The Art & Heart of Condo Living

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

A couple in their early retirement years leaves cold Michigan and moves to warm and welcoming Daytona Beach. They are downsizing, they sold their big home and bought a 2 bdr modest condo right on the beach, and they enjoy a nice ocean view from their balcony. The condo has “no pets” policy, and it is fine with the couple. They had dogs in their home in Michigan, but there was a large yard and dogs could roam it and they did not bother anybody. It is different in a smaller condo on the 17th floor. 

15 years of living in Paradise end with the death of the husband. The widow does not want to go back to Michigan, she is independent, so she stays in the condo.   But life is not what it used to be. She is very lonely, and depressed. Everybody say that time cures everything, but the pain of loneliness only became numb, but did not go away.   

The lady lost weight, suffers from insomnia, loses interest in life, stops looking into the mirror. Her heart dries out. She does not like people around her any more, gets suspicious, avoids get-togethers, which she used to like so much before. Her life is on autopilot. She does not watch the time. It stopped. She eats irregularly, whatever she finds in the fridge. She rarely cooks now, and she used to be such great cook.

She stopped watching TV. Her husband watched the news and she would discuss it with him, but now it did not interest her and she forgot when was the last time she even turned it on. She still reads those books that are in the house...

One day she goes to the Mall to have something to eat at the Food Court, and there is an event run by the local Humane Society, and there are many animals. She comes closer. This puppy looks at her. He wags the tail… she comes closer and pats the puppy. The puppy is happy and licks her hand… and the lady’s heart starts melting…   

The Art & Heart of Condo LivingShe goes to her condo with the puppy, overwhelmed by this unexpected change in her life. The change that brings sense back to life. There is now a reason to wake up and go out, and she had been sitting inside for so long, the reason to do all the chores and be glad there are chores there. There is this warm puppy so happy to be with her every second, full with unconditional love and affection…    

She feels younger and happier, she talks to the puppy… In the morning, when she wakes up, the puppy is patiently waiting for her, and start jumping and trying to lick her face. She takes him for a walk. When she comes back, there is a note on her door stating that she is in violation of condo “No Pet” policy.     

What do they want from her? That she takes the puppy back to Humane Society? But this is her life, this is the only creature in the world that loves her, and she loves the puppy… How can they not understand?  

She can sell a condo and move to a condo next door? She can’t even imagine it… Selling her unit, which she got used to in all these years, where they lived happily with her husband, buy another condo and move…

Why she can have her puppy in the next building, it is the same as this one? And why? It is a little friendly puppy… how can it be harmful for anyone?    

Yes, she signed she knew the rules, but it was 20 years ago. Life has changed, why the rules can’t change?   

Do you have an advice for the lady?

Do you know that there are 78.2 million owned dogs in the US?

Do you know that there are 86.4 million owned cats in the US?      

Do you know that there are 77.9 million lonely people in the US?      

Do you know that loneliness is detrimental to our health?

Photo by mikebaird via Flickr.com

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. David Farrell 03/26/2012 10:12 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Florida Volusia County Daytona Beach
Groups:
Condos, What you need to know?
Condo Benefits
RealtorsĀ®
All Things Florida
Condo Specialists
Tags:
condo living
daytona condo
jon zolsky
aging and real estate
about life

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Rainmaker
288,261
Kim Carlson
www.NowSellingAZHomes.com - Mesa, AZ
Realtor Mesa, Arizona Homes

Thank you Jon for sharing the art of condo living and about the love of pet owners and friendship and connections.

Mar 25, 2012 06:09 PM #1
Ambassador
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Kim - you are welcome

Mar 25, 2012 06:14 PM #2
Rainer
91,167
Tanja Cisliek
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL

Oh no, we all know this truly happens! My advice: return the dog and get a cat, and keep it inside and hide it in your bedroom when nosy neighbors come over. Not very good advise, but the best I got :(.

Mar 25, 2012 06:27 PM #3
Rainmaker
256,593
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Join the board. Change the rules.

Or solicit the support of the neighbors, get a letter writing campaign going, and make an exception to the rule.

Mar 25, 2012 06:28 PM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Jon, I agree with Tim. Dogs are people, too!

Mar 25, 2012 06:32 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,087,463
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

EASY * she goes to her doctor and gets a PRESCRIPTION for the dog....THEN, it is not a pet, it is a THERAPY DOG that no condo or HOA can touch it or say NO!

Mar 25, 2012 06:41 PM #6
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Tanja - thank you. I think cat are different. They make you love them, but they have np master. Also, it is difficult to break the rules without it become known. What if you get caught in a year? Get rid of an animal sounds terible

Mar 25, 2012 06:43 PM #7
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Tim - thank you, thank you, thank you. There is actually even a proposed legislation in Florida. There is such ting going on calle ESA (Emotional Support Animals), but it is not easy. There is a lot involved here.

I wil write about it in subsequent blogs

Thanks for the stand

Mar 25, 2012 06:46 PM #8
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Judy - first- I am glad to see you. For some reason I haven't seen you for quite awhile.

As for joining forces with Tim (LOL) - I hear you

Mar 25, 2012 06:48 PM #9
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Wallace - I am not sure. From what I learned, you can try to do it, but you can as well get a cold reception. the Board can't say no to Certified Service animals, but they can say no to ESA even with the letters. And courts in Florida were not sympathetic to pet owners in these situations and sided with the Associations.

