by victoria comment


Prepare yourself for serendipity, in partnership with SmartWater.

so, as you may have been reading here, the home i rent is being sold by my landlady and it’s time to move on. the san francisco rental market is dismal at best — i think the rental vacancy rate is around 3%. so i was pretty much in panic mode. but then, i was rescued quite by serendipity. after i adopted my mutt lucy, i made some of my closest friends at my local dog park, where i take lucy each morning — she romps and plays with all her dog pals, and the rest of us gather to catch up on each other’s lives. it’s funny when you rescue an animal how they can then come to unintentionally rescue you as well, in some of the most surprising ways.

so it was at the dog park that i shared my soon-to-be-homeless plight and where many of lucy and my pals commiserated and jumped in to offer a place to stay should i need it and offered support in a multitude of other ways. and then, i got an email from one dog park friend, just someone i chat with from time to time with a complete life-saver. a friend of his had the cute cottage above for rent and i should get in touch right away. and so i did and by some kind of miracle the landlord practically offered this cute cottage to me over the phone. i went to see it the next day and knew with one look it was home. meet my new home sweet serendipitous home.

it’s funny how adopting lucy has brought such great friends into my life. you never know what one serendipitous step will take you, how it will change your life forever. i am eternally grateful for lucy and all she’s given me. even a new home — how about that? do you have a lucy in your life that’s changed your world in big and small ways? i’d love to hear about how one simple act of kindness, like rescuing a pup can make monumental changes in your life. i think it’s about opening up your heart, and preparing yourself for serendipity.


  1. Victoria….this is WONDERFUL news! I knew something would fall right into your lap. Fantastic that lucy had a hand….er, paw…..in it. It looks abosolutely lovely with beckoning flowers welcoming you to your new home. Congratulations. Who knows what else the move might bring. All good things I hope.


  2. That’s really lovely Victoria! Congrats! I completely get your rental worries. In Stockholm in order to get a rental apartment in the city one has to wait in line. The line is 15 years long, I’ve been in line 4 years, blah. No idea what I’ll do once my current sublet apartment contract goes out in February. It’s so scary! p.s. can’t wait to see what you do with the place. xoxo

  3. That’s fantastic to hear; congratulations on the new place! And for it to have happened through your partnership with Lucy makes it even sweeter–I love my three girls, mini schnauzers, who have taken me places I’d never dreamed of going…

  4. What a fantastic place to call home. And what a wonderful way that it happened. The vacancy rate in Austin is the same. Places are on and off the market in a matter of days and the prices are outrageous (for Texas!). The search can be so disheartening. Big hug to Lucy for leading you to your new home.

  5. This post made my day as it reminded me when I first arrived from The Uk to St Louis I only knew one person …. My man. Chuck bought me a poodle as much as I loved dogs I had never owned one so did not realize how much this little curly four legged friend was going to change my new American life. I started walking him and people would stop and chat they would invite me to their homes for dog play dates I got to know everyone in my hood and no longer felt alone. Thirteen years on Sam is still the best friend I ever had , he’s fat going deaf and not always friendly to strangers … Lol! We since added to our posse and have a little rescue shih tzu named Sasha who is all that’s good with the world!!! I really enjoy your site and photos may you have much happiness at your new address!!

  6. That is so exciting!! And how sweet that Lucy helped bring it your way :) We’ve tried the SF renters market but it was so hard to find a place that we settled on the east bay. I’m so glad you found the perfect place for you in such a hard market!

  7. *Good Morning*…. from beautiful British Columbia & congrats. to you and Lucy on your lovely new home!!! Thank you for sharing the ‘exciting’ news with us! Cheers, Valerie

  8. This is so true! I met my best friend through 13 years ago through our dogs. I really need to find a decent dog park in my city. I’m not great at socializing but the dogs make it so much easier to relate to other people. Weird. Really glad you found a great place to call home, it is adorable!

  9. That is fantastic! It looks adorable. I live in a cottage that sits behind another house here in Noe as well, and it is kind of magical. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  10. I am so happy for you. When you began talking about it, I really felt for you. Just moving myself, I know how stressful it can be and you don’t think it will ever be resolved and you will never find a place. So, congrats!!!! Now, can’t wait to see how you decorate! :)
    Yay for Lucy!!

  11. Oh Victoria, that’s the best outcome ever. It looks like an adorable place and I can’t wait to see how you put your artistic mark on it. Congratulations V & L, you are due a big dose of happiness… j.

  12. victoria, i am so happy for you. the limbo period of being between homes is just awful, especially for homebodies who need to make a nest; and the pet connection is a wonderful story. i rescued my dog 7 years ago from the pasadena pound…and he rescued me, too. 7 years into our relationship, life has gone through many tumultuous changes, but i know that when i pat my dog goodnight, or open the door to let him outside in the morning, everything is going to be alright. congratulations on your new home. great news.

