My 3rd and very fuzzy child turns 4 today. She is loyal, funny, sweet, gentle, thoughtful and almost human. She is without a doubt my kids best friend and the world’s best studio dog. Known to most as Nilly (shortened from Vanilla), she also responds to Nills, Fluffers, Bub and doodle-dog. She is a golden-doodle, which is a mix of poodle and golden retriever. Liked for their non-shedding and hypoallergenic traits, some people call them designer-dogs, but to me she is my designer-dog for a different reason.

Like most moms who try to  keep their design careers going, it has been a privilege to work at home in my little design studio for myself while my kids have been young and have so much flexibility. It seems like a perfect world and most of the time I feel fortunate to do what I love on both parts, but it can be lonely and until a few years ago, I thought a dog impossible. Our first dog passed away right before my oldest daughter was born and we waited until our second was born to think about adopting. Low and behold she was allergic to almost everything from food to environment to animals. Dogs were amongst the worst allergens… one slobber to her arm sent her into a fit of hives. It was a sad thought to think we’d be a fur-less family, until a few years ago we met a golden-doodle who might be safe around my daughter. We had a chance to test it out around a friend’s doodle and decide to take a leap of faith and bring home Nilly.

While she can’t consult on my design abilities or brainstorm concepts with me, she keeps me company resting her head on my feet, leaning on my hand to say she has to go out, barks at the UPS man to let me know I have a delivery, takes me on walks at lunch and gives me full-on bear hugs throughout a long work day, and for that I am a very lucky designer!