Our pet policy.

Yes, we accept pets.

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Some of them.

In some units.

In general, well-behaved dogs belonging to very responsible humans are welcome.  We’ve been pet friendly for fifteen years and rarely have a problem, but please read seriously the notes below and decide to stay some place else if you cannot abide by them.  And some people can’t.  We know this.  There are other places to stay that are less rigid and probably less expensive.

They look like this–corner of Walnut and Second.)

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 If you prefer a nice yard and a lovely, quiet setting, please remember, you, and your visiting pet, are part of it.

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Here are the rules:

We charge extra for pets, at least on the first visit, and after that it is somewhat negotiable–based on our experience cleaning up.

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Pets must not impact other guests or neighbors in ANY way.  That means no barking, no scratching, no visible signs of their toilet behavior. 

Visiting dogs must be attended at all times in the house, and on a leash when out–even in the yard.

Please take them away from the door for urination, and clean up any solid material immediately.

We offer pet friendly units because many responsible people own pets and like to travel with them.

And how do we know that complete strangers are responsible pet owners according to our quite rigid standards? 

We don’t.  The good news is that it is very, very rare that we have to say anything at all.  And if we do give a pet owner a report it will be at first informational–your dog started barking when you left.  And with that information–even if it was just for a moment–we expect the guest’s  behavior to be as responding to an emergency. No pouting, sulking or nasty public notes.  Come home, integrate the information and don’t let it happen again.

We no more allow barking or destructive dogs than we tolerate loud voices or domestic violence.  We have the rest of the house to think of–and we do.

Now, you have the important message–please act accordingly.

On to animal stories only if you feel like it.

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Some of the rules stated above are for our guests and the woodwork, and some for our own pets.IMG_0348

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Yes, cats can walk on a leash–and enjoy rolling in the dirt–but prefer not to be eaten by the visiting Pit Bull when they go out their door.

(Keep in mind to a cat

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this is a Pit Bull.)

While I understand that some people do not share my views, I’m going to ‘fess up right here I am an animal lover.  Raised on a farm, a professional horse trainer for many years (including the ones we are now in), I can’t help myself.

And because of this I have done many (many) economically  and otherwise foolish  things having to do with animals.

(The latest was scaling the Odell House roof, up to the base of the chimney

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to retrieve the feline to the right

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Who thought it was a good idea to camp out at the base of the chimney, having escaped from our upper deck balcony.

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There is a nice safe little ledge there, which I have to admit can look attractive, given the alternative of coming down face first.  (If you make it to the base of the post I’ll give you my advice on how to do this manoeuver–the descent  of steep incline with a nervous cat.)

Anyhow, I have a long and checkered relationship with animals–and so can appreciate others weaknesses in this regard.

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(Please see The Dressage Snob Blog   http://dressagesnob.wordpress.com/  where the argument for “economically foolish” and “Dressage” as synonyms is proposed rather frequently.)

So, how do pets work in an upscale lodging establishment?

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Well, we have some units in which you can keep your dog (or contained bird).  We charge for one additional (if hairy) guest and clean like crazy after the fact.  We wash everything anyway, but we really really wash when there has been an animal in residence.  Everybody understands shedding.  No one wants to see evidence of the last guest.  It is a fact of hotel management.

House rules are the dogs must be quiet and not disturb other guests.  They must not be left to themselves, and you are responsible for all of their  behavior beyond shedding.  Spokane has leash laws and there are a lot of other walkers, some with their own dogs, and many bicyclists and cars who do not expect loose dogs.  Visiting dogs MUST be on a leash–even in our fenced yard.  (How come?  We have dogs too, and other guests expect to be able to walk through the yards without necessarily communicating with a strange dog–or seeing any signs of one.  If your dog poops in the yard, please clean it up immediately–the yard belongs to everyone.)

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There is a very nice dog park down about half a block to the west on Pacific–one block total, if you would like room for loose play please take your dog (and cleanup equipment) down the block.

Inside? Accidents can happen.  For simple ones we don’t get very upset, but we really need to know because we have an arsenal of pet cleaning products that you probably don’t carry with you on vacation.

That’s the deal. Total honesty.  We won’t lecture or hold it against you.

There are two units where you can have a dog and every single other one is pet free.

Don’t even think about bringing an animal unannounced.  It’s just not fair to the other guests–they really do have allergies!

