Real Estate Interferes With This Dog’s Life

My mom has got it into her head, “Maybe this is a good time to buy a condo.” Never mind that for years she swore, “Never buy a condo. It’s like having fifty landlords. All the other owners influence your life. The Board can be kooky. Who needs it?”

Well, now that condo prices have come down in Seattle, she’s looking. I think she’s 70-80% serious. She has a great real estate agent, Sarah Odegaard. We know she’s great because Cathy met her in the Regrade Dog Park.

Sarah has a big dog and lives in a high rise herself. She was single for a long time. So she understands the whole scoop (pardon the expression) on single urban living with dogs. She is remarkably patient with Cathy’s requirements. Must be on multiple bus lines because Cathy refuses to drive in Seattle. Must allow me and the two cats legally. Must have lots of sunlight. Must not be at street level. Must be in a neighborhood where our dog sitter, Sara Kimmel will come and take me for walks. (Sara said my mom is not the first client who refused to move outside her service area.)

The mom gets on Craigslist and emails a dozen suggestions to Sarah the real estate agent. (Never mind that Sarah has already promised to look through MLS, which is much more comprehensive and up to date than Craigslist.) Then she emails again to say she changed her mind or found more listings. Then she starts to feel like this is too much work and she says, “Let’s go for a walk, Gracie.”

Yes! Especially when she remembers to grab a handful of treats before we head out the door.

Just thinking about all this is enough to give a small dog a big headache. But it gets worse. My mom feels that I should be part of this experience. “After all, Gracie,” she says, “you have to live there too. And if somebody frowns at us when you’re with me, we know it’s the wrong place for us.”

Of course, just owning a dog has cut out many potential locations for my mom. That’s fine with her. “If they don’t allow dogs they’re probably uptight, nasty people,” she says. “Who needs them?”

She still loves living in this beautiful rental apartment, even with the ceiling that’s getting repaired. “People sneer at one bedroom apartments,” she says. “But this one is so well laid out. I even have a separate office alcove. There’s more than enough room. The location is phenomenal. It’s close to perfect.”

I agree. I have plenty of choices: cat bed, dog bed, Cathy’s bed and more. I would have the corner of the sofa but Ophelia has completed her takeover. I have been officially displaced.

And we really don’t want a huge space. “In New York, Philadelphia or Seattle, the city is your playground,” my mom says. “I don’t want to feel I have to spend all my time in my home because it cost so much. I want to spend money on ballet, symphony, Storm games, theatre, coffee shops and taxicabs.”

I agree. When Cathy’s not working, we should be in the dog park or walking around upper Queen Anne. Or I should be out playing with my Aunt Sara while Cathy goes to the gym or works in a coffee shop.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted. We looked at five places yesterday. Cathy didn’t get excited about any of them. However, she and Sarah the real estate agent were very impressed with my car manners. I sit in back very quietly, looking out the window. Well, why wouldn’t I? It’s better than being left behind. And Cathy needs to remember we need LOTS of room for my crate.

4 thoughts on “Real Estate Interferes With This Dog’s Life”

  1. Here in Portland there is a glut of condos. Some go for very low prices. HOWEVER, what are the dues each year, are you ok with Condo Associations? They sort of rule, I think. You have to get permission from them to do things. Like what? Put in a washer and dryer, for example, and you say you will pay for the line. And even your best friend, next door to you, on the association (and you are, too!) votes no. And you have health issues that make it necessary to put in a line and have your own washer and dryer, not carry loads to the basement. That’s just an example. Look into everything before getting a condo.

  2. Thanks for the tip! My mom’s rental apartment has a w/d with a separate laundry room so there’s no way she’d settle for less. She points out that dog-friendly places are more reasonable, too.

  3. Way to go Gracie, keep talking to mom until she finds a place suitable for all of you. Dog friendly places understand your needs and will work to accommodate them. A park nearby would be nice.

  4. Thanks, David. My mom is keeping an eye on Belltown…a coffee shop for her and a dog park for me! What could be better? You are absolutely right. The mom would never compromise…although if she accidentally forgot to move Ophelia, I wouldn’t complain.

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