Ever since I was in college I have owned a dog. First came Fogarty from a pet store (can you believe it?) and he is the reason why I have never lived in an apartment since then. I chose my housing based on if there was a yard. Two years later I married my hot hubby and we moved from Sacramento to Seattle for fun. I had secured my first after-college job as a 6th grade teacher, but guess what?, I got paid very little. I think I started at $21,000 a year in 1994.
Due to Fogarty, we only were able to look at houses with yards since he was a large German Shepard/Husky mix. We found a super cute cottage in a sketchy neighborhood that was smaller than my classroom, but the yard was huge. The rent was $525/month for this 620 sf home and we lived there for 2 1/2 years (because we was poor!). During that time we acquired, Happy, an American Staffordshire mix and now we had sealed our fate to forever renting, and eventually, owning houses with yards.
I now have two kids who have grown up for the most part with two dogs as part of our family. We have had Sidnie, Rusty, Logan, and Molly since Fogarty’s and Happy’s tenure with us. Recently, both Logan and Molly passed away within 2 months of each other and we literally lasted five days without another pooch. The house was so empty without a furry friend to snuggle and love. We now have Nina, the most gorgeous pure bred American Staffordshire, and she had us wrapped around her paw within minutes.
These furry family members have shaped where and how we live. My hubby is happy with a smaller yard, but we have rented or bought houses with big yards so the dogs can run and play. Logan, the smartest, yet craziest, of all our pups, forced us to put up a fence in our predominantly fence-less neighborhood to keep him from taking off and surprising walkers down the road. That cost some change. Molly had kidney disease and needed access outside to pee often, so we installed a dog door that isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but definitely functional.
Our family has been blessed with all of our dogs who filled our homes with love and fun, and I certainly don’t feel like we missed out on living in an apartment or some other home with a small yard. Yes, we have paid much money and put in much time into our yards because of them, but it was definitely worth it. Now we have a yard Nina can go out to anytime she wants due to the dog door and the fence and she is able to sprint around with her other canine friends.