Safe and Secure: Finding a Happy Home for You and Your Dog

Safe and Secure: Finding a Happy Home for You and Your Dog

February 19, 2018

Location, location, location. That’s what real estate agents emphasize to prospective home buyers, a reminder that everything comes down to factors like neighborhoods, schools, resale value, and nearby services. Location is also important if you’re a dog owner. Like humans, dogs are sensitive to their surroundings and thrive in happy, healthy and safe environments. If you feel content and secure, chances are so will your dog. So when you’re considering buying a new home in a new community, bear in mind that location will affect your dog just as it will you and your family.

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Green space

            Dogs need room for exercise and opportunities for regular physical activity. But you don’t need to pass on a house for your pooch’s sake just because a house lacks a spacious yard. If there’s a nearby park, wooded area or walking paths, you and your dog can get as much exercise as you would by romping together in the back yard.

However, there’s more to keeping a dog healthy than exercise. If yours gets loose, a busy street or intersection can pose a lethal threat. A home with a fenced yard in a quiet residential neighborhood might make more sense if you’re a dog owner. If you find a home and neighborhood you like, do your research and find out whether it’s a dog-friendly area. Try to find out whether your neighbors have dogs. It’s reassuring to know that if your dog runs off, someone nearby might be willing to protect and return him. 

A dog-friendly layout

            Many home buyers simply forget to consider whether a house’s interior makes sense for their pets. Making sure your dog will be safe at home is a matter of common sense and a little forethought. An older dog with arthritic limbs will have a very hard time climbing stairs, or getting around in a large house. A puppy may be very tempted to chew on carpeting or to get into mischief if windows are at floor level, so be thorough when looking for potential trouble spots.

New surroundings, familiar things

            Sometimes even the friendliest dogs need some “alone time” and a place to get away for a little while. As you move into a new home take the time to create a comfortable space, with your dog’s favorite toys and comforting items with familiar smells. If you have a small dog, set up a little bed or space where your furry friend can take a nap or retreat to when anxious.

It’s a good way to help your dog acclimate to new surroundings and maintain a sense of constancy during a very chaotic time. If possible, put your dog’s bowls, blankets and other objects in the same room as in your previous home - perhaps the kitchen or family room. Keep a leash handy and go for a walk around your new yard as soon as possible to help your pet get used to the brand new environment.

‘Scared’ behavior

Even grown-up dogs lose control when they’re scared. Don’t be surprised if yours has an accident or marks his territory with urine if the previous owner had a pet. It’s not unusual for a normally independent dog to become emotionally needy or “clingy,” so be ready to show special care and support. It’s also important to watch for diarrhea, coughing, loss of appetite, aggressive behavior or other overt signs of illness or maladjustment.

            When it’s time to look for a new home, remember to take care of your dog as you would any other member of the family. A little special care can go a long way toward helping your friend make what can be a very difficult transition.

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Article provided by Medina at

PINWHEEL SIDE TABLES by land to living


Made from scrap oak and steel these are the only two pairs made (W16"xD16"xH19" each).

Available at our Tahoe City, CA gallery. Steps for construction . . .

- find scraps about the same size and let them tell you what they want to be and then design

- square up 16 oak block scraps the same size (use a jointer, planer and a saw for the tops and bottoms)

- dry-fit blocks in a pinwheel pattern for square

- design steel legs and have them cut with a water jet, the folks at olsonworks, inc cut these

- dry-fit steel legs and plan attachment method

- drill legs on a drill press,  being systematic makes like easy

- add gun blue patina and clear-coate the legs

- glue blocks together with gorilla glue or equal (use splines, biscuits, or dominos to maximize stability)

- Rorschach finish on the bottom by a tannin stain technique (rest piece on a wet metal sheet) 

- cleaned up blocks with sanding tools and paper

- tung oil wood as needed and repeat over the years if needed

- enjoy for many years and let the piece age and be enhanced by your life events

Post by Robb Olson



The excitement has reached a fever pitch! This year, we have online bidding which allows you to bid on your favorite door from anywhere right from your own phone! 

