Re: Dogs and common facilities
From: Doug Huston (
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2019 07:26:06 -0700 (PDT)
No dogs (or cats) in our common house EVER. Allergies eclipse companionship and 
emotional support (says the clinical social worker). 
The reality of living in community does include these occasionally mutually 
exclusive choices. It is great when they don’t become deal breakers for people. 
I don’t even know if we have have any members with severe dog allergies. We did 
have lots of dogs (I was one of the dog owners) upon move-in and none 
currently. Could there only be some (non-shedding) breeds in the common house? 
I don’t know if that works for people with bad dog allergies. I wouldn’t want 
to just make that policy for the existing members if it would result in a guest 
to the common house having some terrible reaction.
Earning privileges is interesting, if allergies was not an overriding issue. 
Sort of like an offsite members that earns their more inclusive privileges 
after some kind of vetting by members based upon affinity, obedient, nice to 
pet, doesn’t bark too much, etc.
I too have had Liz’s experience of members interpreting “under voice control” 
far too liberally, compared to what I think was the intention of the policy. 

- Doug Ashland (Oregon) Cohousing Community

> On Oct 3, 2019, at 7:00 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
> wrote:
> I am highly allergic to dogs. Having dogs in the common house would
> basically mean that I cannot go there.
> And there's the rub.
> How to balance the people who want x and the people who want not-x. In the
> development stage you figure which is right for your community. Whichever
> you figure will cut some people out.
> I would not move into a community where dogs are in the common house. You
> would not move into a community where dogs cannot go into the common house.
> Or maybe one of us doesn't feel that strongly that it's an absolute
> deal-breaker.
> So the question really comes down to this: who will compromise and who will
> you choose to exclude?
> In our community, only certified service animals are able to use the common
> house.
> I will say that we also have a rule that dogs must be on a leash, or under
> voice control. A large percentage of the dog-owners simply don't follow
> that. Or maybe they think "under voice control" means "well my dog comes
> eventually". Dogs jump on me often.
> So while I'm sure you really do have a dog you can control, I'm not that
> trusting of that sort of statement.
> The idea of earning privileges is interesting; I'm not sure who would
> decide who has earned the privilege, or what the standards would be.
> Liz
> Mosaic Commons in Berlin, MA
> 508-450-0431
> On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 12:24 AM Linda Hobbet <coho [at]> 
> wrote:
>> We are in the process of developing processes for our move-in next
>> Spring. I am interested in knowing what rules other communities have
>> around dogs in the common house and other common facilities.
>> I have a well-behaved dog who is an important part of my life. I enjoy
>> his company. I do dog sports with him. I like to take him places. I
>> enjoy going to restaurants with outdoor patios where he can be with me.
>> I try hard not to let him be a bother to others. If I can't bring him
>> with me into common facilities at least some of the time, perhaps on
>> leash, then the common facilities are not the extension of my home that
>> is the promise of cohousing. I will be torn between abandoning my dog to
>> his lonesome while I socialize, or spending my time with my dog and not
>> as much time with my community as I would like. It is distressing to
>> consider.
>> How do other communities handle this. Perhaps dogs can earn privileges
>> with proven good behavior while under control? What works and what doesn't?
>> Thank you,
>> Linda
>> --
>> coho [at]
>> 706-202-7178 (mobile)
>> 919-596-4558 (home)
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> -- 
> -Liz
> (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
> Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
> Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries
> 508-450-0431
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> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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