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My housemate is so inconsiderate!

4288 Views 21 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Vegn
So I have been living in this house since October last year, my landlord loves me as my rent is always on time, I never disturb him (He stays at the house sometimes) and I don't complain about the fact it takes him forever to fix anything around the place and the home is half renovated. Anyways, he is a softy and has leased the adjoining Granny flat out to a crazy old lady and her chihuahua cross.

So from day one I tell the crazy old lady about my intention to get rats, it had been something I had been thinking about since November last year when I stayed with some friends who had them and they seemed like a good pet for me considering I only really have my bedroom and my landlord does not need another dog in the yard (he has three), my cat is happier living with my parents (Due to before mentioned dogs and a main road). Now the first warning sign came when I first told her that I was getting rats and she responded "Well, I am no responsible if my dog eats them."

It has been a week and a half and the problems keep growing.

She likes to come into the lounge room and watch Once Upon A Time with me (I am re-watching all of it). And she brings her ugly little dog. Now in the evenings after I have been at work all day I like to socialize with my rats and usually take them into the lounge room. If the dog isn't there I have two playful ratties and climb all over me and explore the lounge and their play box. If her dog is there they hide in the play box and I put the lid on. I had to change their play box from a carboard box to a clear plastic tub and then from a clear one to a frosted one for their safety. If the dog can see them he tries to bite them through the plastic or rams the box. Funnily enough the girls don't seemed to stressed in the box, in fact when they were in the clear one I am certain Nim was taunting the dog.

Anyways, so I have been too sick to go to work the last few days so I am playing with the girls a lot in the lounge room. Nim is growing very bold and jumping from the box to come and snuggle on the lounge. I think it is a cute behaviour and I was hoping she would start teaching it to Ace given time. However, my housemate comes out to watch Once Upon A Time and I asked her to leave the dog in her flat because I was socializing the girls. She says that she can't because her "Poor puppy" (Who is atleast five or six) "needs her" and "Needs TLC" after dog obedience school. I explained that Nim was getting out of the box and it was something I was trying to teach Ace and I wanted them to be safe and they are of course not safe with the dog around.

This is where my blood began to boil! She says that I should keep them in their cage for their safety, the only unsafe thing in the house is her dog! She then suggests I get a little kids tent to play with them in. I explained that once they are bigger I plan to let them play on the floor in the lounge room and she looked horrified at the idea.

She ended up ignoring my request to leave her dog in the flat and bought him out on a leash (That let him get within six inches of the tub anyways!) of course the girls weren't feeling much up to getting out with him around!

Oh! And this lady also has the balls to then criticize how I keep my rats. Apparently they should have more room to play and do natural things according to her. Well they would if her stupid dog wasn't there trying to eat them!

I don't know why she bothers taking it to obedience school because she straight out told me that she does not have time to work with him during the week and then asks me if I can work with him for her! She gets home from work before I do and doesn't seem to do anything except read about aromatherapy and whine about how exhausting her job as a lolly pop lady is!

Now she is currently using the main bathroom in the house because the landlord is renovating hers, so she walks through the main house and takes her dog to the bathroom with her (Because he needs to be with her 24/7). She has asked me to keep my door closed for my rats safety because she won't take responsibility and control her mutt and keep him out (He can't actually get to them. Their cage is on top of my dresser but it is not the point).

I could seriously keep going and this is all within the last week and a half don't forget.
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I'm sorry you're going through this.

Playing devil's advocate, I can see how she should be able to have her pet in the room at times, too.

That being said, I wonder if she'd be open to meeting with you to set up some type of schedule (e.g., "On odd-numbered days, your dog may spend time with you in the lounge area, on even-numbered days, it's time for the rats") Or: "My work schedule is __________ so I won't need the room on _____day, ____day, and ______day. May I please have it on _____day, ______day, and _____day?"

And really...go so far as have it written on a "Master Calendar" so that there is no room for confusion/miscommunication.

If she is NOT willing to talk about something like this, then it may need to call for a three-way meeting between you, her, and the landlord. You both pay rent, so you both should be able to use the lounge and there's no reason that there can't be a mutually agreed upon arrangement.

Just my two unsolicited cents. :)

She has her own lounge room and own tv but is too lazy to get the extension on her arial (She expects the landlord to get it for her). So she comes into the main house to watch her shows (Which I leave the lounge room for) but she likes to watch Once Upon A Time with me.

