I love my dog – I truly do. Sophie has been my dedicated companion for almost fifteen years. To me, everything she does is cute. I even excused the hole in my Persian rug as an accident (aw, com’on – there was a stuffed toy involved.) Nonetheless, when she brought in a mangled foreign object with a tail and laid it at my feet today, I was completely underwhelmed by her cuteness. Eventually I revived myself and decided, out of necessity, that Happy Hour would begin early in the Banta household.
It turns out that the rat-looking object was a stuffed something she had buried in the yard until it had been appropriately seasoned. I was consoled (the Scotch helped), but it did occur to me that there have been many incidents involving man’s best friend that should serve as reminders of why we should demand, and I mean DEMAND, that the little bowsers not be present at an open house. The following incidents – all true – make my case:
I’LL BE DOGGONE
1) One seller had an amorous dog that had an obsession with humping. (I never caught the dog’s name, so I will call him Charlie Sheen.) This provided many nervous laughs at one open house, but it is probably not the most dignified presentation a Listing Agent can offer. In fact, a dead body in the corner with a cooler and a sign that says “Have a Cold One” might cause less discomfort. Unless he’s bearing flowers and a diamond, put humping Charlie in the dog house.
2) There was a dog named Bob with a penchant for lifting his leg on foreign objects. Apparently he considered visitors “foreign.” Let’s be honest folks, no one needs pee on their leg – not even if it’s their own. Sure, maybe you could offer hip boots to the guests or give Bob a Bobbit, but a better choice would be to show Bob the door.
3) Scooter did exactly that – he scooted. Everywhere. From tile to Berber, Scooter liked to scoot the pooter. This is not usually appetizing. Of course, it would be worse if the Listing Agent did it, but it is tasteless nonetheless. Unless you can put a Swiffer cloth on his bottom and get him to do the hardwood, demand that cheeky Scooter launch his haunches outside.
4) My client, Lori, had the cutest German Shepard puppy you have ever seen. Cuter than an Easter peep. Unfortunately, his new food did not suit his plumbing. Just before one open house, as Lori was about to leave, Bowie suddenly left a pile. And another. And yet another. It was like an explosion in a Hershey factory. As Lori tried to clean up and get him into his cage, visitors began to arrive. I was frantic as I directed people where to step in order to avoid the strategically placed land mines. Bowie and Lori are still my friends, and the house did sell, but I learned that “cute” is not a synonym for “fragrant;” and digested food is not a good decorating choice.
FUR THE LOVE OF SANITY!
5) Okay, this one involves a cat. But the paw count is the same. My partner was holding an open house, when he decided to show of the hand made custom cabinets in the kitchen. He opened the pantry, and a cat jumped down from the shelf, landing on him like Cato Fong in The Pink Panther. My partner screamed like a girly man, as did the prospective buyers. Thus I conclude that cats, too, should be sent to Club Med during an open house…unless the seller has a defibrillator handy.
6) One woman had a dog who loved to turn in circles. Unfortunately, the dog would make himself dizzy and then fall on the ground in a heap. I was told this was very entertaining…but not when witnessed without explanation. It seems an agent was showing the property to several people when the dog decided to do its cabaret act in the back yard. The dog spun, flopped, and lay there in a heap of fur. Those who witnessed the stunt all screamed as the agent quickly called 911. When the paramedics arrived, they were directed to the back yard. The dog, excited to have a new audience, popped up and launched into an encore. Everyone had a great laugh, but the agent never got to pitch the house. The dog, however, got his own reality show.
7) I heard about a dog that was left in the yard during showings – certainly a better choice than being inside. The dog, however, had had its vocal chords operated on to remove a growth. He still barked, but his bark was more like a gargle. When the listing agent followed up with the agent of a prospective buyer, he was told that the client loved the house but, “could never live next door to the old guy who was constantly hacking up phlegm.” (On the positive side, at least the old guy wasn’t mistaken for a scooter.)
8) Blanchie is now in doggie heaven, but she was a good ol’ girl – very loving and sensitive. Her masters, my clients, had already purchased their next home and were packing up to move while their house was on the market. As I was showing the house, I detected a peculiar, and somewhat offensive, odor in one room. After the open house, I mentioned it to my client. She was baffled and began to search the area. It seems that Blanchie, when fearful of abandonment, always had dyspepsia. Upon seeing the suitcases set out in the room, she had promptly walked over and vomited on top of the clothes.
Blanchie made her point…and I hope I did, too. Our furry creatures, no matter how adorable, do not belong at Open Houses. Yes, a case can be made that they behave better than some people, which is the subject of my next blog. If you thought pets were a challenge, the best is yet to come…
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