very dog
friendly and his yard is nicely fenced to keep in even the smallest of dogs
from making a run for it. Gus, Joe's dog, is a sweet guy and a terrific
host as well, sharing his toys and playing with the dogs. We will be using
the service again and again!!!
Read All 87 Reviews