I have tried to negotiate with her but she is always going on about how the dog "Needs" to be with her.

I think it is worse for the dog when he is in the lounge room with my rats. He pants, shakes and stresses out because he can not get to them.

My landlord is a huge "Drama free" guy. He would tell us to work it out between ourselves.
Hmm, well it says something that she likes to watch Once Upon a Time with you. :)

Do you discuss the episode (during/after)? Maybe she wants to be friends in a way.

You could opt NOT to watch OUAT and when she misses you, you can let her know that you want to be able to socialize your rats, and that's hard to do with ______ (the dog's name).

Well, that's all I got. ;) I do wish you luck, just the same! :)
We do discuss the episode (I have to spend most of the episode reminding her that all questions will be answered later.) We get on alright most of the time (She does tend to annoy me, like coming into my room when I am very sick so I can fix her air purifier for her :/) my main issue is with her unwillingness to give me the same respect I have previously given her and her dog and her unwillingness to discipline him when he tries to get the rats (She thinks it's cute)
A lot of bad pet owners always end up having small dogs. They think because their dog is small and "precious" that it should be allowed to get away with anything and everything. Based on the fact that she claims her dog "needs" to be near her, I'm guessing he's spoiled and likely riddled with separation anxiety as well. A prime example of a shoddy owner. *rolls eyes*

Anyways, I don't know about Chi's, but a lot of small breeds tend to have very high prey drives (and little to no respect for other animals, always thanks to their owners..). If the owner wasn't such an idiot, I'd say you should try and see if the dog could ever grow accustomed to being around your rats, but at this point I highly doubt that will ever happen.

I wish I could give you better advice, but I dealt with similar issues before (people babying their small yippy dogs and thinking all of the horrible and potentially dangerous things their dog does is "cute" or "harmless"), so I guess all I can say is try to keep at it.

I'm sorry you're in such a horrible situation.
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Thanks Augustine.

The dog is a total whimp, especially when I get mad and I am "Mean" to him (Owners words when I clapped my hands at the dog and snarled when he tried to get the rats). I am thinking I should borrow my friend's ferret (Keeping it away from the rats) to put the fear of rodents into it lol.
A lot of bad pet owners always end up having small dogs. They think because their dog is small and "precious" that it should be allowed to get away with anything and everything. Based on the fact that she claims her dog "needs" to be near her, I'm guessing he's spoiled and likely riddled with separation anxiety as well. A prime example of a shoddy owner. *rolls eyes*

Anyways, I don't know about Chi's, but a lot of small breeds tend to have very high prey drives (and little to no respect for other animals, always thanks to their owners..). If the owner wasn't such an idiot, I'd say you should try and see if the dog could ever grow accustomed to being around your rats, but at this point I highly doubt that will ever happen.

I wish I could give you better advice, but I dealt with similar issues before (people babying their small yippy dogs and thinking all of the horrible and potentially dangerous things their dog does is "cute" or "harmless"), so I guess all I can say is try to keep at it.

I'm sorry you're in such a horrible situation.

Wooah! Let's ease up on the small dog hating! Bad pet owners can have dogs of any size. Small dogs are just seen as less dangerous when they're improperly trained so they get to be out around people and their bad behavior noticed more readily than the poorly trained larger dogs because they don't get taken out in public or even let loose in the house around guests nearly as much.

Also lumping all small dogs into a "high prey drive" category is about as accurate as saying all dogs have high prey drives. Which simply isn't true. It depends entirely upon what the breed was designed, for lack of a better word, to do. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog bred specifically to be a companion to aristocracy, as a result they are very gentle dogs and have a very low prey drive. Same thing goes for pugs. There are a lot of small dog breeds that were bred specifically for the sake of chasing other small animals into burrows and such but their prey drive makes them no more or less vicious than any large breed hunting dog. Also just because a dog has been "designed" to go after a particular prey item doesn't mean they will. My Rat Terriers are very well behaved despite their size and although they will shamelessly track down and exterminate unwanted rodents attempting to invade our yard, they have always been gentle with the other animals I've owned or that they've met adventuring with me to the homes of friends. They get along with cats, rabbits, and the youngest used to groom and snuggle with my rats(and likely will with my current ones once they've learned that they don't have to be afraid of the tail wagging monsters).

