Fun fact, we are coming up on our one year anniversary of adopting our dog, Dorothy! Not-so-fun fact, for the first 6 months we had her, she had extreme separation anxiety. We went through numerous crates and cages, tried home remedies, music and even hired babysitters to keep her calm in our absence. When my husband was out of town, I felt defeated and panicky at the thought of not being able to leave my house for the smallest errand.
During that period, I began researching places that I could either work with Dorothy in tow, or take her with me if I needed to pick something up. Around the Triangle, we were welcomed at certain coffee shops, most breweries and restaurant patios and outdoors-y type stores. I knew that Home Depot was a safe place for us to venture, but never imagined the plethora of other dog-friendly stores that were out there. We credit Dot’s calm demeanor to getting out and about in public and keeping it cool while on leash. Here are a few of the places I was surprised to find, and am making my way through!
Just a note: I always call ahead to the individual store to ensure that the manager will allow us. I also consider how long I need to be there and what I’m actually getting to evaluate if it’s the best place to bring her. Also, she is incredibly calm and friendly and never ruffled or destructive in public. If she were, I’d definitely find another option rather than subjecting everyone to bad behavior!
So, it’s no secret that Dorothy June runs our life and we joke (sorta..) that we bought her a back yard for her birthday. And honestly, with 1/3 of millennials agreeing that they purchased a home for their pup vs. marriage or stability, it kinda feels nice to know we aren’t alone. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, there are important considerations for every member of the family. I’m going to share some of the highlights today to keep in mind when you’re buying:
- Research the Community- One of the best things about moving from an apartment is no longer having to answer to a leasing company. However, many homes you’ll see are part of a Homeowner’s Association where you’ll pay dues for them to do a variety of things from maintaining your lawn to planting flowers in the shared spaces to planning the 4th of July BBQ. Many of these associations also have restrictions on whether or not you can fence a home and what styles are allowed. ALWAYS make sure to get a survey of your lot so you can see where the property lines are, and if there are any easements or setbacks that would keep you from fencing in your land. Also make sure to take leash laws, noise ordinances and other restrictions into account from the local government.
- Scan for Dangers- This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but you should 100% scan your new backyard and take note of anything dangerous for your pup. For instance, I heard a story recently of someone losing two pets in the same day after they ate poisonous mushrooms in their new backyard. Are there plants you don’t recognize? Holes that could belong to snakes? Woods for wildlife like coyotes? All these things are great to run by your agent, the sellers and your vet.
- Be Open to Tradeoffs- I sometimes find it’s difficult to satisfy my pet owner clients, because obviously our babies deserve the best. However, sometimes you may end up loving a house with a small yard. Be sure to take a spin around the neighborhood and look for walking routes, parks, and other dogs to play with that could lighten the pressure of having the perfect outdoor space. Also be sure to note things like stairs and hardwood floors that could be challenging for older dogs, or exciting and great exercise for young pups.
- Update All Records- Once you land on a new place, update your dog’s microchip information immediately. With all the new sights and smells, there’s a chance that they’d run off and be uncomfortable in their new neighborhood. Also, take some time early on to interview new vets, find new caretakers or dog walkers, and transfer any records and medications to the new doctor.
As silly as it may sound, it helps to find an agent that understands how hard it can be to find the perfect match for your WHOLE family when your dog runs the show. We all know animal lovers are among the most trustworthy and beloved, so never hesitate to ask any questions necessary during the interview process!