Dogs Can Be Destroyers Too!

Let me make something perfectly clear - I absolutely LOVE my dog Jake! My step-son Alex rescued him from a Knoxville McDonald's parking lot (about an hour north of Gatlinburg) about 3 years ago during a freezing rain storm. He was begging food, had been on the run for some time, and looked pretty rough. Hungry, cold, wet, and miserable the poor dog was starving for food and love. When Alex brought the soaking wet pooch home his sweet wife Lindsey (whom we absolutely adore!) reminded Alex that they already had 3 dogs and that they really couldn't manage yet another one.

At this point, Alex called me (knowing that we had lost our beloved Golden Retriever Lacey to canine cancer a few months earlier). I explained to Alex that because our children had all grown up and moved to their own nests and with the loss of Lacey, the only pet we had, Karen and I were finally foot loose and fancy free. With no responsibilities to children or pets we could go anywhere anytime without making plans for others. In fact, I further described to Alex that my only pets now were the fish on my computer's screen saver program. They required absolutely no care and were always just where they belonged with or without my attention. Alex then made the excellent point that they didn't provide much love either so I grudgingly agreed to let him bring the dog over for a visit.

What Jake has brought to our lives is a remarkable amount of love, joy, and laughter to our home. The dog that used to be afraid that anything picked up was destined to be thrown at him (instead of to him) is now no longer afraid as he has learned that the only thing we ever throw is an occasional bone or dog toy for his amusement. No longer starving, Jake has packed on a few pounds more than he actually needs but then, so have I! Jake is an indoor dog and came to us perfectly housebroken. Not being a puppy he isn't inclined to chew on anything other than his own toys. Having had over a dozen pets during our lives my wife and I can say without a doubt that Jake is the most wonderful pet we have ever had the privilege of owning.

All of the above is to describe a perfect pet and a good owner/pet relationship. Unfortunately, many household pets are much less than perfect mainly because of a failure of their masters. All too often we see foreclosure homes that are now in a truly horrible condition because of a neglected or untrained pet. In fact, I have one of those severely damaged homes in our listing inventory now. As is frequently the case, the carpet in this home was destroyed by dogs that were not allowed to go outside to relieve themselves. The carpet and pad were removed and replaced but the odor quickly came back. This is because the dog's damage extended far beyond the carpet and the pad down into the sub floor and apparently even the walls. The odor has become increasingly apparent even with the new carpet and pad and the house is now basically not saleable. The cost of repairing this otherwise attractive home is hard to measure but will certainly far exceed what was initially anticipated.

Folks, I do truly love our dog but an uncared for pet is a huge liability. As a landlord, I try to accommodate my tenant's love for their pets because I know how much I value mine. However, if the dogs can't be cared for they should NEVER be kept indoors. If you can't train your dog and you can't afford a fence you shouldn't have a dog - It's as simple as that! As crazy as this sounds if I were a lender I might want to know about indoor pets before I made a home loan. If you are looking for a Smoky Mountain home and don't have a working sense of smell, have we got a deal for you!! If you do have a good sense of smell we have lots of Gatlinburg area real estate that isn't severely dogged!


Steve said…
Great picture of Jake!! Let me add one thing. As the owner of three dogs (2 Labs and a Beagle) we have a fenced yard and a dog door to the yard. If we left our pets outside, they would be just dogs. They would be in the elements which can be extreme. They can also be prone to attacks from possums, raccoons, and even coyotes. I agree that locking them inside all day is rough, but chaining them to a tree all day is rougher. Remember, pets are people, too. Our best to you.

PS. Jake is a prime example of good pets hooking up with good people.
Couldn't agree more Steve! Nothing sadder than a dog chained to a tree or kept in a small pen all day (and all night) long. Jake has been a tremendous blessing to our family and we've been pretty good to him too. Now if we could just find a non-shedding version he would be the PERFECT pet!!

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