The Hurdles Continue

German Shepherd Moxxi ©Molly Eire Photography

Can I be blunt? I have a frustration that needs to be vented. Why do homeowners ask for a pet deposit, then turn away a renter with a pet and cite “potential damages?” I thought that that was what the pet deposit was for, no? That’s what a lease agreement is for, correct?

You see, now that we are seeing better times, we have to move across country for my husband’s new job after two years of the poor guy catching every bit of rotten luck you can absolutely catch. We are running into an issue of owners in Northern Virginia who list their homes as “pets allowed on a case by case basis” then turn us away. You are charging a $500 deposit per pet. You are worried about what a dog will do? My dogs haven’t done the damage I have done in the past six months. In fact, the humans do more damage than the animals. Drops, spills, falls, etc. Accidents. They happen.

Look, I understand there are some irresponsible pet owners out there who let their animals run free and destroy everything, but also keep in mind that you are now punishing responsible owners because of it. A house will be damaged, either by humans or animals. Carpet will get kool-aid or wine on it before it gets chewed up. Hardwood will have a sharp object put a gash in it before a dog’s nails will. And the walls? Well furniture bumps, kids and their crayons, and nail holes. Need I go further? You’re seriously worried about the animals? That’s why you have a deposit. That’s why you hold the tenant responsible for damages. That’s why there’s a lease.

So I have to ask the question. Is this about more than just damage? Is it actually my dog’s breed? Is it because she’s a German Shepherd? Just in case it is, let me address that bit of ignorance straightaway. German Shepherds are wonderful family dogs. They are loyal, protective, sweet and trustworthy. They are also highly intelligent, making them great dogs for police and military work. They are working dogs. To be fulfilled they need something to do. They need physical and mental work. They need exercise. They need stability. All of these things my dog has. She’s 65 pounds, was the runt of her litter, and all she does is play with my son, play with my senior dog, play with me, play with my husband, she gets in our faces and stares at us if she feels she’s not getting enough attention, I could really go on. What she doesn’t do is destroy walls, carpet, or hardwood, and I really wish that this nonsense would stop. Don’t hear “German Shepherd” and say “no.” Talk to me about her. Look at a picture of her. Research the breed for heaven’s sake. We need a place to live but I will never abandon my girl because you don’t like the breed, or because you think we’re just a bunch of idiotic and irresponsible dog owners. I would rather let my husband move out there and live alone while he works for six months to a couple years, build up our credit, and then just buy a damn house to avoid putting up with the hassle.

We are homeowners. If we rent out this house, guess what? We are letting pet owners rent it. Accidents happen. Things get broken or damaged. We fix it. That’s why there’s a deposit. That’s why there’s a lease. Homes are meant to be lived in, and wear and tear and accidents come with the territory. Don’t want a damaged house? Don’t rent it to anyone. Turn it into a perfect and pretty little museum.

Yep, I’m aggravated, and slightly hurt. I refuse to get rid of our pet, who has been our family for all but eight weeks of her existence to appease someone on the east coast who’s never met her. If you list your home as “pets allowed”, ask for a deposit, and then turn us away the minute you hear “German Shepherd” then quite honestly, we don’t want to deal with you anyway. Good riddance. By the way, here’s our very “dangerous” and “destructive” girl, doing what she does best. Being calm. Quiet afternoons are the best, and daily snuggles with this dog will never be traded in for anyone or anything. Not even the nicest house in Northern Virginia. Keep it. My dog is worth more than your townhouse.

Sorry about the rant, it really needed to come out.

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