One step closer: A house for May!

Backyard garden plots with the new house (fenced-in yard on the right).

I’ve been SO excited and relieved this week, because we have made our first big step toward adopting a dog: Moving!

We found a new place to rent and our lease will begin May 15. I cannot WAIT to move in!

Here are all of the reasons why this place is totally awesome for us and for our future dog:

  1. Our landlord is a really cool young woman with three dogs herself (including her fiance’s blue heeler), so she’s totally dog friendly and fine with us having a dog! She is also a volunteer at the same SPCA that I volunteer at, which has been a neat connection. We definitely bonded over that when we met.
  2. You can’t see it in the picture above, but the house comes with a sizable fenced-in yard, which I am thrilled about, because it is REALLY hard to find in this area.
  3. Plus, the extensive garden plots are outside the fence, which means Guion can carry on gardening projects without being disturbed by the dog or worrying that the dog will tear them up.
  4. It’s in the exact neighborhood we wanted: Calm, quiet, and easily walkable to downtown.
  5. The house is a 6-minute drive from my current office. THEN, when my office moves to its new location in early 2013, I’ll be only a 15-minute WALK to the office. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
  6. The location of the house will also make it possible for me to leave work at lunch (my dog-loving boss has already given me approval for this) to come home and take the dog for a mid-day walk. I’m also hoping this will be a sell for the rescue agencies.
  7. The house is also just a short walk away from our city’s greatest park: It’s 280 acres of wooded natural glory and it’s just a skip away from our location. The park and the surrounding trails, woven through by a beautiful river, are really dog friendly and I can’t wait to explore them with our future dog!
  8. We can afford it! That’s the big one.

There are other reasons, I’m sure, but these are the significant ones that come to mind right now. I feel like I can breathe, having this big decision already made. The countdown to May 15 begins! 3 months, 1 week, and 5 days…

Pup links!

The much-maligned Wallis Simpson, aka Duchess of Windsor, with a cairn terrier. Source: bettyswallow.blogspot.com

A lot of interesting and thought-provoking dog-related links around the Web this week…

Pet-Friendly Apartments Are Lucrative. Are you hearing this, landlords of my town?? Listen closely! (The Bark blog)

“Dog People” Are from Pluto and “Cat People” Are from Jupiter? The summary of a very interesting study on the personalities of professed “dog people” and “cat people.” I was surprised at how many more people are self-professed “dog people” than “cat people.” What do you think? Does the study’s results accurately reflect your side? (Dog Spies)

Investigating Canine Research: Are Our Dogs Spying on Us? A fascinating study from Alexandra Horowitz‘s Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. The study looks at the ways in which are dogs are watching us–reading our facial cues and listening to the tones of our voices–to get what they want. (Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab)

I Am a Clicker Convert. In a simple video, Kristine and Shiva demonstrate why a clicker really works. (Rescued Insanity)

Conflict Regarding Greeting People. I wonder about this, too. Is it better to let a dog get overexcited when meeting people in public? Or should we avoid those meetings altogether? (A Frame of Mind)

Exercises to Keep Dogs Off of Counters and Tables. I’ve always imagined that this would be a rather difficult behavior to fix. Here are some practical and helpful tips on how to address “counter surfing.” (A Frame of Mind)

Preventing Aggression Over Food. Karen London provides a fresh and helpful perspective on how to avoid food aggression. (The Bark blog)

A Canine Stress Dictionary. A list of common signs and symptoms that may indicate that your dog is totally stressed out. (Whole Dog Journal)

Fruits & Veggies, Oh My! A List of Dog-Friendly Foods. A helpful list of the healthy foods that are safe for dogs to eat. A carrot does sound like a great alternative to a fatty, calorie-packed treat. (The Hydrant)

They’re Leaving Home… I don’t think I’ll ever get over the feeling that Aussie puppies are the most adorable creatures on the planet. Deep down, my heart will always belong to this breed. (Inkwell Aussie News)

Yet More Quteness. A precious litter of GSD puppies at a nearby Virginia kennel. So hard to have self-control… (Blackthorn Working GSDs)

New Hounds in Town. A photo essay on the arrival of 10 recently retired greyhounds getting prepped for adoption. (ShutterHounds)

On the Street: Mulberry St., New York. Every outfit looks better with a dog! (The Sartorialist)

There’s A Dog In the House. Add this to my coffee-table-book wish list! (Dog Milk)

Summer Reading: Top Ten Favorite Dog Books. Some of my favorite dog books are on this list, too! A fun and easy guide to great books about dogs. (City Dog/Country Dog)

Up and Over. So funny. Such gleeful effort! Such hilariously tragic results. (Animals Being Di*ks)