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Friday, January 6, 2012

The Giant Monster Dog and the Apartment Board of Directors.

In Westchester County, New York, the Attorney General's office says that if a dog or any other pet animal is kept by an apartment owner for 90 days, without being hidden, is walked in full view of the public and not snuck in and out hidden in a basket, then it becomes a legal resident of the apartment, free from threats of eviction.

 There is such a law because in the recent past dog owners have been harrassed by lawyers kept by apartment buildings. This in spite of the said dog and its owner being totally law-abiding:  it has not been a public nuisance; it has not urinated within the building nor on someone's legs outside the building; its droppings have been promptly picked up by the owner and appropriately disposed of.

Well, into this friendly scenario comes my daughter, returning home from Texas with a mid-sized part-Staffordshire terrier and part-boxer, a gentle, sweet, timid brown pooch who only said 'woof' several times as a deterrent to house invaders.  Let's call her Lily for anonymity.

Well, Lily and her owner are completely, totally devoted to each other, besotted I'd say. And they lived peacefully with me in my apartment for over three months when lo and behold!  someone started mumbling at them each time he saw them  and darting looks to kill.  And suddenly I got a letter from the apartment manager,  that I was harboring a dog and if I didn't get rid of it, I would be fined and maybe have my 'lease terminated',  robber- language for  'apartment seized'.  

It so happens that there are several other dogs in the building, a few cats, and I've heard some birds chirping. Why pick on me?  Because I was easy meat, no guy in the picture, small and kid-sized and never said Boo to anybody?  I had to be made an example of?

Well, said manager and the Board members were unrelenting in their persecution, until, with a full time job and no time  nor financial resources to back myself, I helped my daughter and her dog leave, within the final time limit given by the manager. In my next maintenance bill, came an extra $600 for legal expenses. Yess?? Huh??

No arguments. Questions and appeals to the Board members yielded, 'Sorry, but you broke the law.'  I refused to pay and said manager added $50 each month until it totalled almost $2000.  I finally wrote to the Board President and asked when she was going to stop that nonsense and harrassment. It seemed she did not know of the manager's actions in raising the 'fine' .He had taken it on himself to be  executioner. I wondered where that money would have got to if I'd paid up.

It wasn't long before the united clamor of the apartment owners got that manager the sack - or rather, a reassignment within the same office.  He was too good of a servant to let go.  The succeeding manager reduced my fine to about $200, which I had to pay on the advice of my lawyer or I couldn't sell my apartment.

And that is the story of how a little pooch terrorised the big bad wolf.  She still doesn't know what she had done wrong, and neither do I.


  1. Lily showed them!!! ...kind of;)

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  3. Just goes to show! small but mighty, with biceps like Mighty Mouse! I admire your tenacity in challenging the fine.