Finding a dog friendly rental is a nightmare. Yes, this is pet friendly Australia, or supposedly so. Almost everyone here in Paddo has a dog or two. So why is it so hard to find a rental home for me and Lucy, then? How ironic. A friend asked me, when I told her about my difficulty finding a rental property that will allow for Lucy, “So, where do all the doggies live?” I don’t really know, but I suppose they all have houses, and those who cannot afford the rental of a house just have to suck it up and either live in subterfuge, hiding their pets, or the less dedicated ones just abandon their pets.
Here is a useful overview of the situation, for those who are unaware: Strata Pets.
I will never, never abandon my girl. I will protect her with my life. Yes, sounds extreme but that is the only decent thing to do, after all the unconditional love and trust they give us, especially our doggies, how could we do such an unconscionable thing as to abandon them just because the going gets tough? No way. Not this stubborn Aspie. And I tell ya, Aspies can be the most annoyingly stubborn people you may ever meet, but we can also be the most loyal and faithful, just like our dogs. It’s a matter of principle. We live by strict principles, some people even call us rigid and inflexible, but how could I be flexible with something like that?
So, the search continues. The stock phrase is – no matter how I explain that my Lucy is non-barking, very clean, not destructive, and she is my autism assistance dog – “Sorry, your application has been rejected – no pets allowed!” The nicer real estate agents who themselves are dog lovers all tell me that I have to be willing to fork out at least $600 and more a week for a terrace house, if I wanted a dog friendly home. Not possible on my meagre stipend, not even with the extra money. If I had a friend to share the house with, it would actually work out to be cheaper than living in a dingy strata building. But I don’t know anyone with whom I’d like to share, and those who I could possibly imagine living with already have their own homes anyway.
I did attempt to try the share house option. But 90% of the ads are scary: “We are looking for young, sociable and fun people, if you are going to stay in your room all day, forget it!” Yes, believe you me, most of the ads run that way. I have sent out at least 50 emails, being the dogged Aspie that I am, pushing myself to the limits. But only 3 out of those 50 even bothered to reply. I was supposed to do a viewing yesterday, a very nice sounding girl, but the stress from that caused a major meltdown and panic attack yesterday. I cancelled the viewing. I just couldn’t do it. I went into freeze mode, my heart rate accelerated so much that I thought it would burst out of my rib cage, I felt nauseous, dizzy and couldn’t breathe. It felt like that time when I had overdosed on Tramadol (I’d forgotten I had already taken one dose and took another one!). I had to curl into a foetal position and lie in bed with my beloved hound for the entire afternoon, before my heart rate slowed back down to normal and I could breathe properly again.
I am so tired… But I won’t give up on Lucy. I need her and she needs me. We are a team.