New on the Market: Menlo Park Pick of the Litter

971 Menlo Avenue, Menlo Park, CA
I was reminded today of why I love Menlo Park. While waiting for a parking space in the Draeger’s parking lot, I saw a blond, soccer mom type back out of a parking space in her huge Suburban and pull off the bumper of the neighboring car. The owner of the damaged car happened to be walking to her car at the time and saw the whole incident. She approached the woman driving the Suburban who immediately jumped out of her car and burst into tears. The woman whose bumper was dangling from her oversized SUV hugged the tearful woman and told her everything was going to be OK. It was so sweet. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy about my community.

The people in Menlo Park are for the most part good natured.  They are dog loving, good hearted people who help their neighbors and want to preserve a small town feeling in their city.  Of course there are exceptions but this has been my experience.  My dog and I get a lot of love when we walk the streets of Menlo Park and I feel lucky to live here.

If you would like to experience all this love yourself and are looking for a townhome for you and your small dog, there is an ideal property steps from Draegers.  971 Menlo Avenue is an inviting loft-like 1 bedroom, 1 bath townhouse located on a quiet cul-de-sac a block from downtown Menlo Park. The upstairs room features a central wood burning fireplace, high ceilings & oversized windows.  The bedroom downstairs leads to a private rear garden deck.  It is small but cozy.  The location is the major selling point of this unit. 

The HOA restricts dogs to less than 25 pounds which is probably a good idea because the backyard is small.  However, there is a deck and grass area that would meet the needs of most small dogs.  The condo is also walking distance to Nealon Park which is an off leash dog park in weekday mornings between 8:00-10:00am.   

For more information about this and other dog friendly properties, go to www.peninsulahousehound.com.  You can contact me directly at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com or call me at (650) 450-0724.

Five Ways to Protect Your Pet

A dog friendly neighborhood is not just one that is close to a dog park.  It is a neighborhood where the neighbors consider your dog a member of the family.  Like children it takes a village to care for a dog.  If for any reason your pet ever escapes or gets lost, you need to be connected to your community in order to get help. 

When a pet goes missing, the first moments are the most crucial in getting them back safely. If at all possible, you want as much support in place to ensure they can be returned before they become traumatized or taken to an establishment where traditional identification methods take time to process.

I recently discovered a wonderful service for pet owners called My Pet Street.  The My Pet Street PetAlertz community is a free neighborhood watch service to help prevent lost or stolen pets.  Connie Weiss, CEO and Founder of My Pet Street, suggests the following five tips for keeping your pets safe. 

  1. Always have identification tags attached to collars and harnesses. Use split rings or snap hooks so they stay on securely. “S” and “O” rings open easily and tags fall off.
  2. If you are in pursuit of a dog, don’t run after it – instead, get into their view and squat down – calling them to you.
  3. Carry a squeaky toy, ball, or treats – whatever will be the most attractive to the dog.
  4. Pet theft is on the rise. Keep your animals indoors if you are not at home, and don’t tether them in public areas unless you have a clear line of sight at all times.
  5. If your pet is lost, never give up! We have stories of pets coming home long after most people feared for the worst. Your drive and energy will keep hope alive for the rest of the community and they will help you!

Connie reminds us that as a community, we know that if you agree to help me, and I agree to help you, we significantly increase the chances of reuniting lost pets quickly. She and her team look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood!

Thanks, Connie.

6 Tips for Relocating with your Pet

I just connected with the president of PetRelocation.com, Kevin O’Brien.  PetRelocation.com is a one-stop-shop for the local, national and international transportation of live animals with a strong emphasis on assisting companies with relocating employees who are pet owners.

“Pet owners need to take prudent steps to ensure safe and comfortable travel for their animals, particularly those who travel by air,” said O’Brien.  He suggests 6 tips for making travel with your pet smoother and easier. 

