Dog Lady offers advice to a couple looking to sell their home, and to an annoyed owner with a strongly attached dog.
Dear Dog Lady,
We have just put our two-bedroom condominium, our first home, up for sale and are moving to a house in the country. We have done a lot of work, installed new appliances in the kitchen and hired a real estate stager to fix up our condo even more by moving around the furniture and artwork.
The stager insists we put away all our personal effects so potential new owners can see themselves living in the place. But we refuse to put away our Shih Tzu, Thumbelina.
Our condo is the only home Thumby has ever known and she’s very content hanging out in the kitchen where she has her water bowl and a few toys and can stretch out on the cool tiles on hot days. The last thing we want to do is put her somewhere else.
But the real estate agent insists Thumby leave when potential buyers are in the house. My husband and I both work away from the home so it’s hard for us to race back and move her whenever the agent wants to show the house. Any advice for us?
How badly do you want to sell the condominium?
If there’s no real pressure to seal the deal soon, you can afford to keep Thumbelina (obviously Thumby for short) in the house and hope dog-friendly buyers show up and offer cash. But if you want a contract, say, before autumn, you’ll be waiting when the snow flies by continuing to keep the dog in the condo during showings.
The real estate agent is hamstrung by Thumby because not everybody thinks a dog chilling in the kitchen is cute.
Even Dog Lady would be put off by this lack of business sense. Keeping Thumby on premises is inhumane all the way around. Imagine an eager seeker of a two-bedroom condominium who’s anxious to see your place and has a deep fear of dogs. Granted, Thumby is small and cute; however, the dog should not be interacting with any of these strangers without your supervision.
Hire a dog walker you trust who’s available on short notice. The walker can take your Shih Tzu out when real estate agents and their clients are planning to visit and return Thumby to her digs when they’re gone.
Dear Dog Lady,
Our small poodle, Sara, has gotten too attached. She constantly follows us around the house to the point of annoyance. When we are sitting, she stands next to one of us like she is guarding us. We often almost trip over her. She will not go outside without one of us going with her. How in the heck can we stop this? She is driving us insane!!!!
-- Arnie and Pat
Dear Arnie and Pat,
Aside from your wild overuse of exclamation points (!!!!), you don’t seem to have a problem. You might close off your shadow in another room -- or a crate -- with a comfy bed, a few treats and toys to give all of you some “alone time,” but don’t strain yourselves.
You have a sweet annoyance. Your dog isn’t barking wildly, chewing your furniture, biting people, pooping or peeing in your house. She loves you. She really does. Stop whining and enjoy the attention.
Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is www.askdoglady.com. Contact her at email@example.com.