I tightened my helmet, secured my kneepads, and snapped my buckles into place. I was nine and it was rollerblade time. I always had a great time cruising the mean sidewalks of suburbia in my neon rollerblades, but this day was exceptionally great. I even landed a jump. Then it happened. A furry little monster blindsided me from behind, and I went down. Long story short, my rollerblades were viciously and brutally attacked by the neighbor’s three-pound Pomeranian, Mr. Fluffy.
As a landlord, I was stunned to hear news last week of an opinion issued by the Kentucky Supreme Court, which stated that landlords could be held liable if their tenants’ dog bites someone. Now, instead of simply weighing the usual wear-and-tear costs associated with allowing dogs in rental units, landlords will need to determine whether renting to dog owners could put their very livelihood at stake. Jeffrey Greenberger, attorney for the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association, responded to the opinion by calling it “scary.” He added he “knows of no other case where the landlord is treated as though he owns the tenant's pet.”
I’ve always been a dog person. I love all kinds of dogs, but I’ve always had a big soft spot for English Bulldogs. Maybe it’s their round faces and giant tongues that get me, or maybe it’s their short, stocky little bodies covered in skin rolls. Whatever it may be about these dogs, I love them, especially my own little guy. And when I think of my English Bulldog, Duncan, the last adjective that comes to mind is dangerous. Yet, the CDC sites some of my favorite breeds as the most dangerous. At the very top of the list are Pit Bulls, a distant relative of the English Bulldog.
I used to get made fun of as a kid. I was the one who came to school with a backpack as big as I was, filled to its capacity with school supplies. From pencils to gauze pads (just in case my pencil slipped when writing notes and I cut my hand, of course), I had it all tucked nicely into my scoliosis maker. I blamed it on my mom. I told my snickering peers that she was overprotective and I had to lug around my “just in case” bag to keep her off my back. But really, it was all me. I was the epitome of a boy scout – always prepared no matter what situation I was in. It was in my blood, and still is.