Disaster Preparedness for your Dog: 8 things to do before disaster strikes

The State of California, Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health and Food Safety Services department has developed a brochure which outlines steps that pet owners should take to prepare for an emergency situation.  The following are their suggestions:
1.  PLAN AHEAD. In the event of an evacuation, pets may not be allowed inside human emergency shelters. Determine the best place to leave your pet in case of a disaster. Identify an off-site location as well as a place in your home.

2.  IDENTIFICATION AND PHOTOGRAPHS. Dogs and cats should always wear properly fitting collars, personal identification, rabies, and license tags. Make sure all the information on the tags is current. Keep a current photo of each pet. Make sure any distinguishing markings are visible. You will need proof of ownership to retrieve your pet from a shelter.

3.  DISASTER KIT. Maintain a disaster preparedness supply kit for each of your pets.

4.  PAPERWORK AND RECORDS. Store important animal documents in a ziplock or waterproof plastic bag. These should include vaccination and medical records.

5.  VACCINATIONS. Your pets need to be current on vaccinations. You will be required to show proof of vaccination if you need to board your pet.

6.  TRANSPORTATION. Each animal should have their own pet carrier. Familiarize your pet with the carrier or cage before an emergency.

7.  LEASHES AND COLLARS. Keep a leash handy for each dog and cat in your home. Consider using a harness.

8.  BUDDY SYSTEM. In case you are not home when disaster strikes, ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals. Exchange veterinary information and file a permission slip with your veterinarian authorizing them to get emergency treatment for your pet if you can’t be located.

The last step could be the most critical.  You may not be around when disaster strikes and that is why it is important to live in a dog friendly neighborhood.  It takes a village to care for a dog and having a dog friendly support system in your neighborhood could save your dog’s life. 


Lose a Pound with your Hound at Sweeney Ridge Trail

Sweeney Ridge, Golden Gate National Park,

The Sweeney Ridge Trail is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Mateo County. This hike with your hound is not a gentle stroll. It is a fat burner. I literally lost a pound. The hike is 5.7 miles and climbs 600 feet up Sneath Lane Trail. Once you get to the top, the trail is nearly level and there are panoramic views of the ocean and the San Francisco peninsula. Dogs are allowed on leash on the trail.

Sneath Lane Trail

To get to the trailhead exit Sneath Lane from I-280.  Drive west about 2 miles and you will see a small parking area for about 15 cars.  There is no entrance or parking fees.  There are also no restrooms or maps.  The trail is paved and starts from a gate at the end of Sneath Lane.  Sneath Lane Trail meets Sweeney Ridge Trail about 1.66 miles into the hike.  There is a junction with a paved trail to the north and a dirt trail to the south.  The paved trail to the north only goes as far as the Nike site.  The Sweeney Ridge Trail continues to the south. 

For more information about the Sweeney Ridge Trail, the following books are good resources:
Peninsula Trails: Outdoor Adventures on the San Francisco Peninsula (Trails)

The Bay Area Ridge Trail: Ridgetop Adventures Above San Francisco Bay

Buy a Pad for your Pooch near Peet’s and a Park

1001 University Drive, Menlo Park, CA 

What’s better than living near Peet’s and a park?  How about living across the street from Draeger’s?  There is a home new on the market at 1001 University Drive in Menlo Park that has it all.  It is is steps from Peet’s, Draeger’s and a park where they have concerts during the summer.  This home has great schools, good dog parks and excellent restaurants within blocks. 

The home is not only in a great location.  It is beautiful as well.  It has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  There are beautiful hardwood floors, a living room with a fireplace, fenced in front yard and a private backyard with deck.  The front yard is fenced but a large dog could easily scale the fence.  The backyard has a high fence so any size dog would be safe.  The fenced in front yard is a nice feature for dog owners who have dogs who like to bolt out the front door. 

For more information about this and other dog friendly homes on the Peninsula, go to www.PeninsulaHouseHound.com or contact me directly at Djuna Woods at (650) 450-0724. 

