Did you know that Americans will spend more than $75 billion on their dogs in 2019? That seems like a crazy number, but I believe it because I think I’m on pace to spend about half that on my own rescued quadrupeds, Moe and Bentley. It’s easy to get carried away trying to show your pups how much you love them. And for everything they give to us, they deserve it.

That’s why I recently threw a dog party in my back yard. I invited a bunch of my clients’ dogs (and the clients, of course), whipped up some homemade treats, and asked The Perfect Spot For You, LLC to come photograph the whole thing. We had 21 wonderfully well-behaved dogs (and one ornery little chap (Johnny!) who took a leap onto the snack table – but he’s definitely forgiven) of every size and shape in our backyard and they had a blast! We even had a random dog from the neighborhood stop in. He’d gotten out of his yard and was wandering around, heard the party, and decided to join in. He came to the right place, that’s for sure. Check out a short video of the guests.

If you’ve spend any time with me, you know I’m dog-crazy. I’m not alone though. Remember that $75 billion number? I see dog-mania creep into real estate decisions all the time. Often, it’s just a subtle concern about whether the yard is fenced or not, or if there is a walkout so an older pup doesn’t have to navigate stairs.

But increasingly, people are factoring their current and future pets’ needs into their buying decision, going so far as to build “dog rooms” during new construction build food/water stations into furniture or a kitchen island. Check out some of these pictures and this HGTV blog to get an idea of how far people are willing to go.

There are even companies like Kennel Furniture and BB Kustom Kennels that specialize in creating custom dog kennels that are regular furniture pieces.

Now while some of those might be a little out of the average person’s reach, I think the trend is great. I’m obviously a supporter of most anything that would make Moe’s and Bentley’s lives more enjoyable. My husband and I have gone so far as to lower our bed to make it a little easier for Bentley to jump up due to a bum back.

Dogs are especially on my mind right now because of a book I just finished: “My Life Among the Underdogs” by Tia Torres. You might recognize that name if you’ve ever seen the show “Pitbulls and Parolees.” The book is a love letter to the special dogs in her life – what she’s learned from her time with them and what she thinks we all need to know about them. It’s a lovely read, but make sure you’re stocked up on Kleenex.

I’ve had the chance to meet so many of your pups, but I’d love to meet more or just get an update on those I’m already friends with. Let me know how they (and you) are doing or send along a picture. And if you’re considering a new family member, please think about a rescue. We’ve had great success and there is truly a need for good homes out there. I’m a big believer – so much so that the Heart of American Humane Society is one of the charities I offer to donate $100 to on your behalf if you buy or sell with me. They do great work.

Give my best to all of the good boys and girls out there, and do let me know if you’d like to come to the next dog party. I’ll see you all then!