Hi everyone :-)
I'm new here and need the opinions of some experienced dog owners, maybe some of you have dealt with similar situations...
My partner and I rent a house in Melbourne's north western suburbs. The house has a courtyard out the back which is all concrete, aside from one small strip of garden. We also have nice wooden floors and white walls. I've always had dogs in my life and really want to get one now that we have our own space. I would love to get an adult dog (1+ years) as I don't have an overly busy social life and feel lost without having a pet to love. Our landlords are absolute dog lovers but they feel that there are a few issues with the house that impact owning a happy and healthy dog, including:
- We both work full time and commute for an hour each way so the dog would be alone for up to 10 hours day (weekdays only). I have considered this and would most likely hire a dog walker to come in around lunch time and walk the dog for half an hour a day. I've suggested installing a dog door so that the dog would have access to the courtyard and garage throughout the day, which leads to the landlords next concern...;
- As the courtyard is concrete and has no trees, there is little/no shade for hots day, also nowhere for the dog to toilet. Would providing a paddling pool and some kind of outdoor fake grass outdoor toilet help with this? I'm not sure the landlord would feel this is adequate for the well-being and happiness of a dog;
- Their final concern is the wooden floors - I would have the dog inside at night and on weekends, dogs claws scratch floors and we would be liable to replace the flooring if there is damage from having a dog.
I love that my landlords number one concern is for any dog I could get, and I completely understand their concerns with regards to damaged flooring. My gut feeling is that it's not feasible to ever get a dog whilst living here :-( I love the house and the area, and with current house prices it's going to be years before we can buy. I'm torn as I have so much love to give, I'm prepared to install dog doors, hire walkers, install dog waste disposal units, find solutions to hot days, walk the dog morning and night rain or shine, provide lots of toys for those hours of alone time, and I've even considered looking into 'claw covers' to protect the floors... but at the same time I can understand that maybe my lifestyle and living situation may not be ideal for a dog :-( Looking at rentals that advertise as possible pet friendly does not comfort me as the houses are usually absolute wrecks that I wouldn't let any animal live in!
So I was wondering what you lovely forum members think of my situation? Am I dreaming and getting my hopes up in wanting to get a dog?