As we're looking into adopting a dog from a shelter, we have been faced with several questions about whether or not our home is fit for a dog. Of course everyone involved wants the best for the dogs, but does that really mean no apartments? During the time I spent living in NYC I had not encountered this bias, so it's kind of surprising that, while looking at rescues here in Atlanta, it has become such an issue...
Full disclosure: we're active people, and this is not our first dog. As apartment dwellers in an urban environment, we walk a large amount each day, and live equidistant from two awesome green spaces. A fenced in yard and a house in the 'burbs seems an odd requirement to us, especially considering that we know the dog would get 2+ hours of exercise a day if we adopted him. Is a yard really the best exercise? Why is the yard a "must?"
We also work from home part of the time and have very flexible and dog-friendly workplaces, so the amount of time the dog would be home alone is rather minimal. This, combined with the level of exercise we're comfortable with and our dog training, seems more important to us when it comes to suitability for dog parenting, but perhaps we're being a bit naive. We'd love to hear from other apartment dwelling dog owners, especially those with medium and large breeds. Is this bias in our heads? Is there a reason for it? Should we kiss our dreams of owning a shelter pup goodbye unless we ever decide to forgo small-space living?
(Image credits: Bethany Nauert; Sarah Rae Trover)