When I first moved into my home, one of my criteria was to find a place that I could have a dog.  Growing up without any pets, I relied heavily on human friends to support me but that only went so far as my human friends couldn’t share nightly talks with me on my bed or house my deepest secrets or fears with unconditional love.  I had this little hole in my life that just screamed doggie best friend but my parents could not afford to feed a pet.

When I became a mom, I knew that I wanted my son to have the joy of having a best friend that will be with him through thick and thin.  My search for our home started when he was first born and ended with a beautiful house that gave us the ability to grow our family with PETS!

We now have 2 dogs, Clover and Ivey, who has grown up with our family.  When my son was 3, Clover came into our lives and the first thing he did (other than hug her till she yelped) was to take her around our backyard for a “walk”.  The joy of this little furry thing following my little guy and both of them starting to tell each other secrets and plans for the day just brought tears to my eyes.  It’s amazing how a small moment can rain in water works while elevating your soul.

They played nights and days in the Winter (we live in Phoenix so it’s always awesome to be outdoors) and secured themselves tightly in their bed sheet tent during the Summer.  Toys became either supporters of the two or sworn enemies as my son created scenes that pitted Beanie Babies against each other.  If only we could win Academy Awards for the hours of videos we created as a team. Clover was the lighting gal, runner, gopher, housekeeping service (lots of dropped popcorn during final film edit).

When Ivey came into our lives, it was exactly New Year’s Eve.  We found her 2 days before as an abandoned puppy being advertised on a Lost pet site.  We went into the country store that had her and when they brought her out, she jumped into our arms and wagged her way into our hearts.  We couldn’t leave her there so the debate started with my husband on one side and my son, Clover and I on the other side.  Guess who won?  Just a little brag here:  I’ve never lost a debate before so hubby was at a huge disadvantage.  And the little sad tears streaming down my son’s face kinda helped too.

For the next year, it was a whirlwind of puppy training, finding foods that mysteriously left our tables and buying so many toys to replace those that were simply chewed up by enthusiasm.  But you know what the BEST memories are?  My favorite memories of all time were the play dates that had my son’s friends enjoying the dogs too and making them part of the pack.  While the boys found interesting ways to create a boys’ club, the girls (Clover and Ivey) found ways to make sure that the pack was safe.  They would corral them in the backyard by running around them in circles.  They were the monkey in the middle when the boys started throwing footballs around and they became the ball girls when the boys would play catch in the pool.

A Home is so much more than features or color of the walls.  It’s memories that are made in the most unexpected ways.  For me, my memories are of that first time up and down the stairs.  The time when he first said “trash truck” when the he saw his first garbage pickup.  The time, when he, Clover and Ivey were in the backyard clubhouse sitting and sharing a book he was reading.  This to me is what owning a home is all about.