This world’s going to the dogs

As a proud new owner of a condo in Mount Pleasant, I recently attended my very first Strata Council Annual General Meeting. Fun stuff!.. Okay. Maybe not so fun.

But it was a good thing I came, because my building came very, very close to allowing dogs in the building. The vote on this proposal actually came in at 11 in favor of allowing dogs to 6 against. Fortunately, the dog lovers needed a three quarters majority to get the motion passed, so my vote helped keep the canines out (though our building does actually allow cats and birds).

I actually like dogs. I think they’re fun, clever, lovable animals and the vast majority are about as likely to bite me as a co-worker (that is to say, it’s possible, just unlikely). Nonetheless, I was not prepared to accept the inevitable barking noises at all hours of the day and night and stains on the hallway carpet from the odd pre-housetrained “accident”.

Vancouver’s no-pets-in-the-building policy is probably a good thing. If people want a dog, they should at least have a house with a yard or public park across the street.

On a related matter, all the dog owners who refuse to leash your pets on our sidewalks and public walkways can get bent. You give more responsible leash-using types a bad name – and risk the destruction of your animal by pet control agencies should your pet suddenly get away from you and uncharacteristically bite a stranger.

7 Comments so far

  1. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 12:12 pm

    Birds are far louder than dogs, and cats are just as likely to pee in bad places. I’m glad I don’t have a dog just in case I ever have to live somewhere that I don’t own, because renting a place with a pet is such a pain.

    They allow dogs in my apartment and I hear doors closing, televisions and classical music at night but never any dogs. And there is no odd coloured stains in the halls either.

    The thing is like anything else people can be inconsiderate. If they’ve trained their dogs right they’re not a problem. People whose dogs are a consistent problem are the same people who stomp around at night, shout, have loud parties and back into other people’s cars in the parking lot.

  2. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 9:06 am

    That’s it. I’ll just have to bring my dog to the next meetup so it can debate this issue with Jon.

  3. Rebecca (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

    Bring the Roomba too! :p

  4. maikopunk (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

    If I had to buy a house (in Vancouver!) in order to have a dog, I sure wouldn’t be able to afford the dog! Your points about noise and mess are well taken – as a dog owner and apartment dweller it sure does p*$$ me off when bad dog owners give us all a bad name. But I’ve never been as much bothered by the occasional dog bark than the bass on someone’s stereo pumping away the night.
    plus, an added bonus of having a dog instead of a cat or bird is that it gets you out and gives you a chance to meet the neighbours. oh well. you’ve made your litterbox…

  5. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

    You have a Roomba? If you ever need a vacuum sitter let me know.

  6. bree (unregistered) on October 24th, 2006 @ 10:30 pm

    A yard alone does not make a happy dog. It’s not enough to just put the dog outside and assume it can exercise and play on its own. What really makes a difference is the level of exercise, stimulation and socialization a dog receives. If you’re a responsible owner, it doesn’t matter where you live. If you’re in an apartment, you’ll take your dog out for regular exercise, just as you should if you live in a house.

    My dog does love to play in a yard, but no more so than to chase a ball in the park, and his ultimate favourite activity is to romp with a new puppy friend met on one of his daily walks. Yes we live in a condo, but no, our dog is not deprived simply because we don’t have a patch of grass attached to our unit.

    Ours is a dog-friendly building, and there are no suspicious stains in hallway carpets, and no noise problems to speak of. Our strata has rules about conditions of dog ownership: dogs must be leashed on the premises, and messes must be cleaned up. The building also does not allow aggressive dogs, and if excessive barking is a problem, the owner is expected to deal with it (take the dog to daycare, get a no-bark collar … something). Essentially, owners are responsible for their pets. It’s a fair arrangement.

    Our whole street is pretty much nothing but condos, and they’re full of dogs. The neighbourhood dogs, who we frequently encounter on our walks, also seem quite contented here, and unlike suburban dogs penned in their yards, few snarl or snap as you walk past. The majority are very well-adjusted, happy dogs who are eager to meet new dogs and people to play with.

    I think you’re being too harsh towards dogs. As your other readers have pointed out, birds are easily as noisy or worse, and cat urine is far smellier (and more common – once a dog is housebroken that’s it, whereas cats will deliberately pee in inappropriate places out of pique).

  7. S (unregistered) on October 31st, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    If you are an owner in a condo, then there should be bylaws that go along with “animal behaviour appropriate to condo living” and then it doesn’t matter if it is a dog, cat, bird , rabbit. The bylaws on pet behaviour and accompanying fines are so extensive that they cover anything objectionable. If people can control their pets, why deprive them of companionship, dog or cat? If you live in a small place, people have long memories and one day you will need their vote for a “pet” cause of your own, dear to you but no one else. Karma…….

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