  13. Awesome! Way to go Lucy! That was so cool, and so fast! And it looks great! Yes I believe in Serendipity… My story: When Joe Strummer of the Clash came to S.F. for the first time, (1978), my then boyfriend worked in the studio with him and Mick and the producer of their first American album, and I became friends with Joe. Fast forward 23 years when I found my future husband on Joe’s website at that time which was called Strummerville. My husband and I have been happily married for almost 9 years. He is from Liverpool. I believe Serendipity travels a long way and in any shape or form!

  14. Victoria, tears ran down my face when I read your great news. Lucy is such a sweetheart and she DID save you just like you saved her. I had a frightening situation a few years ago with my Livvy. A mean Rotweiller attacked her and I picked her up to save her. The dog started attacking me and she wiggled out of my arms and ran off which caused the dog to stop biting me. She ran all the way home and thankfully we were both ok.
    So happy that you have a new “nest”. It will be beautiful and a new adventure.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Such lovely words. It’s amazing how animals can bring out the best in humans. We found a tiny kitten running in the streets near the waterfront the morning after Hurricane Irene hit NY. He was so traumatized from the storm, I wrapped him inside my sweater and carried him to the vet. He’s been our special Hurricane (Hurrie) ever since, still often spooked but always warm and happy at home.

  16. Hi Victoria, so glad for you. That’s a blessing and a miracle. God can see your good heart-adopting the little pup. He will send more surprises your way. Just open your heart to His leading. Reading you from Singapore!

  17. ohhhh Victoria! i am so delighted for you. i just knew that your story would have a happy ending, shoooeee, you deserve it! such a sweet story too. i have taken in 4 dogs in the past 5 years, Gertie, Bunny, the Professor, & Leo. and you are so right about them saving us. i can hardly wait to see what beauty you create in this adorable cottage. congrats! oxo

  18. Victoria, these are terrific news!

    I love serendipity and have a similar story to share about my cat, Phllo.

    I saved her life and then she saved mine! Quite litterally!

    She was dehydrated, left by her mom on the lawn of some University campus in France when I found and rescued her and took her home. She was one week old.
    Years later , i fell very ill, i was clinically depressed and wouldn’t get out of bed for 6 months. YUCK! The only thing that kept me going was actually getting up to feed the cat. Her constant companionship helped me recover.

    So i totally relate to your story.

    Naomi of TeaButterfly

  19. This news made me tear up…and I don’t even know you! But I do know about the power of the dog. They really bring something special to our lives. I rescued my pooch almost 5 years ago and she is the best thing that has happened to me…and she has stuck with me through thick and thin. I love love love how your doggie helped you find a new home…so wonderful. I also really love this quote: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
    Congrats to you and Lucy!

  20. Hi Victoria,
    First off I love your blog, your style and the way you write. I have never commented, but after this post I just had to say congrats on your new place. You never know when good fortune is going to find you!

  21. This is such wonderful news! Finding a place to live can be so stressful but you’re so right that you know it when you see it. It’s just a feeling. I can’t wait to see what you do with it which will no doubt be something wonderful. Actually, I have my very own Lucy too…my baby girl, Lucia. She has changed my life in so many ways and she really fought to get here and we never gave up on having her. Life is so remarkable.

  22. The way it should be: The living network provides.
    If you ever need dogsitting (free, of course), give a shout. My boyfriend is allergic, and our landlord pet-averse, so there are no dogs (or cats) in my life since we moved here.

  23. Found you on the web, visually great blog you have, with tons of inspiration! Happy new apartment, looking forward to seeing what you do with it. Moving is a perfect opportunity to bring order to chaos.
    Hug from norway, Mona

  24. that is so wonderful!!! and it is so adorable. i can not wait to see what great things you do to the inside!!!!!
    btw, you are so right about the rental situation. it is insane now.

  25. First of all: YIPPPPEEEEE! So glad to hear you have a new nest. I can’t wait to see how you condense your treasures into a new comfy space. You are not getting rid of anything, you are curating a new masterpiece. Best wishes and big Aloha from Hawaii!

  26. What great news! I’m so happy that you & Lucy found each other.
    I can’t wait to see the inside…it’s so exciting to decorate a new home. I am a chronic mover, so I know what it is like to live with only the things you love.

  27. I can’t contain myself right now….WHAT a beautiful story….that is your life. Don’t personally know you…..but reading your blog everyday makes one think that they do….and I just have to say that reading your entry today HAS to be the highlight of the month…or YEAR….good things happen …they really do. CONGRATS…can’t wait to see how cute you make it.

  28. Oh, what a nice story! Lucy may have led the way, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if your beautiful blog helped serve as a sort of “reference” for you! As for me, I adopted a cat who needed a home years ago, and she in turn helped heal my broken heart.

