Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
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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.