I Own A House For My Dog

Golden Retriever playing mini golf

I think we should buy a house in one of those cool golf course communities.

Many years ago I loved Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper, had a Chippendale-style sofa, and covered my floors with Oriental rugs.

Then I got dogs.

Living in the Dog House

My first dogs, Agatha and Christie, worked hard to convince me not to care about decorating. How?

  • by chasing each other down the hall and sliding the hall runner into a scrambled mess every half hour
  • eating not one, but two couches (yes, including the expensive Chippendale camel back)
  • devouring the kitchen vinyl floor

Their lessons stuck.

Every house decision I make now revolves around dogs.

  • all floor surfaces are easily washable
  • I have puppy gates hidden around the house
  • the kitchen garbage can lives on the back porch, just in case
  • when I chose upholstery, I evaluated it for how likely it would snag in a puppy nail
  • I bring a sheet out for the furniture when I want to sit on it without getting covered in dog hair

But the biggest decision of all is that I own my house for dogs.

Dog Real Estate

I’ve always loved apartment life.

I enjoy chit chatting with neighbors in the elevator, doing laundry at the laundromat, and having my weekends free to do things beside house repairs.

But I love dogs more. So I own a house.

As a homeowner, I never worry about my landlord objecting to Honey’s presence (although you’d have to be insane to dislike Honey, right?) or to any of our foster pups. If I ever have a canine remodeler in the house who decides to chew the baseboards, it’s only my problem.

If only I could figure out how to get Honey to help out with the mortgage.

Everyone Should Own a House For Her Dog

I have a really fun day job. For the past nine years I’ve taught and counseled first home buyers on how to find and afford a place of their own.

Every new class I teach I ask my students why they want to own a house. Every time, someone talks about how hard it is to find animal-friendly rentals in our area.

I’ve always told myself my mission is to help low and middle-income people afford a home.

But now I’m starting to wonder. Maybe my purpose in life is to help people buy homes so more animals have places to live.

The header for Hands on Home buyer blog.

Visit Me in My Other Kennel

While I’ve been neglecting reading blogs and visiting all my fun friends online, I’ve been reworking my other website, Hands on Home Buyer.

Yes, I have lots of work I still need to do. But I hope you’ll check out my new look. Especially if you need to buy a house for your dog.

Your Turn: Do you link homeownership with having pets? 

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  1. Do you link homeownership with having pets?
    Absolutely! It was actually one of my motivations for saving to buy a home. No more landlord with animal restrictions!!

    When I was house-shopping, I was looking for a house in a dog-friendly area (to me that meant not on a highway), preferably with a fenced in yard. I was lucky to be able to purchase a house with both. Got my first foster dog the day after I moved in. Got the second one (with her puppies) two weeks later. I kept the mom.

    • I forgot how close your fostering was to becoming a homeowner. Boy, you really know how to jump in with both feet. :)

  2. It was the most important reason for my buying a house. By far.

  3. I take dog fur samples when I shop for furniture or accessories. (fortunately my dogs have earthtone colored fur which is my preference anyway.) I’m glad dogs don’t come in green or purple.

    • I find matching fur color tough. My last dog was black and my wardrobe matched her. Then I adopted a Golden Retriever. I can’t exactly buy a new wardrobe. And I certainly wouldn’t want to buy all new furniture.

      You’re smart to settle on a fur color preference. :)

  4. What a timely post! I’m rearranging my home improvement schedule & priorities (that I’ve been saving for ages to do) to put a fence at the top of the list. :) Who needs a garage? lol.

    • Our fence was one of the best home improvements we made. We created a design that would allow neighborhood cats to flee from our last, cat chasing dog. Unfortunately, a fence that lets cats escape is not escape-proof for foster puppies.


  5. We always rented, only had cats, and I would tell my hubby he could have a dog when we owned a house. The dog came very shortly after we got the house. I was just thinking the other night also how I missed renting….it seemed like I had so much more free time without a house and yard to maintain. Hubby and I used to walk for hours in the evenings, with nothing else to do. But now you’ve reminded me what we were missing then….we didn’t have a dog to walk with us (except for the occasions we borrowed the neighbor’s). I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

  6. Your site looks great!! I love the colors.

    I got a house so I could have my pets with no problem. As I’m getting older, I keep thinking about how big the house is and how much upkeep it takes. I think a smaller house would be better, but I love my yard, especially for the dogs. Most houses in town don’t have a yard this big and I’d hate to give it up.

    • Thanks. Glad you like the fresh look. I definitely wanted cheery colors.

      You have so many animals I can’t imagine how much you could downsize. Of course, some of them are pretty small. :)

  7. I choose carpet (when I have to have carpet) based on the dogs’ fur colors. I made a floor for my dining room out of plywood last summer because I thought it would be durable enough for the dogs. We have two leather couches and a leather chair – wipe off, and the scratches only make them look more rugged and lived in.

    The yard – the yard is a different story. The yard is for the chickens.

    • You are a clever, clever person. Why make more work for yourself?

