I am that crazy dog lady.

I’m just going to come out and say it–I love my dog…like really love him. Probably too much (is that possible?). He is my favorite part of my day and what I look most forward to when I am on my way home from work (shhh…don’t tell my husband).

This is Rogue.

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I’ve always had dogs growing up, and I loved them a lot. I grew up on a huge amount of land, so the dogs were able to run around outside the majority of them day and then come in at night to sleep. Lexi, our last family dog, just passed away this past year at the ripe age of 14. So, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for dogs, but I never knew how much that would grow when I had my own dog.

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Lexi the fall before she passed away.

Ryan and I had only been together a year when we decided we needed a dog in our lives. We lived in a small-ish apartment, worked 8-9 hours a day, and didn’t have a ton of extra money. It seemed like the perfect timing for us. We drove through 2012’s worst snow storm ever the day after Christmas to get to the local dog shelter. We were determined. We walked around a bunch of different dogs, but none of them felt like the right fit (which is awful to say looking back because all those dogs need homes…our home just wasn’t the one). So, we went home disappointed. The next morning, we woke up and decided that we would go back to the shelter. It didn’t take long to find Rogue (named Gunner at the shelter). He was this adorable 9 month old black lab who wouldn’t stop barking at us. After about 5 minutes with him we knew we had to take him home.

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The first day we brought him home.

Ryan and I consider ourselves pretty good dog parents. Rogue is very well-behaved, doesn’t jump on people, and only barks when the doorbell rings. He gets plenty of exercise, top quality food, and more love than he needs. On the flip side, we are a little lax in some areas. He basically runs our lives. He is allowed on the couch-not the bed– he wakes us up every morning, and he dictates our schedules. He chews on all things plastic and leather. He’s not perfect, but he’s close.

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Rogue is pure entertainment. He has an attitude sometimes, and it’s hilarious. He doesn’t need to speak because his actions speak loudly enough. He’s always ready to go on a walk, run, car ride, ANYTHING that has to do with us, he’s ready. He’s also ready at any point to sit on our laps, or get a new toy to carry around.

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Close is never close enough.

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Dogs don’t care if you just had a bad day at work, or if you had the greatest day ever. They don’t care if you were a total bitch to someone or if you just won the lottery. They love you regardless. Rogue’s day revolves around waiting for us to get home–and it kills me that we have to leave him alone for so long–at least I know he’s happily snoozing on the couch all day.

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Some people tell me he’s just a dog, and that I shouldn’t talk/care/think about him so much. But, he’s so much more than that. Rogue is a part of our family. We are a family of three. People say I will change when/if we ever have kids. And that might be true…but for now, it’s just me, Ryan, and Rogue–and it’s perfect.

So yes, I am that crazy dog lady that won’t go to happy hour after work because of my dog. I’m also the lady who leaves a concert early to get home to her dog. The first step is admitting it, right?

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Any other crazy dog owners out there? I know I’m not alone in this world.

Let’s buy a house!

Buying a house seems like the most logical thing to do two months after getting married, right? Now that I don’t have a wedding to plan, I needed something else to do in my down time. Instead of looking at hairstyles, flowers, dresses, and jewelry for my wedding, I’m looking at the Home section of Pinterest. My board is quickly filling up with lots of ideas for our future house. While most of the pins are ones we will never be able to afford or recreate, it’s still fun dreaming of what our house could look like. 

And no, we aren’t just looking to buy a house because it’s seems like the next step in our relationship…there are lots of reasons why we are looking. The biggest reasons are because we want our own place, separate from others, we want a yard, and we don’t want to pay a crap ton of money that we’ll never see again in rent anymore. I’m tired of hearing the neighbors through the walls, having only one parking space, and not being able to take my dog outside off leash. I know I know…#firstworldproblems. Anyway…

Ryan and I each have a list of things we want in a home. Luckily, our lists are pretty similar. As far as location goes, we are open–probably too open–to basically all the northern suburbs of Columbus with a focus around Westerville. Not being able to say exactly where we want to live will probably  provide us with some issues, but hopefully after seeing a few houses in each area we can narrow our locations down.

In terms of what we want, here are things that we (more specifically me) are looking for in a house:

1. A yard. Not just any yard. We want a yard that either has a fence or where a fence can be added. I know there are invisible fences for dogs, but that’s not something I’m interested in. The bigger the fenced in yard, the better in our opinion. 

2. A big kitchen. Preferably with an island. We cook a lot together and in our current place, we are always in each other’s way. Most of the food we make requires a lot of chopping and cutting, so the more room the better. 

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From my Pinterest board and this site: http://bit.ly/1oWKVxk

4. Modern updates. We are okay with painting a few things, or maybe buying a new oven if totally necessary, but for the most part we want a recently updated place. We don’t want to have to bring in the Property Brothers to fix up our fixer-upper. Not saying we can’t, we just don’t want to. 

3. Vaulted ceiling in the living room. This is something that I really want in a house. I want our living room to be a floor to ceiling room, with a loft looking over. I know that sounds very specific, but we’ve already seen lots of houses that have this near us, so I have a good feeling that we’ll end up with it. 

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From my Pinterest page and this site: http://bit.ly/RXIVqu

5. Finished basement. We have one now–but we rarely ever go down there because it’s dark, cold, and small. We want to have a basement where we can put a bar, tv, decor, poker table, all the works. We want to actually want to use our basement.

There are plenty more things that we are looking for in a house, like: separate shower from tub and double sinks in master bath, walk-in closet, good neighborhood and school district, and 3-4 bedrooms.  

Ryan and I have only been together for 2.5 years, but we have lived four different places together. Since I was 18, I have had 9 different addresses. I’m only 26. I’m so excited about living in a place for more than year, and to actually feel like this is our home for awhile. 

So, let the home buying journey begin. It’s a fun process and I’m excited to find a more permanent place for our little family of three. I know Rogue can’t wait to run around his new yard. And please, don’t be that person that makes this comment, “You know once you get a house, a baby comes next!” No, thank you. This is about all I can handle right now:

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Yes, that is a dish brush. No, it is not his toy. He was so proud of himself though. I love this picture.

Any first-time home buyers out there? Any advice for us or other things we should be looking for?