Right now there is a legal battle in Florida to ease the situation, but it is not over yet, and the Association's rules are still in force.

Mar 25, 2012 06:51 PM #10
Rainer
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David Farrell
David V. Farrell Co. - Garden City, NY
Licensed NY State Real Estate Broker

Jon,  That was a very touching story.  I do primarily estate appraisals.  I find that, so often, when one spouse passes away, I'm back within a year to redo the work because the other has passed away as well.  A broken heart is real, and time doesn't heal it.  My sister's father-in-law died on Thursday, and he was calling his wife's name out in his sleep the few days before he passed.  She died 13 years ago.

In New York, we play dirty.  I know dog owners who have simply brought their dog right in and said to the board, "It will cost you more to sue me than it will ever be worth and I have enough money to fight you in court for the next five years, which is when I plan to move someplace nicer!"  They'd make it difficult for anyone to do anything, short of hiring attorneys and filing a law suit. 

One caveat would be that, in NY, judges are much kinder to tenants, whether in rental units, condominiums or cooperative apartments, than I've ever noticed anywhere else in the world.

I'd have her bring in the pooch and tell her that, over the next year, she'll have to make a move.  

This is a happy and sad one.  The dog helping cure a broken heart is a brilliant idea, and a suggestion I will make in the future.  However, the other side is rough.   Good luck.

Mar 25, 2012 09:59 PM #11
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

David - I don't think she can play dirty, not at her age. It requires money, and she is on tight fixed income, and tis is why moving scared the heck out of her, it is overwhelming and costly.

She is not a fighter, she is an older lady, who is torn between the rules and regulations and ... her life, as this is how she sees it. This puppy keeps her going, but she does not have some actiual disability, so claiming ESA (Emotional Service Animal is not easy for her, and associations attorneys got well versed in these cases, and it is not easy to fight them.

It is an uphill battle.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.

Mar 25, 2012 10:18 PM #12
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Jon, Yes, I moved back to Chicago, my hometown. Hard decision. Living is easy in Florida. Hardiness is needed in Chicago ... except for this last winter, which was barely a winter at all! But I'm very glad to be home, where I belong. Thanks for visiting my blog!!

Mar 26, 2012 04:54 AM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Jon, Tell you lady to go for a Certified Therapy Animal. I believe it takes several courses and training on her part, but it would not only save her emotional life, she can also help others. Therapy dogs are most welcome in retirement homes, hospices, and so forth. She would get a lot of self-satisfaction helping others.

Mar 26, 2012 05:20 AM #14
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Judy - thank you. Never heard of Certified Therapy Animal. Maybe not for my lady, but certainly good to know.

Mar 26, 2012 06:49 AM #15
Rainer
161,476
David Farrell
David V. Farrell Co. - Garden City, NY
Licensed NY State Real Estate Broker

Hey Jon, 

I wrote the ideas just because I would try anything to help someone like that.  I think the "Animal Therepy" or other documents from a doctor are great ideas.

If we think about it, according to the ADA and other acts, Service Animals cannot be banned anywhere.  

Anxiety is covered by the ADA and Service Animals, according to Doctors, are therapy.  This makes the dog protected as a Service Animal.

Here is a website with info:  http://www.freemypaws.com/?gclid=CImfj4SGha8CFQdN4AodWWlV1A

(Note: I don't reccomend it, I was just searching for it because of your story.  It seems compelling and might be exactly what is needed.  It would also make for an excellent post to help others in her position in life become happy and healty again.  You might save a lot of little friends and help a lot of people.  If brokers and agents all learned this, they would be better able to help their customers and clients.)

Good luck.  My search was in Google where I wrote the following words:  Florida & Dogs & Service Dog - I know it's repetitive, but it seemed to bring up better results - or I'm nuts.

I hope this helps.  Please keep let us know.

Mar 26, 2012 10:10 AM #16
Rainer
161,476
David Farrell
David V. Farrell Co. - Garden City, NY
Licensed NY State Real Estate Broker

Jon, I just re-blogged your post to see if anyone else comes up with a good idea.

I just wanted to point out that people should also click on your link in your post that says:

 

Do you know that loneliness is detrimental to our health?

It leads to a good article that is a good read.

Mar 26, 2012 10:16 AM #17
Rainmaker
528,304
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Merrick, NY
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent

This is so sad. We all need a good reason to wake up and go on with life. I hope someone will come up with something.

Mar 26, 2012 05:59 PM #18
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Kristin Hamilton
Keller Williams Realty - Redlands, CA
(909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda

Hi Jon,

I love animals and have always had them since I was little. I have 3 wonderful little rescue dogs and we love them so much. This makes me so sad and I just think there should be something that could be done for this lady and her dog. I wonder is anyone at the Federal Fair Housing (HUD) could file a violation since this poor widow is being treated unfairly. If others can have pets in the building, than she should be able to also. Perhaps she should go to Legal Aid too if she cannot afford an attorney. Perhaps they can write a letter on her behalf and scare them into allowing this change of contract in the HOA rules. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, right? What is fair is fair for all....

Mar 31, 2012 10:19 PM #19
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