  29. thank you so much everyone, for all the positive cheer! it’s been a hectic day and a few hectic weeks ahead, so i’m sorry if i can’t reply to all of your comments, but i so appreciate them. it’s been a rough few weeks, and it’s really nice to finally celebrate something with you all. xo

  30. Dear Victoria,

    So glad to see you putting those blues behind you and already dreaming about your new digs. I don’t know what has touched me more: Lucy leading the way to an adorable new house or licking away your tears – this has been a very emotional time for both of you!

    All the best!

  31. furry friends allow us to bridge the gap to making connections. wonderful in this age of computers that one has the opportunity to step outside the little box to truly interact with people and make new friends! a gift. it is a splendid thing. and so is SF ~ this is such a San Francisco story!! congratulations.

  32. So happy to hear you found a new home…especially after you made a home for Lucy. I, too, believe rescue dogs frequently rescue us. I have a son with bipolar disorder who in the height of a manic episode some years ago rescued a Staffy Bull Terrier that had been left chained to a pole in front of a gas station. That pup, in turn, rescued my son who took him on a journey of hundreds of mile…including a walk through the Bronx at night. Eventually the police (several states from me) got my son to a hospital and the care he needed. The Staffy was taken to a local shelter and I was called. My daughter and I drove up to see my son who remained hospitalized for several weeks, but we picked up the Staffy and brought him back home. While hyper at first, we took him to the vet for a checkup, shots and had him neutered and he calmed down. I can tell you without reservation that he has been the most loving, funny dog companion to us for all these years and I know that during that perilous journey he saved my son’s life. My son later admitted he had thoughts of suicide during that time but knew that he needed to care for the dog. My son’s health stabilized and he lives elsewhere, but the Staffy knows the sound of his vehicle and always waits excitedly to greet his rescuer.

  33. The police advised “get a watch dog” after my cameras were stolen out of my carport-turned-art-studio. A Jack Russell/Beagle laughed when I asked her if she wanted to live with me. We both laughed! She was old. She had a large mammary tumor. She was a wild girl runaway. Gracie and I left the Honolulu Humane Society both nervous. She changed my life. She was my art assistant and daily beach companion. We were together night and day until she was in a hit and run accident,trying to get to the beach on her own. How could I have forgotten to close the gate? I received a call from some boys who gave me the news. A crowd was gathered around her on the side of the road when I arrived . A little old dog wearing a red harness that made her look like a puppy. In 4.5 years she opened my heart for which I am so grateful. Whether in human,animal or even plant form, any living being that we come into contact with is, for me, there for a reason. I love looking at Lucy’s smiling face!

  34. Sadly lost my beloved dog of almost 12 years three weeks ago, still reeling from the loss. I got her just after college, and she was my best friend and stalwart companion through boyfriends, career changes, and a cross country move. I’m glad she got to live her last few years in dog-friendly Seattle. She loved it here. Your post reminds me to open my heart to a new rescue as soon as I am ready. Dogs are the best.

    • kristina – i am so, so sorry. i know that feeling of loss and it’s just the worst feeling. i lost my cooper a few years ago. it does somehow get easier, and you start to remember just the happier times. hang in there. xo

  35. That is great news!

    I love the montage/grouping of dog photos in your post! Looks like Lucy has great group of friends…

  36. My closest friends in the past 5 years have all been people I have met through my dog park. People are always surprised by that, but when you take your dog daily somewhere and have a reason to interact it’s not easy to see how quickly you get to know people. I am so thankful for having a dog who helped me bring great friends in to my life.

  37. Great! Serendipity is, my Great Aunt used to live on Chattanooga Street, until she passed recently. I used to live on 25th & Noe! When you said guest cottage, for a minute I thought of her cottage. It’s behind her home in the back with many fruit trees. You never know…

  38. That’s great news Victoria! I live in SF too and I’m staying in my apartment as long as I possibly can because of the crazy rental market. I look forward to seeing how you decorate!

  39. In 1998, my soon-to-be husband and i brought home a 12 week old fawn pug, Buffy. A year later, we added Zelda, a black pug puppy. They were our fur babies and total menaces…poor manners with a crazy sense of entitlement. In 2008, my 3 year old daughter and I took an hours drive from our home to adopt Bitsy, an 8 year old pug. I didn’t discuss the matter with my husband who was away at the time. Though I knew I should’ve included him in the decision, a voice (I truly suspect it was God) told me I needed this dog. At the time, I believed I was rescuing this fragile soul. Fast forward to June 2011. Buffy, now 13, had developed cancer and was failing quickly. We knew she had weeks to live but didn’t realize that Zelda would beat her to the punch. One Friday afternoon, Zelda died in her sleep while I was playing a game of Memory in the other room. Buffy lasted the weekend and finally, stopped eating the following Tuesday. The two constant companions died within five days of each other; Thelma and Louise going over the cliff together. Their deaths literally brought me to my knees but suddenly I understood. I did not rescue Bitsy back in 2008. My rash decision to adopt her was meant to save me 3 years later. I will be forever grateful to this sweet lovebug of a dog. Love you, Bitsy Pug!

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