Dogs and Tenancy

This evening, Margo and I were sitting in our new living room getting ready to watch a movie.  It was going to be a quiet night.  We were hoping to show our new landlords/house mates how quiet we could be.  The dog slept silently at our feet.  Then, the doorbell rang.

We were not expecting any guests, so I had my suspicions about who would be behind the door as I walked down the stairs silently on the balls of my feet: these suspicions were confirmed as I opened the door.  My landlord/house mate stood there with the look of one who is about to spank their first born child.

“Hey”, I said, already beginning to shake.  “Hi.  I would like to talk to you about something.”  Great, that is the equivalent of being told by your girlfriend that, “we need to talk.”  “Sure, what’s up?” I tried to think of what may have prompted this visit: I had cut a rather loud fart earlier in the evening, and I readied an appropriate apology as he began to speak.

“Well, to be honest, Jan and I feel like we have been deceived.”  “Umm, about what?”  “Well, before you moved in here you made it clear that your dog was not a pitbull.  Now, Jan knows about breeds of dogs and she says that your dog is clearly a full blooded pit bull.”  “Um, actually, he is a mutt… there is pit bull in him for sure, but we told you that before we moved in.”  “Actually, you assured us that he was not at all a pit bull.  You lied to us.”

By this time, Margo had joined us in the hallway.  Barkley was there too.  He wagged his tail and delicately sniffed the landlord/housemate’s crotch.  “Oh, hi Barkley”  He muttered reluctantly, careful not to pet the deadly beast.  Margo interjected: “Actually, I think we made it pretty clear that Barkley did have some pitbull in him.  We didn’t mean to deceive you at all.”  “Well, the point is that we agreed to have you stay here on the condition that your dog was safe.  Pitbulls are widely known to be dangerous dogs… statistics will back that up.  We would like to give you the opportunity to get out of the lease…”  Margo and I both went into mild shock, having worked our collective asses off over the past week to move out, move in and set up shop.

“I will give you two the night to think about it and we can talk tomorrow.”  “Well, what is there to talk about?  It doesn’t seem like we have many options…”  “Well, we will talk tomorrow then.”  He gave me a meek smile and went back into his unit.  I went outside for a smoke.

When I got back inside, Margo was already looking on Craig’s List for a new place.  She had tears in her eyes.  We were both so happy here.  This afternoon, we laid in bed looking at the birds in the tree outside our bedroom window; the sun spilled over us and a breeze blew through the window across our bodies.  There ain’t many places out there that are pet friendly, even fewer that are Spawn-of-Satan (read- PitBull) friendly.

It is really nobody’s fault.  I mean, why hasn’t anyone taken it upon themselves to wipe this miserable breed of animal off the earth.  Let’s put those abandoned death chambers to good use and eliminate this preternaturally evil species from the planet.  While we are at it, let’s get rid of cats!  Hell, let’s kill all the monkeys off too: they get aggressive sometimes too, you know.

This whole situation is absurd and frustrating.  Sure, we are now out of a place we felt, in a very short period of time, very attached to.  Sure, we are going to have to re-pack, move and unpack all over again.  Sure, we will have to settle for less.  But, one of the most frustrating parts of all of this is the fact that we were forced to spend our entire Saturday night thinking about this whole idiotic situation– analyzing what we said, how we said it, how they took it.  We tried to be empathetic and see it from their side.  We also tried to discuss how oppressed Barkley must feel, being judged based on his ‘race’, essentially.

This was our Saturday night.  No celebration, no joy.  I have a headache.  Margo is stressed.  We feel like intruders in our ‘own’ home.  Life is short, and we have been forced to waste it, because somebody feels a particular way about a breed of dog, and refuses to put their own issues aside and actually conquer their own ignorance.  There should be laws against this type of bullshit.  Maybe there are.  I intend to find out.

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5 Responses to Dogs and Tenancy

  1. Brendan says:

    Sorry this happened. It is really unjust. I left you a stat page on facebook. Maybe it will help. I hope you fight this. It truly is bullshit.

  2. tara says:

    I’m pretty sure there are laws against this – you should check the tenancy act. Although it would be difficult to share a space with someone you’ve had a legal dispute with, it would be worthwhile just to stick it to ’em anyway, even if you then choose on your own to move out. Landlords in this city need to be reminded that they can’t push people around – we all have rights.

    Sorry to hear you guys had to experience this. People can be so paranoid and judgmental.

  3. James says:

    Is it in your lease that you are allowed a dog? If so, the landlord can’t do anything – expect ask *you* to break the lease. Unless he tries to evict you, ignore it.

    Of course, I’m not a lawyer, so do contact the tenancy association before making any decisions.

  4. Danica says:

    Boo to them! Like I told Margo, I’ll keep my facial orifices open.

  5. Cory Raymond says:

    This is outrageous. I hope you were able to resolve this without moving. Your dog is clearly a sweetheart.

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