I agree that some foolish people let their small dogs get away with more than they should but that is 100% on the owners and has nothing to do with little dogs being predisposed to falling into the hands of bad owners or being badly behaved. Small dogs get a bad rap just like rats do but with a little love and proper training they're great animals too.

Anyway, back to the OP, despite Augustine's doubts, I think you may have a chance if you're willing to put in a little time and effort. It's true that you shouldn't have to be bothered to work with someone else's animal because they can't be bothered but let's face it, life isn't always fair and when you get handed a lemon you can cry about it or make something sweet. You've said she's asked you about working with the dog and honestly I think that is your best possible option. If you can spend time alone with the dog and your rats, you can work on introducing everybody in an environment where your roommate's presence isn't influencing the dog's behavior. Soothe the dog and let him know that it's okay. Pet him, pet the rats, show him that they're a part of the pack and should be treated gently. Your roommate obviously isn't interested in taking the time to bother with any of this but she's presented you with an opportunity to lessen the threat to your rats. Honestly, it's a much better idea than putting a ferret in front of the dog which would put the health of the dog and the ferret in jeopardy and is all around just a bad idea.
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I was joking about the ferret. As much as I love it, it is an evil little weasel haha.

She doesn't want me to just do anything with the dog, she wants me to do the obedience school home work with it. I am not a fan of little dogs overall. But I have a particular... dislike for chihuahuas, I have unfortunately only had bad experiences. I already look after my landlord's dogs for him and I really don't want to deal with her dog. As I said before it is middle aged and has never been trained or disciplined before. judging by his prior behavior around them I would not know where to start with him. I would seriously be more comfortable introducing my cat to these rats than this dog, in fact I may even have better luck teaching dad's cat to get along with the rats under supervision then I trust this dog. Especially since the owner has said "He needs to understand that those two are yours but every other rat is fair game" Something tells me that won't work too well =(

Addition: This dog won't get along with the other dogs in the house either. My landlord and I have tried but the dog (Jack) snaps, snarls and burrs up despite living here for well over a month it just refuses to get along with these very friendly dogs. The dogs don't jump or show any aggressive behavior. He has attacked the puppy (Who is not much bigger than him) when I had the puppy inside. If this dog can't get along with its own kind it makes me worry about it getting on with rats which it has already tried to get to and kill. My housemate coddles him whenever he gets aggressive with the other dogs so the behavior has been re-enforced by his human.
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Another example of how inconsiderate she is: I have the girls in their cage in the lounge room (Where I have been all day after cleaning it) and she just stood up to put her shoes on while holding the dog. If that dog struggled she would have dropped him right on the cage! It is just like a bird cage one so he probably would break straight through if he fell on it.

I have had to move them into my room so I can't socialize them because she was complaining about how unfair it is for me to have my rats here because it stresses out her dog! She never puts away her dog when he stresses out the rats! -deep breath- I think I am going to snap soon.
I think a conversation about "public" spaces and privileges is in order here. You say that she uses your lounge because she doesn't want to get her TV / cable cord? Which to me, means that you are allowing her the privilege of using your lounge... This is not something you have to do by your renter's contract, correct?

I would sit down with her and tell her how disappointed and distressed her behavior is making you. How you like spending time with her, but that you believe she is being unfair and disrespectful to you by demanding that you not have your pets in your lounge with you. I also think that the schedule suggested already is a good idea. It will give your the oppertunity to compromise with her, by allowing her to have the dog with her some days and you on other days with the rats. If that does not work, tell her that you will no longer watch OUAT with her. If she is not willing to compromise, she will loose that privilege. Choices have consequences and since you hold the power on that one, then you can use that as a consequence.

If she does not agree, call in the landlord. Tell him the problem and how she refuses to allow you to have your pets in your lounge. If he does like you and you are a good tenant, he should help you out on this.

Roommate situations can be tricky many times... I once lived with 2 other girls and we had it out about the dishes... Apparently I was the only one doing them, while the others just piled their stuff in the sink. We had to have a "roommate meeting" to discuss that, and also that one of the girls was unfairly using the lounge every night of the week with friends. We kept it civil and got over it. After I moved out though, things didn't go too well.. The other two weren't as good at compromising (I was kind of the "mom" figure I guess) and separated shortly after.

The main thing is to remain calm, seem fair and reasonable, yet firm. Freaking out or getting super emotional (even if you feel like it) never helps. If you can hold your cool, have a good plan, and be the more mature person in the situation, it will usually work out. If she is that unreasonable, hopefully the landlord will help you out. It might be good to let him know that you're having issues and that you are going to try and fix them yourself ahead of time, that way he will be prepared if he has to intervene if things fall out.

