“But We’re Renovating!”

Today one of my co-worker pals came over to help me pack. By that I mean she chatted with me while I cleaned and packed, to help keep me on track.

When she arrived, she said, “Whose dog is that?”

I looked into the building’s shared hallway and found a small mutt. “I have no idea. I’ve never seen that dog before.” We looked for his owners and he growled at us. Eventually, we let him be. He barked occasionally and never left the stairwell.

About 30 minutes later, he started barking incessantly.

I opened my door. Someone bought the condo two units over, and they were gutting it. The door was wide open, trash and debris was all over the hallway, and the dog was peeing on the brand new carpet. (I’ve lived here four years and the carpet was replaced for the first time last month.)

My friend said, “What in the world? Where is his owner?”

We watched him for about ten minutes. He just barked and growled and peed. We debated letting him out, but we were afraid he’d get hit by a car. He wasn’t letting us get close enough to pick him up or check his tags. When he called him, he started to come over, but then he would just snarl and growl.

A neighbor who speaks very little English came by and said he belonged to the unit that was open. “Was he abandoned? Where are the owners?”

“Yes, yes.”

We gave him some water and he scarfed it down extremely quickly. At this point, my friend stomped into the unit (the door was wide open) and called for anyone. Nobody appeared. The dog growled and growled.

“That’s it,” I said, “I’m calling the site manager.”

I called the site manager and told her that the dog has been loose for over 30 minutes, he was peeing in the hallway, he didn’t have any water, and his owners were nowhere to be found.

While I was on the phone, a family of approximately eight people showed us. “Is this your dog?” my friend demanded to know.

“Yeah,” said their middle-school aged daughter.

“Why are you letting him loose? He needs to be secured, he needs water, and he needs to go to the bathroom!”

She copped an attitude. “We’re renovating!”

“Yes, I know that, so what?”

She sighed only the way a teenager can and used Teenager Logic. “But we’re renovating!”

My friend did dog shows as a teenager, and her family is involved in dog rescues. She was pissed. “I don’t care what you’re doing! You need to take care of your dog!”

“We were only got a few minutes!”

“Forty-five minutes is not a few minutes!”

She spun on her heel and came into my place. “The site manager is here,” I said nodding toward the window, where I could see her. We eavesdropped from my closed door.

“Yeah, I know you’re new here, but you need to keep your dog secured. You can be fined if your dog is not secured properly, and I will call animal control.”

My friend high-fived me and said, “Yeah, it’s time for you to move.”