We are Sam and Tori, a fun-loving and dog-adoring (yet dog-less) couple just trying to convince our landlords to let us have a dog while also trying to spread awareness about Equal Housing for Dogs, something we both are very passionate about. Dogs have always been an important part of our lives growing up. We feel, like so many others, that these furry little beings bring so much happiness to everyday life—simply put, they are family.
Our journey in finding ourselves dog-less started in 2013 when the two of us moved away from our friends and family in Orange County, CA to Portland, OR. It was a difficult decision to leave our loved ones, which included 4 dogs and 3 cats between our two families, but ultimately we knew opportunity and adventure lied ahead of us in Portland. One of the happiest days of our relationship was getting the apartment we currently live in. We signed the lease 3 days before our official moving date which was a comforting yet exhilarating reassurance for us that this big move of ours was meant to be. Fast forward a year and half later and we are in love with this adopted city of ours and feel very fortunate to be living in a beautiful, modern sustainably-built apartment in the heart of SE Portland, Buckman neighborhood. Life couldn’t be any better! Except one tiny detail—our beautiful home DOES NOT ALLOW PETS. Dun dun dun.
This doggy detail in our move to Portland was not high on our priority list and we knew about our apartment’s “no pets” rule before moving in. Survival was our main priority—a dog was not in the cards at the time. Now that our apartment finally feels like home and we’ve started to establish ourselves in PDX, we can’t escape the glaring void we both feel in our everyday lives and that is a little Fido to join our family of two. So in our quest to bring a dog into our lives, we contacted our landlords about it—twice in fact. The first time being a little too soon after we moved in but we thought it was worth a shot. We simply asked if we could bring Sam’s 14-year-old border collie, Rex, who was still in California, into our home. We wrote a thoughtful email including a picture of Mr. Rex, explaining his kind demeanor and a simple, “No pets allowed” was the response we got from our landlords. Despite not getting the answer we wanted, we completely understood and tried to ignore our deep desire for another living thing in our home (it got so bad that Sam became attached to a spider and even named it—yeah, it’s been rough guys).
Our second attempt was earlier this year in 2015, a full year after our first attempt. This time we felt good about it; we believed we had gained their trust by paying our rent on time every month and by being communicative and responsible tenants. And at this point, we had decided that moving Rex to Portland in his old age would be cruel and the best thing for him would be to continue living with Sam’s parents in California, so we decided to instead ask about adopting a puppy. We wrote a strong, carefully crafted proposal on why letting us have a dog would be okay. Included in our proposal was offering to pay a pet deposit and monthly rent that would more than cover any potential damage, pointing out that the majority of our neighbors also live in apartments and all have dogs ensuring that this is a dog-friendly street we live on, also assuring them that we are responsible dog-owners and we would train him/her (Sam is a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable dog-trainer; you can read some of his training tips here) and even letting them know that we hope to adopt an English Bulldog as they are notoriously great apartment-dwelling dogs for their lazy, quiet and loving personalities. We sent it and waited. They got back to us and said that they would think about it as they were also struggling with a dogless new home. We waited some more. Finally we couldn’t wait any longer and asked if they had made a decision. “It’s too much of a risk to the finishes in the apartment,” was their answer. Oh we were crushed. We understood but we were still devastated. We felt that we had made a strong case in our favor, expressed how serious we are about owning a dog and conveyed our passion about one of the greatest joys in life, but to no avail.
The lows of life somehow always make way for the highs, right? Which brings us to our Let Us Have a Dog project. LUHAD has become our baby, our puppy if you will, and our intention has always been to create a positive movement surrounding it. We want to open up a dialogue between dog-adoring renters and landlords who do not allow pets, in hopes of creating happy, dog-owning families in the PDX rental community and ultimately giving homes to the many shelter dogs in Portland. We feel that dog-ownership should not be exclusive to home-ownership. With our cause we ultimately want to uphold a positive standard surrounding pets in the rental community. So if you love dogs and think our tail-wagging cause is pretty cool, then throw us a bone and sign our petition. You’ll be added to our growing list of dogs’ best friends. We thank you for being an integral part of our LUHAD movement.