My dog has a chair in the living room. It’s one of those huge, rattan papasan chairs from the 1970s that we picked up from my husband’s grandpa.
The chair really doesn’t match the style of our home décor; it’s a big, round piece of furniture we’re forced to keep in the living room and arrange the rest of the furniture around. When we named our dog Princess Zelda, we had no idea how much of a princess she actually would be.
Like our living room, most of our major life decisions have revolved around that dog. Josh and I bought her as a puppy from my cousin before we were married. Since I was living in the dorms at my university, my husband kept her in the basement of his dad’s house where he was living. Princess Zelda is an American Staffordshire Terrier, or pit bull as they’re commonly known. We didn’t think anything of that when we bought her, but we soon realized the importance.
Initially, we planned to rent, but several homes and apartments didn’t allow pets. Once we located some homes that allowed dogs, it became apparent that our dog’s breed would present even more of a problem.
Basically, without special insurance and meeting certain fence requirements, you were not allowed to own a pit bull where we lived in Des Moines, Iowa. Very few insurance companies offered this insurance, and those that did offered it as an attachment to homeowner’s insurance, not renter’s insurance. Just like that, our path changed. We were no longer looking at renting a house but instead were jumping head-first into purchasing our first home.
When that fell through because of issues that showed up on the home inspection just weeks before our wedding day, we ended up staying in a vacant home more than an hour from Des Moines that a family friend let us use. Because of the commute, we rarely saw each other between work and school. Once we realized the arrangement wasn’t for us, we considered our other options. My husband always had talked about wanting to serve in the military for a time out of a sense of duty. We thought that might be the ideal time to do so — before kids and while we were still young.
That eventually brought us to where we are now. It’s funny how much of our life has changed because of that little pit bull puppy. But to her credit, she’s been here every step of the way.