The things we do.
After paying the adoption fee, I had to tackle the largest hurdle of them all: the landlord. My motto when it comes to landlords is “out of sight and out of mind.” I hadn’t talked to him in over a year so I was really dreading the call.
I am not a big fan on weaving tales, but I certainly could not call the landlord and say, “Hey! I know I signed a lease that said no pets, but I went ahead and got one anyway. Do you mind?” Instead I decided to fall back on some hair brained story about finding a dog loitering around the house, having no idea who owned her and putting her in the back yard to keep her safe (like he really would believe that one).
I took a deep breath, dialed the phone and got his voice mail. Lucky! I rambled off my tale. Then I really dug myself a hole. I went on to say that I checked the shelter and the neighborhood, and no one had claimed her.
I just wanted him to give me a call and let me know if it was alright to keep the dog. As soon as I hung up I realized that I was so nervous, that I really didn’t remember what I rambled into his voice mail (even now I am not so sure). I was expecting him to call back with a simple yes or no, but he did not call back.
We were leaving for vacation in two days, so I called him back under the auspice of having to make a decision about this mystery dog before leaving town. He still didn’t call back. That meant that I had to stay on my toes and try to keep my story straight when or if he called. To top it off I left myself wide open for, “well, what did you do with the dog when you left town?” Dang!
We went on vacation and when we got back the landlord still had not called. I was really starting to worry. I started to prepare myself for calling the rescue shelter and telling them that I could not bring Phoebe home. I also kept telling myself that I could not get upset with the landlord, after all the lease clearly stated “no pets.” If it all ended in disappointment I would have brought it upon myself.
The clock was ticking and I was supposed to pick Phoebe up in a couple of days. I had already tipped my hand about having a dog on the premises and couldn’t play dumb. I had to suck it up and call the landlord again. I was starting to feel like a stalker-chick and was ready to hang up when he answered the phone.
He asked me about the dog and I really did not know what to tell him. The only words I could think of were, “Um. She’s cute and well behaved.” My mind was racing trying to remember what I had said in my prior voice mails. That’s why I hate lying; it’s too hard to keep track.
My stomach dropped when he told me he no longer bends the rules when it comes to pets. He had too many bad experiences with tenants moving out and leaving behind a house full of pet stains, dog hair and fleas. I assured him that my housekeeping style would not allow that to happen. After a nauseating tap dance he finally said that since I have been a great tenant for years, and he has seen how well I have taken care of the yard and the house, I could have a dog on the premises. I think he thought Phoebe would be an outdoor dog, but I wasn’t going to get technical. He told me he would send me a pet addendum and I would have to pay a pet deposit. I tell him, “No problem! How much is the pet deposit anyway?”
It was $2200!!!
Knowing full well that the Phoebe was coming to live with us in less than a week, I did not even try to negotiate with him. On the inside I was ready to barf.
The landlord was supposed to send me that pet addendum via email and instructions on how and where to send the deposit. A few days went by and I had not received the email. Not wanting to play with fire, I called him and left a voice mail telling him that I did not receive an email from him. I gave him my email address again (just in case he got it wrong the first time), and waited. He never sent the info and I am not going to call him again, though I have set the money aside just in case.
Rescue pup tally:
$295 adoption fee + $2200 pet deposit = $2495
Love certainly does not come cheap these days.