  1. Purchase the right travel crate. “A travel crate is the most important item you will purchase when relocating your pet,” said O’Brien. “If traveling by air, the size of the crate is required by law to meet minimum dimension requirements. The internal crate measurement has to be greater than the length of your pet by at least 2 to 3 inches. There also must be adequate ventilation and water for the animal.”
  2. Crate train your pet. “Most pets experience stress while flying because they are not properly crate trained,” O’Brien said. “Properly preparing animals for long flights in confined spaces will reduce the travel-induced stress. Get your pet accustomed to its travel crate well ahead of your travel date.”
  3. Plan Ahead. “Moving with pets is a complicated process, especially if you’re planning international travel,” noted O’Brien. “Some countries require at least six months of preparation before your pet is allowed to enter the country. Using a pet moving service like PetRelocation.com will ease the burden of taking your pets across the country or around the globe.”
  4. Do not sedate or tranquilize. “Over-sedation is the biggest cause of animal deaths during airline transport and accounts for more than half of all deaths,” warned O’Brien. “Except for special circumstances, veterinarians should not dispense sedatives for animals that are going to travel by air.”
  5. Limit food intake. “Limit a pet’s food intake the day before travel, said O’Brien. “Although a pet may initially disagree, scaling back food intake can make for a more comfortable trip.”
  6. Get a vet check-up. “A veterinarian must be consulted before your departure date,” noted O’Brien. “When traveling within the United States, you must obtain a domestic health certificate dated within 10 days of departure. A valid rabies certificate is also needed.” 

O’Brien says that these and other sensible steps will make the next travel experience positive for both travelers and pets alike.

For more information, visit www.petrelocation.com or call 877-PET-MOVE (738-6683).

Canine Profiling: 11 dogs that could raise your insurance costs

Beware of Dog

It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on sex, age, race, religion, family status, national origin, military status, or disability. However, it is acceptable to discriminate against someone based on the breed of their dog. In most states it is legal for insurance companies to charge homeowners higher premiums or refuse to renew a policy based solely on the owner’s breed of dog. Insurers say that canine profiling helps bring down the cost of homeowner policies. Dog bites cost home insurers more than $300 million annually. As a result, some insurance companies are refusing to issue property policies to owners of “biting breeds” or increasing the premiums for those dog owners. Will your beloved pooch cost you more in insurance premiums?  Below is a list of 11 dogs that regularly make insurance companies “bad dog” lists.

  1. Akita
  2. Alaskan Malamute
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. German Shepherd
  6. Pit Bull
  7. Presa Canario
  8. Rottweiler
  9. Siberian Husky
  10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  11. Wolf Hybrid

The best way to take a bite out of your insurance costs is to train and spay/neuter your dog.  Insurance companies also like to see that your pet is secured on your property.  For more information on homeowners insurance for dog owners go to the American Kennel Club’s Homeowners’ Insurance Resource Center.

Dog Days of Real Estate

Djuna Woods and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bucky
Dog friendly real estate has been getting some press coverage recently. Today I had an interview with the Animal Radio Network. Hal Abrams interviewed me about pet friendly real estate and why it is important for pet owners to work with a Realtor who is sensitive to the needs of their pets. You can hear the interview by downloading the podcast from Animal Radio. My interview is about 30 minutes into the podcast if you wish to skip ahead. 

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote about Peninsula House Hound last Sunday on the front page of the Business section in an article entitled Some real estate agents have pet projects The article discusses how Realtors are creating niches for themselves in order to target their marketing.  I shared with the reporter that dog friendly real estate services are not just a clever marketing tactic for me but rather it is my passion. 

I am a dog owner and the other dog owners I know consider their dogs part of the family.  When buying or selling a home, dog owners know they must take the needs of the entire family into consideration including the four footed ones.  The location of dog parks is becoming just as important as the location of schools and other amenities when I am showing people homes.  To be able to come home after a long day at the office and have the luxury of only walking a few blocks to a dog park where your dog can exercise off all of the pent up energy from the day is priceless. 

For more information about dog friendly real estate services, contact me at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com

Moving with your dog: Five ways to ease your dog’s stress

Moving with your dog 
M
oving is disruptive for every member of the family including the four footed ones. I have heard stories about dogs getting so traumatized by a move that they had to be medicated. There are five steps you can take to make the transition easier for your dog. 

  1. Remove your dog from the home on the day of the move.  If you are able to take your dog to doggie day care or a friend or neighbor’s house it will ease your dog’s stress. 
  2. When you take your dog into your new home for the first time spend some time playing and reassuring your dog that everything is ok in the new environment. 
  3. Unpack your dog’s toys, beds and food/water bowls before bringing your dog into the home.  Dogs like routine so try to place the objects in the same general location as they were in the previous home.  Your dog will feel more relaxed once he recognizes familiar objects and smells.
  4. Walk your dog through your new home so he can sniff out his new surroundings.  Give your dog lots of positive reinforcement and maybe a treat or new toy so the experience is positive.  Show your dog where his bed/crate is located so he knows where he can go to feel safe.
  5. Walk your dog around the neighborhood and introduce him to your new neighbors.  This will make everyone feel better.  If your dog ever gets out of the yard, it is helpful if your neighbors recognize your dog.  It is also good PR.

