An Old Farmhouse & A Clearance Puppy

An Old Farmhouse & A Clearance Puppy

Happy Friday! I hope you had a fabulous Halloween and filled your tummy with tons of treats! I was originally going to post a wedding project tutorial, but after sending an email off earlier today in regards to the movie, Marley and Me, I have decided to share a little story about our dog, Bailey, instead. So I guess you could say this post is about an old farmhouse & a clearance puppy.


Eric {the now hubster}, is somewhat obsessed with the old, stone farmhouse at the end of the movie, Marley & Me. He says this is the kind of house he wants us to have someday and I can’t disagree! Recently we have been discussing our future plans of moving to a small town and buying a home with some acreage. These recent conversations is what led us to watch Marley & Me for the 2nd time in over 3 years.


The house at the end of the movie is located on 16 acres in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania {near Philadelphia}, was built in 1831 and is filled with charm. A couple years ago the owners put it on the market with a list price of 1.25 million dollars, just a tad bit out of our price range ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some more photos of the home via Richard and Holly Gross of Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors-West Chester, PA:





marley-and-me-house-at-end-of-movie-drivewayย  marley_and_me_house_side








marley-and-me-houseSource: Hooked on Houses

Here are a few stills from the movie that I found via Hooked on Houses:




You see, when Eric and I first adopted our dog Bailey, she was unlike any dog we had ever had, and both of us grew up with dogs!

She is a beagle mix that we rescued from a high kill shelter when she was just a puppy. They had apparently found her {along with her mom and brother} in the woods, and they had been surviving out there for a while. This back story actually helps us understand her a bit better now, including her many attempts to eat rocks, lol. Don’t worry, we don’t let her!

Here are some photos of Bailey as a puppy. Yeah, she looks all innocent doesn’t she? That’s how she got away with so much…



It turns out she was super possessive AND aggressive AND attacked us constantly. We couldn’t even walk her without her biting our legs and not in a playful way either. For the first time in my life I was sacred of a dog, and a little one at that!

Don’t let that cute puppy face in all the photos above fool you, she could switch at the blink of an eye and you never knew it was coming! {By the way, we eventually let her bring a stick with us when we walked her as a puppy and she stopped attacking our legs.}

We both grew up with dogs, big and small, all different breeds, but nothing had prepared us for Bailey. We watched countless episodes of the dog whisperer, read articles online, talked with our vet, had her tested and worked with training her as much as we could. I don’t know how many times we called our parents because we didn’t want to give up on her, but didn’t know what else to do.

We were seriously considering placing an ad for someone to take her, but knew we couldn’t burden any other family with her bad habits, and definitely didn’t want to take her back to the shelter. We knew we were her only hope, and therefore couldn’t give up on her.



She had her good days and her bad days, but Eric and I remained patient and eventually we would go a few days before she freaked out. Progress, right?

However, one night things had gotten really bad and we were on the verge of taking the necessary steps to relieve ourselves of the burden and stress she was causing us. That’s when we decided to rent Marley & Me, which we heard was about a couple dealing with a crazy dog. Of course Marley never attacked anyone in the movie, but definitely added some stress on his owners from time to time…




That movie seriously helped us get through all those rough times with her and we never gave up.

Here we are 3 years later and she has come A LONG way. She still has her moments, and although she gets along perfectly with our cats, and loves people, she’s so-so about other dogs and even little kids.We know her limits and how to handle her when she gets anxious or scared, and try to remove her from stressful situations when possible.

Sure it’s been an adjustment, but that movie really helped give us hope ๐Ÿ™‚


After we re-watched the movie a few nights ago, it reminded us of the first time we watched it and made us so happy that she is still a part of our lives. We love her so much!


Bailey dressed up for Halloween a couple years ago


Bailey tried to sneak in some chips, and then got her head stuck in the bag.

bailey-at-the-beach And no, I don’t dress her up anymore. Even though she used to get excited and run to me when I would show her dog clothes {I promise I’m not making this up!}. However, one day she decided she didn’t like it and freaked out a bit. Lesson learned.