How about other animals besides dogs?

Other house pets?

You mean, of course ducks!

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Well, once I raised a group or orphan ducklings in my bathtub at home.  (Cost–$135 to have the drain run after I mistakenly washed grain down it in an effort to keep up with the fantastic mess they made).  Truly there is nothing cuter than a small flock of baby ducks bonded to you and peeping around the yard when they get old enough.  That said, never, never, never do this.  It is a very bad idea.  Find them a mommy duck.

Besides, in the end they look like this:

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Oh, you mean one of these?

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They also look like this:

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I love my cats.  They are fantastic friends.  Though very, very expensive.  (So far my two cats have cost me about $5,000 in purchase and vet bills. (One has three legs from a misadventure outside, and losing a leg will cost you a bit.  I have cared for horses that were less taxing.)

But, unlike other problems with my equine friends, the kitties have also cost me about $3,500 in upholstery–and that’s just in my house.  (Rick and I have four pieces of destroyable furniture.)

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Scratching.  It is part of their nature.  Like bears with trees.  Polite kitty behavior involves rubbing chins and scratching things to make things feel “homey”.  There are of course other alternatives. . .

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Anyway, I am not home all the time to train and lecture.  And when the cats die off, I will just get my stuff  upholstered  again.  I don’t mind.  Truly.  I love my kitties.  Or, maybe I’ll just get another cat.  It’s my furniture and my house.

BUT, in the Odell House it is your furniture.

And it is their cat, who they undoubtedly love better than your furniture.

(Cute, furry cuddly thing vs. inanimate object?  There is no contest.)

(History: my optimism with the foreign kitties is really limited: in the Odell House I once had to completely re-carpet a unit with already-new carpeting because the guest kitty sadly developed a bladder infection in the two month stay.  $8,500.  The owner was apologetic–but did not offer assistance above that.  And every single visiting cat has destroyed at least one piece of antique upholstered  furniture, which as you no doubt know is very, very, very expensive to have redone.)

And since I will not have furniture that looks like the sad chair  above in a place where you are coming to stay, and because SO many people have allergies to kitties, the kitties must stay home.

The only exception would be with a very, very very large deposit.  Which, when I have suggested to people with “utterly harmless” animals, they never seem too enthusiastic about actually guaranteeing the utter lack of harm.

So be it.

Enough said, most pets who have stayed with us have been wonderful, as have their owners

I noted once to a client how quiet his dog was.

He told me, Really he is not quiet, he gets stressed if he’s alone.  I just know he barks when I go out and so I never leave him in that situation when we travel.

Well said!  It’s not the dog or the size, it’s the owner that matters.

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A further note about bringing the pooch.  In winter they are usually quite comfortable alone in their own den–which looks exactly  like your car–not a strange apartment with unfamiliar noises.  In the warmer seasons every single one of our public Browne’s Addition eateries and coffee shops has an outside patio where dogs are welcome.  One Pug we knew had a standing order for a bowl of water and the buttered noodles off the children’s menu at The Elk.  In Europe dogs are welcome in pubs–the interior–and while not quite there yet, we are close.  Dinner out?  What a great opportunity to practice your pup’s extended “Down-Stay.”

The locals are usually very dog-friendly in Browne’s Addition.

Oh, the cat.  Okay, here’s the prize at the end of the long story–how to get the cat off the roof.

I left him there a few hours and he made some attempts at the valley, but could not make it more than five or so feet.

Determining that I wanted to not worry about it all night, and that rescue was necessary, but probably safer from the east face of the house (roof of wrap around porch as base camp) I got out the ladders and enlisted help steadying them.  I scrambled up the valley of the roof, and sat next to the chimney and of course Pasha came over.

Keep in mind this is the Siberian cat that I walk on a leash and he is used to me reeling him in and grabbing him when things get tense–dogs and such.  And he knows I am stubborn about insisting on coming back home–eventually.

In other words, he is both quite tame and quite brave about being handled.

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So, up on the roof I tied my shirt at the base and unbuttoned it enough to stuff the cat down the front, buttoning it back up again to the neck.  This gave both me both hands free, and the cat still well-secured.  And then I scooted down the valley to the second ladder from the porch roof.  Viola!  Cat back to ground level.

It took two hours of stress trying to make the cat do it,  five minutes of ladder adjustment and three minutes of. . . lets just say. . .physical activity.

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