DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been living in my rental home for three years now. My landlords don’t allow any pets whatsoever. I have asked about all types of pets: bunnies, cats, dogs, birds. The only pet that they allowed me to have is a fish.
Last week, I went out and rescued a dog from the pound. I caved in. He is very well trained, does not chew or scratch and is potty-trained. I can’t think of any reason why my landlords wouldn’t want him in the house because he does not have bad habits like some animals. I am taking a risk here, but what is the worst that could happen if they do find out about the dog? Could they terminate my annual lease? -- Secret Dog-Lover
DEAR SECRET DOG-LOVER: Yes, your lease could easily be terminated because you are breaking a hard-and-fast rule that your landlords have put in place. Particularly since you have challenged them on more than one occasion trying to get them to soften and allow you to have a pet, and they have never agreed, you are in a precarious position. Know that this is not fair to the animal if you are told you have to get rid of the dog or move.
Now is the time that you have to decide. How important is it for you to live in this building? Which is more important -- having a pet or living there? Once you decide, you will either need to give your dog to someone who can be responsible for it or move to a building that welcomes pets. It is that simple.