We love Bailey so much that we actually couldn’t stand the idea of being away from her for a whole week during our wedding. So we brought her with us!


Yes, she has put on a few pounds, but that’s just more of her to love, right? Guess we need to take even longer walks ๐Ÿ™‚

The best advice I could give for someone going through something similar is not to give up. Also, remaining calm is key. I know Bailey could tell when I was scared of her and in turn that made her more scared. So she would then get aggressive because that’s the only way she knew how to defend herself.

Even when she gets like that now, we try to remain calm as to not escalate the situation and then handle the situation when she has relaxed a bit. If you are with a stressed out dog and feel your body is tense, take a few seconds to relax before you handle them or ask someone else to take control. This is the system we use and it has worked wonders. It’s not perfect, but it has helped tremendously.

Oh yeah, and I refer to Bailey as the clearance puppy because we decided to adopt her from a shelter for 2 reasons. 1.) save a life 2.) save some money. Well the money part is only partly true because even though her adoption fee was only $40, we realized she had mange, a skin disease, a couple days later and our vet fees went through the roof. She overcame it though and was worth every penny!.

If you haven’t seen Marley & Me, I definitely recommend renting it this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚


Thanks for stopping by!

  • Katie, I LOVED reading this story – and another BIG congratulations on your newlywed status ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Every dog has a different personality and it can stem from their breed what behaviours they may have… but when buying a dog you need to be prepared for the best, and the worst… I admire that you both were able to work through it and open up your heart to a rescue who needed help adapting. You and your husband are wonderful people!

    November 5, 2013 at 6:40 am
    • Thank you Brandi ๐Ÿ™‚

      You are absolutely right about the different personalities and being that she was a “mixed” breed with no background history, we spent countless hours looking at different photos and trying to figure it out. We spoke to our vet and even considered getting a dna test done.

      One thing we did read afterwards was that picking up the dog on top of the litter who is all outgoing could also mean that they are the “alpha” dog. Maybe next time we will pick the dog at the very bottom, lol.

      November 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm
  • Patty Levine

    Thank you for that beautiful story, Katie. Thank you for rescuing Bailey, she is adorable and has great soulful eyes. I am so thankful that I found your website. I, like you, cannot create enough and am constantly working on a project between my two day jobs. I have recently hooked up with a few friends and we are building things and hope to start a little business. You are inspiring me to realize that I can do this and create an awesome website to share with the world and hopefully inspire them too. Can’t wait to see what you post next. Thank you!

    April 3, 2014 at 11:46 am
  • Oh this breaks my heart! We rescued our dog as well. He has never had a biting problem, but at the lake over Memorial Day weekend we told a little girl she could pet him. She pulled on his face and Hank snapped at her. He didn’t bite her, but his tooth grazed her lip and she was bleeding. I was mortified and felt SO bad…like in tears. Ever since I’ve been so hesitant even though he is the sweetest dog. I have no advice either but I can relate ๐Ÿ™

    June 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm
  • Sorry I just realized I commented on the wrong post! I don’t know how to delete it.

    June 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm
  • I loved your story about Bailey and how she got to go on your honeymoon. We have two rescued basset-mix dogs who are our children. We hate to leave them to travel and take them with us when we can. We adopted Bonnie a couple of years after we’d adopted Clyde so he would have a companion when we were at work. That first weekend they wouldn’t have anything to do with each other and I got bitten by each of them while trying to break up their fights. We decided it wasn’t going to work out and had emailed Bonnie’s former foster-dad to tell him we would probably have to return her. Apparently she read the email, because that night I was able to get them to actually play together. We love them so much and dread the day we have to say our final goodbyes. They’ve both been through TPLO surgery (like ACL in humans) at $2500 each…within 6 months of each other, but we didn’t hesitate to do that for them because they ARE so important in our lives.
    I’m so glad that Bailey eventually calmed down a bit and that she’s adding so much joy to your lives.

    April 24, 2015 at 7:46 am

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