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Old 12-23-2012, 10:02 PM
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Need advice... roommate issues.

This may be long but I'd love some opinions...

I live with my boyfriend of 7 years and a roommate. Steven and I have two dogs, Remy and Caira, and my roommate has one, Z, and a cat. There is often a dog staying at our place for training (I am a dog trainer). If there is a dog staying here for training, they are never unsupervised. If I am unable to watch them, they are in a kennel. Most of the time if they are out of the kennel they are on a "place", which is where they are required to stay on a dog bed until I ask them to get up. They are never running around or acting crazy... everything is very controlled. My own dogs are allowed to play a bit more, but their play is supervised. We have a dog park at our apartment complex so if they want to run and play I take them outside so that nothing gets destroyed.

We have been on our lease for a little over 6 months now. Ever since we have moved in, we have had issues with our roommate's dog. First, Z chewed up a shirt of mine that was on the couch (I was in the middle of folding laundry when I left for work, I left it there). I counted that as fair game and my fault, and never said anything about it. Then things started getting out of hand. We used to leave dog toys laying around, but we no longer do (we pick them up when the dogs are done) because if there is something laying on the floor, it will get eaten by my roommate's dog. We typically buy pretty expensive toys, so we try to keep them up. We first tried putting the toys in a basket on our dining room table (which is a 4ft table) but her dog was jumping on the table and getting them, so we have moved the basket into our room. However, the dog has taken other things off of our table/kitchen counter and destroyed them, such as tools, decorations, etc.

Not once has my roommate apologized for her dog chewing and/or offered to pay. She always simply leaves the item where she found it... but chewed up.

She does not think there is anything wrong with her dog...she does not think that her dog needs training. I have offered multiple times to train her dog but she says her dog is perfect (.... no dog is "perfect"...).

Anyway, about two weeks ago I got a puzzle and I started putting it together on our dining room table. I had it almost entirely put together when her dog jumped up on the table and destroyed it, eating pieces. I threw the puzzle away and told her about it, to which her response was to laugh and say 'sorry, she must love puzzles.'

I got another puzzle and started putting it together on our kitchen island (larger so that way the puzzle would be away from the edge) and I also covered the puzzle with a cardboard box so that if she jumped up there, hopefully it would be left alone.

However, I just came home to a destroyed puzzle with pieces chewed up.

I'll admit that I should have had this conversation a long time ago, but I am SO not into confrontation. What do I say to her? What do you think she is responsible for? If I leave something up high is it still my fault if the dog gets to it? I don't have anywhere in my room to do puzzles. I feel like it's my living room, too... and I shouldn't be afraid to come home and find something else chewed up. We can't even leave decorations out because her dog will eat them.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:33 PM
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I would talk to her about it, saying that you think she should be financially responsible for anything her dog destroys. Her choice is to either restrain her dog (crate or room) or to find another place to live - or to pay damages.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:33 PM
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I don't understand isn't she concerned that her dog will eat something that can hurt her or cause an obstruction? On what planet is that not behaviour that needs to be corrected - if only for the safety of the dog! Does she crate her dog?

I agree you should have had the discussion a long time ago - and I do not think you should have it until you feel you can do so calmly - but I would start off with concern for her dog, and then bring up what it has cost you. Frankly I don't think you'll get any money back for anything that has been destroyed in the past, but you can certainly lay down the law for everything going forward.

I'm just stumped that she is not worried about her dog eating all this stuff!
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:54 PM
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About a month after we moved in she left her dog in the bathroom while she ran errands instead of the crate and her dog chewed through the toilet line, causing water to get everywhere. If my boyfriend hadn't have come home, the bathroom would have flooded. We expressed concern and she said she would always crate her dog when she was gone, and she has. If we are here she usually keeps her dog in her room or in the crate. However, its when we aren't gone that she lets her run loose.... she says she is "watching" her, but clearly she isn't. We just found two chewed up toys (MY dog's toys) in the trash and four destroyed ornaments. I've told her that she needs to watch for an obstruction, but she doesn't listen. One time my boyfriend even had to help carefully pull a hair tie out of Z's butt because she ate it and couldn't poop it out (he's a vet tech). THAT one was a close call and still no concern for her own dog.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:55 PM
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And, I mean... it just feels like total disrespect when I come home to find crap chewed up laying on the floor where her dog chewed it... like she can't even PICK IT UP... like the puzzle today was all over the floor with the box near it... COME ON, if your dog chews something up at least CLEAN it.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:12 PM
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Do you have to have her as a roommate--is she on the lease?
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:21 PM
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She is on the lease. We have thought about getting out of the lease, but it is over $2000 to do so.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:37 PM
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I can kind of feel you on this topic- my roommate's cat is a terror that continuously pees on all of my things- from Nana's dog bed, to my bed, sheets, down comforter... stuffed animals, clothes, pillows, etc.. everything of mine has been pissed on at one point by that cat, really.

I'm also super non confrontational and I tried to laugh it off instead?? I shouldn't have, though. My roommate did offer to clean it up and was well aware that it was her cat's problem though.. but well, she wasn't great at cleaning and I ended up doing most of the work, stuff was replaced and messed up, etc...

I know it's easy to suggest to you to talk to your roommate, but I know how hard that can be. What I did was start making rules. I locked her cat out of our shared room- the cat just can't be in there, period, because it once peed when she was watching him. I let her know that stuff that was damaged was damaged, and that anything I couldn't wash would have to be paid for. I was friendly throughout all of it even if I wanted to pull my hair out from all the damages... it was a brand new mattress. Anyways, I digress.

I'd suggest just mentioning to your roommate "hey, the toy your dog destroyed cost me this much. Do you think you could pay for the replacement?" or "Hey, your dog left a mess in the living room."

Oh, and yeah, I think that's TOTALLY reasonable for you to ask her to pick up after he dog's own messes. Ugh. What a terror.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:54 PM
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I think at some point you are going to have to be, at least to some extent, confrontational with your roommate. Otherwise, her dog is going to continue to cost you money and further aggravation.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:06 PM
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Ugh ugh ugh. I was cringing as I was reading this. I can't believe the disrespect of some people - and I totally relate to you not wanting to confront. What about your bf? Is he better at doing stuff like that?

What about showing her this thread? She is being completely irresponsible and disrespectful. She lives with other people - a level of respect is expected. If her dog is destroying your stuff, she is responsible.

Ugh.
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