No dogs allowed


I am leaving next week for San Francisco to try to land an apartment. Watching Craigslist and talking to previous and current residents of the city by the bay has already created a good deal of anxiety about this, as place rent fast and apartment owners can afford to be choosy. Not only do I have the house in foreclosure, but I also have one large dog. I was heartened to find many places don’t have a weight restriction, but a breed restriction.

This week I started actually calling places (earlier emails told me I needed to wait for July because places only require 30 days notice) and asking about the “pet policy.” I had to call because websites over and over again said “Call for info on breed restrictions.” Which I found odd, especially after calling five places that all said the same things to me. Why not just publish it? Do the marketing people think I’m going to love their place so much I’ll ditch my dog? How silly is that?! Except this is what I heard when I called:

The breed restrictions include, but are not limited to Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas or Chows. Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepard, Great Dane, Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Presa Canario (Canary Dog), Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dalmatian or any mix of these breeds. To be true to the spirit of this rule, a dog cannot even “look like” one of these breeds.”

Well,” I said, Bodhi’s a mix. How will I know what you think he looks like?”

You’d have to bring him in.”

Oh, yes, ok, well, that’s not going to happen,” I chuckled, “since I live in Boston. What if I send you a picture?”

Oh, no, that won’t work. I’m sure you are honest but someone could send us a picture of a dog that wasn’t theirs!”

Right, but…”

And if we rented to you and the dog turned out to look different, well, then there’d be a problem.”

Yes, ok, I understand. What I’m saying is, I could send you a picture now, then I’ll be out there next week. I can show you the hundred pictures on my phone, so you’d know it’s really him. Kinda hard to photoshop all the pictures…”

She didn’t laugh.

I love Bodhi, and I never intended this for him. I always expected that he’d be home in MN with the ex until it made sense to move them (before the ex was the ex, obviously). I knew moving from place to place with a big dog would be hard and I never actually meant to do it! To me or to him.

About a month before I left MN I considered giving Bodhi to a woman who was a real big dog lover that my very cool vet recommended, but then her dog got sick with cancer and, well, she couldn’t take him on at that time.

After sitting here making all these calls, I feel like giving Bodhi up to someone else is a real possibility (in my mind – I don’t actually have anyone who wants to take him at this point). And it is a possibility that I am pretty uncomfortable with. I feel responsible for him. I remember soon after we got him – he was so spastic then – that the ex said, “Can we take him back to the shelter?” I was outraged. I felt that having picked him up and adopted him meant that we made a commitment to him, and you don’t just give up when things get tough!

But things have gotten tough over and over again with Bodhi, and now they are again. Maybe it’s time. Maybe I really ought to be looking for someone to take him who will give him some peace and stability. And maybe a fenced in yard.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Not to be discouraging, but maybe you could find a temporary home for the dog(?) while you try to land that apartment. I assume you’ve got an idea about the rents out here since you’re looking on craigslist. This is a dog lover’s town, but most apartments won’t take a LARGE breed of ANY kind. I think most of the breeds you mentioned are considered “biters”, hence the restrictions. Remember the case of that woman Diane Whipple who got mauled by the presa canarios? No one wants that nightmare again…and those dogs apparently had bitten her and numerous others before that incident…read…someone had to DIE before anything was even done about those dogs BECAUSE this is such a dog lover’s paradise. The biggest challenge is going just find an apartment for YOURSELF that’s affordable….just saying:)


    • Thanks for your comment. I have considered finding a new home for Bodhi if that’s what it takes – but I would do it permanently. I don’t think it would be very good for him to have to make yet another change.
      Luckily, I had a couple of hopeful emails this weekend from people looking for roommates. Just thinking of a roommate makes my skin crawl after last year’s fiasco, but I’m going to meet with them and hope for the best.


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