Friday, June 16, 2017

Must Love Pets

I recently met Cujo.

I was showing a home to potential buyers. I'd been told the owners would be taking their dog out of the house while it was shown. They didn't.

I led the potential buyers down the basement steps, and a deep, ominous grumbling began. When the barking started, I almost fell off the steps.

It never stopped. Every time we went anywhere near his or her crate, which was buried in a dimly lit corner, the baleful hound lunged.

You look mighty tasty,” Cujo said. “And no one has fed me my breakfast. For days.”

I couldn't tell you if it was a he or a she. We didn't dare look too closely.

The buyers felt sorry for the snarling beast and so did I. He or she was probably scared to see strangers poking around its house. But it sure didn't help the buyers picture themselves living there.

It did, however, hurry us up.

Pets are a touchy subject these days. We don't own our pets anymore. That's not enlightened. We are “pet parents.”

Pet parents brag about their four legged child's irrepressible personality. They assume everyone will enjoy their little darling.

One client who wanted to sell her home had a hyperactive, stressed-out, little dog who leaped into the air and yipped, non-stop, for every single showing. No one could talk. The dog monopolized our attention.

The house finally sold while they were away on vacation with Little Yipper.

Good pet parents take their pets with them everywhere they go.

One woman carried her dog in her pocketbook. It growled in every house she looked at.

Poppy doesn't like this one,” she told me.

Poppy was very difficult to please.

Another couple brought their adorable young dog to every appointment. After several hours trapped in a car on the New York State Thruway, Bouncy couldn't wait to get out of the car, race in circles and then take off into the woods.

Bouncy came back eventually.

Yet another couple had three very lively Border Collies.

They threw open the car doors and invited them into every house they looked at. It didn't occur to them that the owners might have had pets of their own, animals who might not welcome the bumptious intruders. Not to mention the trail of dirty paw prints on a just-cleaned floor.

They'll have to live here, too,” the dogs' parents explained.

The look I got, from owners and dogs, when I suggested that the dogs stay outside, could have melted wax.

There are cats who try to escape every time an exterior door is opened.

I nearly had a heart attack as I started to say, “Watch out for the...” and the family cat materialized out of nowhere and bolted for freedom. Fortunately, Kitty didn't run quickly enough.

There are houses that smell so strongly of the animals who live there that I suspect nothing short of demolition will banish the funk.

But don't get me wrong. It's not all horrible.

Sometimes the family pet is one of the best things about a house. There are few things more enjoyable than watching a merry beagle race around in circles at the sound of her name. A sweet old cat on a bed or a calm dog looking for a little affection are pluses, in my opinion.

I like animals. I really do. But I have to admit it: overall, animals and real estate don't mix.

In case you're wondering, my dog stays home. She gets carsick.

(Previously published in Ulster Publishing - check them out at!)

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