Good luck!
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^ Thanks for that advice. I had the dishes situation with my landlord (As he comes and goes from this house). Took a couple of times but now we both wash up. (He still lets dishes pile but not for weeks).

I actually tried to talk to her this evening, but I got the usual response of her dog "Needs" her (He really doesn't whenever she has left him in the Grannyflat he goes to sleep and seems chilled). Even with the rats away tonight her dog was sniffing around, panting and then pooped all over the place so I don't think him being in an area they play is a good idea anyways. But back on topic, talking got me no where so while not straight up telling her that because of her attitude I wouldn't watch OUAT with her anymore I just kept watching it after she got up to do her washing.

I didn't really use the loungeroom that much before, except on sick days (Been sick all week) or some evenings to watch the news. So I have just decided to watch OUAT on the laptop and play with the rats in my room.

She says she enjoys my company but if she can't be respectful about me, my pets and my space she can go without.

This rant has purely been about things relating to the rats but she is very inconsiderate in other ways, I think I previously mentioned she came into my room earlier this week wanting me to fix her air purifier while I was trying to sleep off my illness.

So I suppose this rant ends with me deciding that it's just not worth it and my ratties will no doubt love having free range of my bedroom floor instead of confined to different play boxes.
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I'm sorry to hear that you're still having issues with the roommate. Maybe given time you guys will be able to find a middle ground but in the meantime I'm sure your ratties will love roaming around your bedroom where it is safe. Also is the lounge connected to the bedroom and will the roommate be in there when you're not? If so, I recommend putting a towel at your door to keep him from trying to sniff them out under it because it could lead to whining, scratching, and stressing the ratties out. If that becomes a problem, you can always invest in a water bottle to spritz the dog when he starts to discourage the behavior.
I would just make sure that when she asks, you tell her exactly why you have stopped watching it with her and that it was because she failed to respect your wishes. If she likes your company that much, she may change her behavior, otherwise, it's not really a loss to you.
Thanks guys. Sick again today so once I feel well enough I am going to let my girls out for a play around the bedroom.
Because I am not mean when she wanted to watch OUAT tonight I set it up for her before leaving the room. As I was leaving she asked why I wasn't watching it. So I said:

"With your dog in the room I can't spend time with my rats because they get nervous and have to be confined to a box which isn't fair since they are already stuck in a cage all day. You won't put Jack[Dog] in the flat so me and the girls will be in my room."
She just said "Okay" didn't seem all that upset about it.

On another note she suggested we use my rats as "Encouragement" for her dog's obedience training. Maybe he would learn to sit if he thought he would get a rat out of it. She did not understand why I didn't like this idea because when I first got the rats they didn't seem too stressed by the dog. First night I had them her dog was so exhausted he was sleeping and did not even notice them but once he started trying to get them they decided they did not like the mega huge barking rat.
*sigh* Well, just endure and hope that she has to move out, or you start looking for another living arrangement. Roommate situations aren't ideal. I've only ever had 1 roommate that I LOVED and that was because we were friends, got along, and she spent 90% of her time in her room... She would come out to chat / snark tv with me, but other than that we left each other alone.
I am going to let her know it upset me her suggesting we use the rats as "Encouragement" it is like me saying "I want to teach my great white some tricks, mind if I use your dog to get it motivated?"

-shrugs- Not the worst housemate I ever had. All previous housemates here and the landlord I get along with fine. This lady is just a bag of crazy in general.
I think it's just awfully rude that she would have the audacity to gripe about the care you give your own pets, whom you love and obviously care for very well, when she obviously doesn't give a dang about them; plus, it's none of her business. :I
Sadly little dog owners do tend to pamper them and I blame a lot of it on the access they have to things for them. Miniature clothes, and strollers, and rhinestone collars are just impractical for larger dogs. However I have no gripe with the dogs themselves and many owners are fine. But a pitbull that barks is deemed more aggressive to most people than a little dog that bites cause it's cute when they do it. I was going to suggest just playing with them in your room. And my guess is that it's your lounge and your renters agreement would legally make it to where you don't have to let the dog in. If she wants in he wont be there, she doesnt like it, she can leave. But that is a very direct approach and is kinda harsh.
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