Chester giving me some serious ‘tude!

I used to think that people were bat-guano nuts when they talked about their pets.  You know those people…the ones that have more pictures of their fur babies than they did of their human children.  The would purchase all kinds of crazy crap to make their babies comfortable…Sherpa blankets, crate fans, nail polish, organic treats, high end grooming stuff, etc.  Yep, all kinds of crazy **raises my hand**

Over the past few years of having multiple Chows and now being left with just Chester, I begin to realize how much we depend on each other for emotional support and protection.  Our lives are so intertwined that I realize that I cannot be comfortable unless he is comfortable.  It is a bit nerve racking, but honestly its a necessity.  I read all the labels on his food, I pay attention to recalls, and I seek out products that he will actually like vice what I like.  I almost sound like a snob when I talk about what I feed Chet and how he is treated, but believe me that is not my intention.  I just hate high vet bills and I find that if I can do some preventative medicine…I am on top of it.  What is really funny, is me buying the gourmet treats for dude.  I was in a doggie boutique in Florida a couple of years ago and as I had the girl behind the counter let me ‘smell test’ all of the treats that contained meat or cheese.  She kept saying something about peanut butter…Chet doesn’t eat peanut butter.  Anywho, she thought I was nutters until I explained that if I cannot smell the meat Chet can’t smell the meat and he will not eat it.  So, after 10 more minutes of smelling treats, we finally decided on a cheeseburger flavored treat that actually smelled like seasoned beef (HE LOVED THEM!).

So, the sh*t that I do for me dog has lead me to this…I am buying a house and guess who determined what we needed in a home?! Chester!!  Did I really need to tell you that?!  Since moving to Maryland I have lived in a condo and a townhouse and both were just awful for my dude.  The Condo was on the third floor with plenty of stairs and lots of noisy neighbors.  If you know a Chow; their main job is protect the family.  So he was on guard consistently with the all the noise.  We had to make arrangements to keep him from the door and thereby allowing everyone to sleep through the night.  Luckily, the condo was on the top floor so we were saved from elephant footed top neighbors.  The townhouse we are currently living in is great, but it is a middle one that has neighbors on both sides.  The extra room is fantastic and the fenced in yard is fabulous, but the noise from both sides is driving us insane.

Before I go any further I want you all to know that I am nominating House Hunting as an Olympic Sport (thinking for the Summer Games!).  Hey if people can nominate the fake game Quidditch then I can nominate the REAL game of House Hunting!

When I started the house hunt I was initially in the market for a condo, town home, and a single family home (in that order).  The search was excruciating because I was working with a certain budget and needed some very important things for Chester.  We needed a fenced in yard or a yard that could be fenced in, hard wood floors (this was for both of us), a deck that he could sunbathe / chill out on, and finally lots of space for him to stretch out to keep him busy and on his job.  With his needs being the majority of my list, all I wanted was a basement for my home studio and a nice kitchen.  Once the games began, my list quickly just went from three home styles to just a single family home.  I really began to hate being attached to someone else and literally losing sleep when dude was on patrol after I had went to bed.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with apartment, condo, or townhouse living but it really is not for everyone.  I think I would have been more apt to do the condo/townhouse thing if I had a small breed dog (Yorkie, Jack, ChiChi, etc…).  Unfortunately for my back, Chow Chows are not exactly grab and go dogs and their barks are not at all cute.

Here is what I found (I am a sucka for Pinterest!): http://pinterest.com/thetwistedcow/osborne/.  At the release of this posting, I am still in the negotiation phase with GMAC on the price of this lovely short sale.  I am praying and exuding positivity!!!

My house that I found spoke to me on both an emotional level and a dog level.  At first I was a bit scared to even say that it was mine because buying a home is GI-NORMOUS!  I did go back a few times and after each visit I could feel the house and I could see myself making it into my home.  I saw Chester (and maybe a new buddy!) running, playing and lounging on the deck, I could see my friends and family eating, drinking, and making lots and lots of noise, I could even see children playing with the dogs and just making a full blown happy mess. I could truly see this as a home for me and my boy.

I am like most pet parents, we will do anything to make the furry ones comfortable.  They are part of our family and that unconditional love deserves some consideration when it comes to buying cars and homes.  I am not saying ‘go for broke’ when shopping for big ticket items, but a small creature comfort (pun intended) would be nice.  A house is something that everyone should get to enjoy and there should be something special for every member of the family; a room for each of the kids, a big kitchen and wine rack for mom, a man cave for dad, a yard for dog, a nook for cat, and a place for friends and family to gather.

Home is truly where the heart is, and no home is complete without laughter, a fur ball or two, and the smell of cookies. I just llllloooovveee cookies!

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