Tonight, as was I was fumbling with my keys to get into my house, I was besieged by the frantic barking of the dogs in the apartment building next door.
“Jesus, dogs, I live here. Can’t I come and go from my own house without you losing your shit?” I mutter to myself. (And yes, I know it’s not the dogs’ fault, but the humans. Still it gets old. Really old.)
It’s not a new complaint. These dogs are only the latest in a series of frantic dogs who have lived in that particular apartment over the years, which got me musing about the occupancy criteria.
Potential tenants (PT): We love it! We’ll take it.
Landlord (LL): OK, great, but I need to ask you some questions first. Do you have a dog?
PT: Um, we have two. The ad said dogs were allowed.
LL: No, that’s great. How big are they?
PT: Oh, they’re small. Chihuahuas.
LL: Perfect. Do they bark a lot?
PT: Well, they’re protective. Yes, I guess they can be a bit vocal at times.
LL: But could you characterize them as “yappy”?
PT: Some might call them that. But, they’re only like that when they get bored or lonely.
LL: How often are they left alone?
PT: We both work, so they’re alone pretty much all day, and well, frankly most of the evenings too.
LL: Are they territorial?
PT: Like we said, they’re protective. If anyone comes close to the house, they’ll probably bark.
LL: How close?
PT: I don’t know, 50 yards? Yeah about half a football field in any direction sounds right.
LL: Perfect! Your dogs sound like they will continue the long distinguished history of bored-psycho-yappy dogs that have occupied this particular apartment. I’ll get you the paperwork and we’ll get you moved in ASAP. Welcome to the neighborhood.