7 Who is the Puppy Face?

Champion Tumbling Beyond the Cottage Byre and Wall, a.k.a. Briar Rose, or Rosie for short, had been headed for the life of a show dog; Shetland Sheepdog, in the Herding group. Now fully grown but coming in a tad short of the required standard height and thus unable to compete any further, she was found a new home at the POPS where she proved a lively enough companion but with enough early training to mingle acceptably in the better sort of entertainments her new adoptive family often hosted. chap-7-who-is2251

Although she didn’t appreciate the view and only reluctantly stepped out onto the balcony — she found that jutting out just her nose was far enough — all of the visitors to their unit went out and stood sweeping their full glasses to and fro. She learned that they would soon come in from out of that windy spot and fuss over her which she liked, up to a point. Some of the tasty food bits that then came her way were worth the few simple tricks required of her. After all, as an intelligent and agile dog, she might literally have run through hoops for treats. Consequently, she was becoming a little bored and somewhat plump.

There were other dogs in the building. It was easy to sniff them out though she seldom met any of them. They sometimes barked through closed doors as she passed along the corridor. There were also cats; she had no wish to meet them.  She was whisked up and down in the elevator several times a day to relieve herself. That’s what her people called it. “Come on Rosie! Relief is on the way!” meant a trip outside.  She was forbidden to use the balcony for this function; a real relief, in her estimation.

When in residence, she waited daily for the key in the lock and the appearance of Gervase, who took her on outings. Gervase allowed her to meet other dogs and she could always detect other dogs on his clothing. It was mostly the same few dogs, with an occasional exotic to add dash to a day. Gervase walked rather slowly for her taste but at least the walks were long and he sometimes took her down to the lake for a romp on the beach, which was against the rules, not the condo rules but the beach ones.

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“So, if we were to get a dog, is that a problem in a condo?” the he-Shell inquired as they resumed their tour with R.M, after their appointment at the single party listing at the POPS. Michelle seemed lost in thought; R.M. hoped it was about the showing.

“That depends entirely on the association rules given in the condo docs, so it varies. There can be restrictions as to type, number, breed, weight, and height. It will be up to you to check.”

“I’ve heard friends say that their condo documents were the size of the Manhattan phone book. Is five days long enough to find out what you need to know?” The he-Shell took over the role of chief inquisitor.

Rosie, the showdog Sheltie adopted by Jack and Shirley Pardoe

Rosie, the showdog Sheltie adopted by Jack and Shirley Pardoe

“Five days is long enough. You’re entitled to know about the pet policy even before you write an offer.  And with a condo, unlike a house, from the time you get the docs, you have five days to withdraw an offer. It’s called the right to rescind, or rescission.”

“I’m beginning to think I should have brought along a dictionary on this tour, with all the terms you are throwing at us.”

“Sorry, I do try to explain as we go along. I suppose it’s like any other business with a lot of jargon or a specific vocabulary. It’s easy when you use the lingo all the time. Some of it will become clearer as you get into the process of buying. But please, if there is a term or procedure you don’t understand, ask away. It’s what I’m here for.”

“It’s true, we also have our own medical jargon. Please, don’t let me stop you.”

“The Executive Summary makes it clearer. It lists in a simplified format the main facts that buyers need to know. Things like who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, the policy on rentals, or available parking. Plus, it directs a potential buyer to the section of the docs where the full detail is given on that subject, as an index would. You’ll see it with the Property Condition Report I was telling you about. One of the items on that list is pet policy. It’s supposed to give a simple answer such as ‘Cats only’, for example.”

“Are there places that allow only cats, not dogs?”

“There are. The other place to look for pet information is on the MLS data sheet. There is a ‘Pets’ field with a yes or no answer. And in the Remarks section there could also be specifics regarding pets. More and more downtown developments are allowing pets. In suburban developments with several buildings, often only one is designated as a pet building. But you should take the time to review the main documents. They reference all the rules and descriptions of the development. The Summary is a bit like Cliff notes – not a good basis for taking the final!”

“Hmmn…and haven’t we all tried that.”

“Some of the pet rules make you wonder. One place once allowed bigger cats than it did dogs. Go figure. Another required a strict measurement from floor to shoulder. You’d think that it was for a dog show, not a condo. Somebody else had to put their dog on a diet to qualify for the weight restriction. Some will allow a dog on the first or ground floor only. I’ve heard that a lot of cats are snuck into buildings where they’re not allowed.”

“Guess it could get kinda’ noisy with a lot of dogs. And stinky.”

“There is some basic courtesy required. The guy who puts his dog out to ‘go’ on the balcony, depending on the type of balcony floor, simply isn’t playing with a full deck.”

“Bad pun. Funny though, unless your balcony is below his. Do you have a dog?”

“My current faithful companion is Chinook. He guards our back yard and has a large circle of friends with whom he exchanges greetings through the fence. He’d make a good condo dweller, being the sociable type he is.”

“Is that what it takes? To be a sociable type? We’re not ever likely to be around enough to be sociable.”

“It’s important to realize that you’re not buying a single family home. It’s good to get involved in the association or attend meetings, at the very least. That way, you do meet other people but mostly you then have some influence on how things are run. The people that seem to be the happiest residents are the ones who take an interest in their association, whether they have a pet or not.”

“But with a dog, it’s a barking good time? Or is that a bone of contention?”