      I just had my wood floors refinished. We had a playful foster dog arrive the next week, who, with Honey, made them look “rugged and lived in.” :)

  8. I have not had carpeting in at least 20 years. I do kind of miss it, but I would miss the dogs sooo much more:)

  9. Hands down, my favorite thing about having a house is being able to have dogs. When we were house-hunting, it was essential that the house had a nice garden/yard, so that the dogs could run around if they wanted to. I think it’s pretty archaic how unaccommodating landlords are towards pet owners. If we can provide good references, and they can do regular inspections to make sure things are ok, that should be enough.

  10. I’m fairly certain that my friends and family were nothing short of complete and utter shock the first time I announced I was buying a house and moving to the suburbs for the dogs. Their shock doubled the first time Koly ate an Italian Leather Pump and quadrupled when he ate the nobs of my antique dressers. The quest for the dog friendly house was impossible and we settled on an extreme fixer upper that eats up all my spare time, sucks my pocketbook dry and has a yard big enough to play fetch in and grow a large garden. Is it a complete 180 from the person I thought I was? Yup, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  11. One of the things we looked forward to about having our own home was FINALLY being able to have a dog! Our apartment was entirely pet free, though there were a couple of roaming neighborhood cats (I used to be a cat person) who kept us company once in awhile. The first house we looked at (a historic Octagon!!) was horrible inside: water damage, black mold, exposed nails etc. from renovation the one guy who owned it was doing, only one bathroom that was completed (in the basement)…I remember being in tears, saying “we can’t have a PUPPY here.” If it was considerably cheaper, we could’ve gotten it and had it rebuilt inside (what it truly needed). Instead, we had to let the Octagon dream go……

  12. Good luck with your other site. My son dearly wants a dog, but he’s just graduated from college and is in an apartment, not yet ready to buy a house. But some day he will.

  13. Nice job on the new site!! My hubby and I joked that we would get a dog before we could unpack the boxes when we bought our first house . .I think we waited two weeks before we got Cali 😉 We lived in a townhouse in SC for a little while, but we really didn’t enjoy the fact that we didn’t have a yard for Cali to hang out in – she loves to be outside! We love being homeowners!

  14. That’s why I can’t *sell* my house. It’s impossible for a single mother with three kids and a big dog to find a rental.

  15. Oh yes! When hubby and I first got married, we lived in an apartment, but no dogs were allowed. We had two cats, a fish tank and a cockatiel living in the apartment with us, but it was the first time either of us had lived without a dog. We closed on our house at the very end of October, and before the year was out, we had a dog!

  16. Slimdoggy says:

    Like all of us here, the dogs are a big factor. We’ve always had a house, but weve also moved many a time over the years and the dogs were a huge factor in the houses we would even look at. Location to running trails, big, level yard, one story. We turned down many a nice home because it wasn’t suited for the dogs. But they are family members, so it’s no surprise really.

  17. We shop with the dogs in mind. No glass tables. Coffee table high enough not to be used as a dog plate etc etc. Funny but a lot of our purchases are made after considering the dogs including clothes. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  18. Love this post! We not only own a house for our dogs… we own a farm for our dogs :-)

  19. Absolutely! And might I add car/truck buying as well? YES! When we got Titan 2 years ago, we tore up carpet in the house but down wood laminate (easy to clean), got rid of my microfiber couch, got a leather sectional (again, easy to clean), got rid of my lifted Ranger pickup cause Titan couldn’t get in it nor fit, Got a Jeep instead. Everything revolves around this lil booger and I wouldn’t have it any other way! :) Fab post!

  20. Apartment life for my dogs wasn’t too bad at all. I found a pet friendly apartment complex that had no weight or breed limitations. Since my dogs were mostly indoor pets, it didn’t matter that we had no big back yard to play in. In fact, Maya really could care less that we now live in a house with a yard. She is much more excited about getting to go on walks than she is about spending time in the back yard. Living in a house is nice, but living in an apartment with my dogs was not a bad experience at all.

  21. YES!! We were lucky when we moved to IN. We were able to choose a few things for our house – like hard floors instead of carpets, a 6-ft privacy fence, and so on – that were all to make life good for our dog-loving ways! When we needed to buy a new sofa, we “tested” them in the stories, but only for how easily we could get fur off the fiber. I love the idea that your covert purpose is to help pets find homes… Such a lovely job!

  22. We lived in an apt. (on the 11th floor) when we got our first puppy. But we knew we were only living in that city (and also the next one) temporarily, so we made due with apt living and our dog. It was great to finally get a house with her.

    Our new house we definitely bought with the dog in mind. We were looking for one story anyway, but she’d just had her leg amputated, so getting rid of the stairs was even more important. It has hardwood floors – which are easier to keep clean, but a lot slippier than carpet for a 3-legger! She and Rita have both managed to leave a lot of scratches in the floors – someday we’ll have to refinish them!

    Good luck with the new site!

  23. Max's Ma says:

    One of THE best things about buying my house too!


  1. […] down, there really is no place like home. Like Pamela at Something Wagging This Way Comes, we own a house for our dogs, or so that we can have dogs without anyone being able to tell us what dogs we can or can’t have. […]