I recently read something in a real estate publication that both surprised me and didn’t surprise me: people were asked whether they would change their living situation for the benefit of their pet and 43 percent answered “yes.”
As a pet lover, I believe that most people moving from an apartment into a house are creating an improved set of circumstances for their dogs or cats. I bought a new house in Montclair about 6 years ago, and in hindsight, I think my move was partly motivated by my cat situation. (I have four!) Letting an animal out into a fenced-in yard is an obvious benefit for everyone.
After my move from a busy corner to a quieter location, I put in a 7-foot deer fence in my backyard to safeguard my plantings. It’s worked beautifully and has offered the added bonus of creating a safe haven for my cats. They have their own cat door and can come and go as they please, perching on a rock amidst the catnip or finding the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the neighborhood.
If fencing is not possible, some folks build “catios” – specialty screened-in porches from which their cats can enjoy a hybrid outdoor experience!
For dog owners, the Montclair area is heavenly. In addition to the near-constant parade of dog-walking throughout the many local parks, there are countless reasons for people to set out on foot, no matter where in town they live. From hitting the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning to picking up a snack in the afternoon, there are little shops or distinct shopping areas all over town. I’m trying to think of a house that’s more than a mile from something delicious to snack on, and there aren’t many. And the few there are, have access to the other undeniable aspect of dog paradise: hiking trails. With two multi-mile hiking reservations and a nature preserve, there are plenty of choices for dogs of all sizes and stamina.
To me, that right there is the magic of Montclair. Wilderness and Starbucks, both at your fingertips.
If you’d like me to take you around this walkable suburb from a pet-lover’s perspective, reach out! Talk or Text: 973-809-5277
Photos: Two of my cats in my backyard. Top - Oscar enjoying Pride Rock; Bottom - The Bodhisattva and the The Catnip.