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

Palo Alto Penthouse for your Pooch

117 S. California Avenue, Palo AltoDo you have a downtown dog? There is a new penthouse condo on the market at 117 S. California Avenue in Palo Alto. Located next to shops, restaurants and CalTrain this is the perfect setting for your downtown dog. It is a great condo if you work at home. The current owner has his desk set up in front of a window with a panoramic view of Palo Alto Hills. It might be hard to get your work done because the view is so beautiful. 

There is another penthouse for your pooch at 101 Alma Street.  This is a great unit if you are downsizing with your dog.  The penthouse has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with sweeping views of Stanford and the western hills.  The building has a staffed service counter on the first floor. 

Both of these penthouse condos are rare finds.  Penthouses rarely come on the market in these buildings.  For more information about these and other pet friendly condos contact me at djuna.woods@cbnorcal.com or go to www.PeninsulaHouseHound.com.

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Larry Lane Trail

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

I am always on the lookout for good, dog friendly hikes on the peninsula. On President’s Day I discovered Larry Lane Trail in Portola Valley and loved it. It is a little like Pulgas Ridge but it is a much more moderate hike. The 1.75 mile trail gently climbs into the Sierra Morena Mountains to a vista with spectacular views of the Peninsula. There are several benches along the trail and a picnic area about halfway up.

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

The trail begins along Hayfields Road near Portola Road and winds up along the Portola Valley/Woodside town border. There are a series of switchbacks in the lower portion of the trail but the incline is not steep. The trail emerges into the hayfields near Russell Avenue in Woodside Highlands.

Larry Lane Trail, Portola Valley

There are patches of fragrant Narcissus and fields of green grass along the trail.  As the trail ascends it becomes shaded and the brush grows thick with poison oak.  Dogs are required to be on leash on the trail.  Generally I hate to put my dog on a leash while hiking but on this trail it is a good idea.  As much as I love my dog to be free I didn’t want to have to deal with ticks and poison oak when I got home.  

What are your favorite dog friendly hikes on the peninsula?  Pulgas Ridge and Larry Lane are the best hikes I have found. 

Published in: on February 20, 2008 at 5:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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Is your neighborhood safe? New website maps local crime

The city of Palo Alto launched a new website on Wednesday which allows the public to use Google Maps to plot crime incidents in the city. The Web site, http://www.crimereports.com, provides users free access to targeted e-mail alerts and a searchable database of the city’s recent crimes.

Every morning the police department updates the website from their report management system.  Not only is this tool valuable to keep residents informed about crime in their community it is also an excellent resource for buyers considering various Palo Alto neighborhoods. 

I searched the site for crime reports around Palo Alto’s dog parks.  Hoover Park was virtually crime free.  Greer and Mitchell parks both had crime incidents on their borders.  To check out the crime around Palo Alto dog parks click here.

Hopefully, Menlo Park will subscribe to this service at some point.  There is currently a rash of burglaries taking place in the Willows near Willow Oaks dog park.  The burglaries are primarily taking place in the morning after the owners go to work.  It would be great to see a map of the area to view where the crimes are clustered.

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New on the market: Top Pick for Dog Friendly Home in the Willows

The Willowss in Menlo Park is a dog friendly neighborhood located between San Francisquito Creek and Willow Road. Eucalyptus, oak and bay trees line the streets making it a nice place to walk your dog. It also has a neighborhood dog park which is one of the best in town. Willow Oaks dog park has limited hours but a newly reseeded lawn and friendly people. To search for homes near Willow Oaks dog park, click here.

The Willows has a strong sense of community.  They even have their own Yahoo Group at Willows_neighborhood@yahoogroups.comwhere neighbors stay connected and share information.  As I was driving through the Willows previewing property on Broker’s tour, I saw the above Basset Xing sign posted to a tree.  Now that is dog friendly!

A bike path connects The Willows to Palo Alto making trips to downtown Palo Alto with your pooch an easy walk over the San Francisquito Creek.  

