|Barked: Tue Aug 14, '12 1:12pm PST |
|It's easy to say "just live out of your car!" if you don't have children. And yeah, it's a game of priorities, but there are some serious, serious issues that come into play there. Many of the dogs I've seen come into rescue are from families where one or both parents lost their job, then their house, and they MUST have somewhere to go. Should they let DCF take their children so they don't have to rehome their dog?
It's also easy to say live out of your car if you've never done it. The logistics of actually living out of a car are impossible for many people. I would have difficulty living out my car right now - it's 90 degrees outside. I'd have to spend all daylight hours parked at the only dog-friendly park in the area, sitting outside in the shade. If I didn't have a job, I would not be able to search for one without finding a place for her to stay during the day, because she would not be able to stay in the car. As if that wasn't hard enough, in a few short months it will below freezing outside. Without cold weather survival gear, I would face hypothermia sleeping in my car. In my specific case, it wouldn't matter for the dogs but if I had, say, a Viszla or Chihuahua...
What does severely complicate my personal situation dog-wise is that my dogs can not be together. Even if I did decide to live out of my car, I still have to place one dog.
Then there's quality of rental... I did reject a few dog-friendly apartments because I was quite literally afraid my apartment would be robbed or I would be mugged in the neighborhood. Again, I was lucky I had the time to pass over those apartments. If I had to be out immediately, I would have been making a choice of personal safety versus keeping my dogs. That's not something to take lightly.
Even foregoing those first few apartments, the actual building we are renting is of no higher quality than any of them - it's only the neighborhood that's better. I have gone to make breakfast and found my silverware drawers full of mouse poop. When I told the landlord, she told me to put my dogs outside so she could poison the building. This was the night before hurricane Irene. We have electrical problems the landlord refuses to acknowledge or address - again, I'm lucky I can take my dogs to work, because I fear daily I will return to a smoking pile of rubble. The bottom of our sink falls out and floods the kitchen on a regular basis, as well as the apartment below ours. This summer, our lawn became so overgrown a family of skunks moved in. Complaints have been filed with the state, but it takes months to actually enforce anything. This is what I deal with, and more, because I wanted to keep my dogs.
Sure, we could "just move," but we'd be moving into the same situation in a different location. Or paying thousands a month for an upscale rental, which is flat-out not an option. Thankfully, we are getting out in a month.
I don't understand leaving a dog "just because" and I doubt anyone here does. But renting with a dog is hell - IF it's even logistically possible. I bring it up every time I talk to a young person who wants a dog. There are horrible choices to make and I don't judge anyone who can't find a way to make it work.
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