Register your phone and start bidding on your favorite 2016 Doors to Recovery tomorrow, Saturday, August 27th at 8am!

If you want to follow the bids, you will have to register for the auction. You will be asked to enter your personal information and your credit card number. It won’t be any charge on your credit card unless you start bidding on a door and win!

We will have 5 groups of doors closing at different times during the event.

Doors 100 to 111 - group will close at 7pm on the day of the event

Doors 200 to 211 – group will close at 7:10pm on the day of the event

Doors 300 to 313 – group will close at 8:10pm on the day of the event

Doors 400 to 412 – group will close at 8:20pm on the day of the event ( DOOR 412 IS OURS!!! )

Live auction will start at 7:15pm for the 16 doors that have been selected.

Let the fun begin!

Thank you for your support

Veronique Chacon-Guyot, Events Coordinator, Transforming Youth Recovery

P.O. Box 5011, Reno, NV 89513


'Evolution" by Robb Olson (for Doors to Recovery) 

Robb Olson was fortunate enough to join in on this art project where over 80 renouned and emerging artist made art from old doors. This piece was made from a salvaged door, scrap Douglas fir, paint and clear-coated steel stands.

Thanks to @mogeybmx1 for informing me on this project, and to the gents at for use of the space, tools, and a helpful hand.

This door goes to auction on Sept 10th, 2016 to raise funds for a great cause. Find out more at

Compensating Your Architect: Variables that Affect Fees

Courtesy of...

1303 J Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 448-9082
Fax: (916) 442-5346

Your building can do much more than keep the rain off your business; it can advance your business plan. To capture the full value of your capital program, you will do well to engage your architect in a discussion of your business goals, with your business leaders.

Compensating Your Architect: Variables that Affect Fees

No two projects are ever the same, and architects' fees, based on a wide range of building requirements and factors, can vary widely. Part of the pre-planning and early design process is to identify the variables that will shape your estimated fees and payment schedule. You may want to proceed on an hourly basis until the variables have been identified and the project planning completed. Generally speaking, the cost of clearly defining project goals at the outset is money well spent, as it will greatly reduce the likelihood of costly changes in midstream.

Project Delivery

One of the first variables to identify is your preferred method of project delivery. Building industry professionals use this term to refer to the process that begins with design, proceeds through construction, and concludes with the building ready for your use. Project delivery methods are distinguished from one another by the structure of contractual relationships among owner, designer, and builder and by the roles and responsibilities assigned to each. Because the architect's roles and responsibilities vary with the project delivery method, the choice of method can have a significant impact on the architect's fees. The most common project delivery methods—Design-Bid-Build, Construction Management, Design-Build, and Integrated Project Delivery–and their variants are described and compared in "Understanding Project Delivery," available at

Project Changes

Changes and additions to the project design beyond the original scope of work defined in the owner-architect agreement (also known as "scope creep") incur additional costs to the architect. These costs become higher as the project progresses; the closer to completion the changes occur, the more expensive they become. These costs are typically outside the original fee, and a discussion with your architect should be included in your contract negotiations so that a payment option can be agreed upon in advance for any work occurring outside the original scope of work.

Other Common Impacts on Architects' Fees

Because of the complexity of building projects, many factors affect the time and effort required of the architect and accordingly have an impact on fees. Among these factors are:

  • Services required: the type and number of services required of the architect are fundamental to the setting of fees.
  • Size of the project: while some forms of repetition in a building, such as repeated apartment unit plans, may offer some economy of scale in the design process, the amount of effort required of the architect remains closely linked to the overall size of the project.
  • Site conditions: difficult sites may require more extensive engineering and entitlement efforts–gaining approval from local and state authorities.
  • Availability of information: from property surveys to traffic and environmental reports, a wide range of information may be required both for design and for entitlement; if the information is not readily available, there will be costs for its discovery or creation.
  • Location of the architectural firm: projects that lie at a distance from the architect may incur additional costs for travel time or may require the involvement of an additional, local architect for agency liaison and contract administration.
  • Type of architectural firm: projects that lie outside of a firm's usual business model or project type may incur additional costs for outside consultants.
  • Personnel requirements: level of expertise and staff resources required.
  • Specialists required: subcontractors, consultants, and/or engineers to be hired, consulted, or managed.
  • Complexity of design: more complex designs require more time and may add additional cost.
  • New technologies: newer technologies may require extra time to incorporate into desired designs.
  • Design and documentation method: the choice of method–hand drawn, two-dimensional CAD programs, or three-dimensional Building Information Modeling (BIM)–has fee impact; more sophisticated, collaboratively utilized documentation methods, such as BIM, can reduce construction costs through better coordination of the complex, intersecting systems of a building, but they typically will add cost to the design and construction documentation phases.
  • Project scheduling: project delays, accelerated project schedules (fast-tracking), multi-phase projects–each of these will affect the architect's personnel costs.
  • Repeat work: even if a design already exists or the current work is a replication of a previous project, there may be additional fees for site adaptations, different agency requirements and standards, coordination with different utility companies, and the like.

Building is a complex undertaking, and every project is unique. A clear accounting, from the outset of the project, of all the factors affecting it will assure that you and your architect are fully in synch and that all the bases are covered, allowing you to proceed with confidence. The outcome will be a building that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Why Hire an Architect?

Courtesy of...

1303 J Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 448-9082
Fax: (916) 442-5346

Your building can do much more than keep the rain off your business; it can advance your business plan. To capture the full value of your capital program, you will do well to engage your architect in a discussion of your business goals, with your business leaders.

Why Hire an Architect?

A construction project requires a substantial investment of time, energy, and money. If you are like many owners, this construction effort may be your largest lifetime investment. Additionally, buildings continue to incur expense over time. Maintenance and recurring energy costs, repairs, remodels, even property taxes, become part of the overall expenditure. Well-designed buildings that incorporate innovative, cost-effective solutions reduce overall costs and increase market value. Hiring an architect is the critical first step to maximizing return on your investment.

Architects Provide Value

As the only profession educated, trained, and tested to create the interface between the natural and built environments, architects have the practiced skills to integrate functionality, building materials and systems, structure, codes and regulations, energy conservation, and aesthetics to meet your very specific needs. Architects are licensed professionals, experienced in the numerous complexities of design and construction, offering services from project inception to construction completion and beyond. Experts in their field, architects are up-to-date on the latest codes and regulations, as well as the most advanced building systems and materials. They have a command of both the broad concepts that give coherence to your project and the important details that can make it run smoothly and stay within budget, while incorporating options to lower long-term maintenance costs. Consulting an architect at the beginning of the project planning process can save you thousands of dollars and significantly reduce the time required to build your project by aligning needs, budget, quality, and schedule.

Throughout the design process, an architect brings visions to life, integrating elements that are important to individual clients. If you have environmental concerns, your architect can designate sustainable materials and systems. If you have physical limitations, safety and innovative functionality become top priorities. Perhaps you want a "smart building"—an architect can incorporate and coordinate technology that monitors and manages all building systems. Whatever your individual requirements, architects create positive experiences for both owners and users.

From beginning to end, the advice and guidance of an architect mean a smoother, more stress-free building experience. An architect is your personal consultant to identify and resolve costly, time consuming construction challenges ranging from site selection to zoning restrictions and environmental concerns. Architects are trained to explore innovative, cost effective, and energy-saving solutions; their detailed designs and informed product specifications often eliminate the need for expensive change orders mid-construction. And, once the project is complete, you will continue to enjoy reduced maintenance and energy costs over the life of the building.



June 18, 2016


tahoe city gallery olson-olson ena modern.jpeg

Our new gallery is finished and had a soft opening on June 18th for the Tahoe City Wine Walk. Thanks to Mitsuko's Vineyard in suppling 3 cases of Clos Pegase Merlot 2013 for the event!

Stay tuned for future posts on the gallery and our grand opening later this summer.