 221 McKendry Drive, Menlo Park

There is a new listing at 221 McKendry Drive which is my top pick for dog friendly property in the Willows.  It is walking distance to Willow Oaks, located on a quiet street and was formerly occupied by two King Charles Cavaliers.  This 3 bedroom 1 bath home features an updated and expanded kitchen, top of the line appliances, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, dual pane windows, wood burning fireplace and garage bonus room.  There is a nice backyard area for your dogs to enjoy.  Open house Saturday and Sunday.

For information on other dog friendly properties on the peninsula, contact me at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com or visit my website at www.peninsulahousehound.com.






New on the market: Dog friendly homes in Menlo Park

429 Concord Drive, Menlo Park

If you are looking for a single family home in Menlo Park that is in a dog friendly neighborhood, my top pick is 429 Concord Drive. The home is located in The Willows, which is a cute, dog friendly neighborhood conveniently located near 101. There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout the home which makes for easy cleanup when there are dirty paws and a lovely fenced backyard with a large Heritage Oak tree (perfect for keeping you dog cool on hot days.) One of the best parts about this home is that is walking distance to Willow Oaks dog park which is one of the best maintained dog parks in the area. 

600 Willow Road, Menlo ParkIf you are in the market for a dog friendly townhome, 600 Willow Road is my top choice.  Dogs are allowed and there are no weight restrictions.  Several of the owners in the complex have small dogs.  The best part about this townhome is that it is right around the corner from Willow Oaks dog park.  The townhome itself has a small yard but living next to a dog park is priceless. 

Both homes are open this weekend.  For more information about these homes or other dog friendly properties in Menlo Park, contact me at dwoods@peninsulahousehound.com.

A Dog Friendly Neighborhood is No Joke

I often get mocking smiles when I tell people I am a dog friendly Realtor. Yesterday one of the agents in my office walked by my desk barking. However, most dog owners know that having a dog friendly Realtor and finding a dog friendly neighborhood is no joke. When I talk with dog owners about my business, I frequently hear stories about dog hating neighbors that ruin people’s lives. Just today I heard a story about a woman who was walking her dog in her neighborhood when she saw a pit bull behind a fence in a neighbor’s yard. Before she knew it the pit bull jumped the fence, ran over to her and began terrorizing her, her young son and older dog. Fortunately, there were no injuries (other than emotional) but now she is afraid to walk in her neighborhood. Other neighbors have told her that the owner is aware of the pit bull’s tendency to escape and has done nothing about it.

These are the kind of things you want to know before moving into a neighborhood.  As part of my dog friendly real estate services, I help my clients get the lay of the land before they put in an offer on a house.  I always recommend that my clients spend some time in the neighborhood walking their dog and talking to neighbors.  If there is a dog park near the home my clients are considering buying, I suggest they take their dogs there for a trial run.  You can get a pretty good idea of the personality of the neighborhood by spending some time at the local dog park. 

Dog parks are not created equal.  Some dog parks have rough dogs.  Some have aggressive small dogs.  Some are mellow.  Others are friendly.  At one dog park a man dropped his pit bull mix off at the gate and got back into his car to read the paper.  The dog ran wild through the park.  When approached about the unattended dog, the man said, “Oh, don’t worry.  He is friendly.”  This may not be the park you want to live next to if this is how the people handle their dogs. 

Dog owners have many unique considerations when buying a home.  Some of the things I help my clients determine is the suitability of the neighborhood for them and their dogs.  Does the home have an area where they can contain the dog when they are not at home?  Is the yard large enough and safe enough for the dog to be left unattended?  If they have an older dog, is there going to be an issue with a two story home?  If there are carpets, are they going to get ruined by a dog’s dirty feet? 

Dogs are the new children.  Just as you would want to move your children into a neighborhood with other children and good schools, if you have a dog you want to move into a dog friendly neighborhood with good dog parks.  Unlike schools there are no test scores to study, but a dog friendly Realtor can point you in the right direction.