Divorcing with a dog?

1155 Merrill St. Menlo Park


There are two condos that came on the market this week in Menlo Park that are a good fit for a single person with a dog.  They both have three bedrooms so there is ample room for your pooch and visitors.


Pictured above is 1155 Merrill Street #202.  Although this is a second story unit, there is a rather large patio area for a dog.  This condo is ideal for enjoying the downtown Menlo Park lifestyle.  It is close to shops and restaurants and is across the street from the CalTrain station.
580 Sand Hill Circle is a spacious, end unit, townhome with a golf course view (along with a view of 280.)  It is a little noisy but as the listing agent said you can think of it as a stream in your backyard (nice spin.)  Sand Hill Circle is a common destination for divorcees so if you are separating you will be in good company in this area.  I noticed quite a few people walking their dogs in the neighborhood when I previewed the property today.  One of the neighbors has a King Charles Cavalier and another one had what sounded like a large dog barking in the garage.  

For more information on these and other dog friendly homes on the Peninsula, go to www.peninsulahousehound.comor email me at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com.

Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 6:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Featured Palo Alto Dog Friendly Homes of the Week

355 Channing Avenue

355 Channing is a beautiful, two story single family home in Channing Park.  It is less than four years old and looks like the owner has hardly lived in it.  The downstairs has lovely hardwood floors which makes cleaning so much easier when there are dirty paws.  The home is walking distance to downtown Palo Alto and the best part is that it has two small parks on either side where dogs are allowed on leash.  After a long day at the office, having a park a few steps away where you can take Fido is worth its weight in gold.  There is also a legal rental unit in back with its own parking space.

A few steps away at 325 Channing is a townhome which backs up to a park where dogs are allowed on leash.  It has Walnut hardwood flooring downstairs and a gourmet granite kitchen.  With a location that is walking distance to downtown and local parks, this unit makes a good dog friendly home.

For information on other dog friendly homes in Palo Alto, contact me at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com.

Interior design with your dog in mind

Has your home gone to the dogs? If so there are five ways to freshen up your home and make your living environment more attractive.

  1. Remove wall to wall carpeting and replace with hardwood floors.  Carpeting traps fur and oils and is easily stained.  Hardwood floors are easy to clean and keep your home looking fresh especially during the winter. 
  2. Repaint your walls with a gloss paint such as Benjamin Moore Regal Matte finish.  This is a new line of paint that combines the rich, deep look of a flat paint with the washability of a gloss.  Flat finish paints are difficult to clean and the paint will often come off when you are trying to clean Fido’s smudge marks.
  3. Reupholster your furniture and change the pet’s bedding to match your pet’s fur color.  Although the fur is still there this can make a tremendous difference in the overall appearance of your home.
  4. Set up an animal room near an entry.  This will help contain your pet’s dirt to one area.  Ideally, this room should have tile floors for easy clean up and an area where towels can be stored to wipe your pet down upon entry. 
  5. Cover the hardwood floors with patterned area rugs.  The pattern in the rug will hide some of the fur and makes cleaning easier.  One of my clients bought modular carpet tiles for one of their rooms and it looks great.  The carpet squares stick to the floor with adhesive and come in a variety of styles and patterns.  They are easy to install and best of all easy to replace if Fido stains one of the squares. 

Peninsula Real Estate Market Update

Economic news was sketchy again this week, with housing-related headlines continuing to point out the scary negatives. However, we continue to see a surprising amount of interest from buyers who are deciding to take the plunge. The deals that are out there are getting to be irresistible, and with mortgage rates starting to creep back up (though still at near historic lows) buyers are recognizing that now may be the best time to buy. Sales are increasing in all price ranges in many areas, and it is perhaps the passing of the economic stimulus package that is spurring these buyers to buy. Now they’re jumping in while the deals are out there.  We are also starting to see homes that have been on the market for quite awhile starting to get multiple offers and selling.  First time buyers are also finding affordable, desirable homes in lower price ranges and through REO sales – and they’re buying them.  It is not uncommon now to see multiple offers on REO’s. For more information about the local real estate market contact me at djuna.woods@cbnorcal.com.