When I got a dog I was prepared for some difficulties. I knew about the mess he would make, the complications this would mean for our holiday plans and the walks through rain. But there was one thing I did not account for: the difficulties we would face finding a place to live.
If you read my blog frequently you might remember that I moved less than two years ago, because my neighbours were not happy about my dog. It took a lot of effort to find a place that allowed dogs, so we took the first place we found. The apartment is in a rather boring neighbourhood and on a big noisy road, but I did not care as long as Loki was welcome. The problem was that he was not. We had not been living in our new place for long before the company that owns our apartment notified us that dogs were not allowed in the building. Apparently the guy from the agency who showed us the place had made that bit up. It is pretty much impossible for an owner to kick out a tenant for owning a dog, so we did not think much about it, until this Christmas when we received a letter from the owners telling us they would not be extending our two year contract.
So it is time to move again.
Based on on our experience last time around we knew it is pretty much impossible to find an apartment that allows dogs, let alone a German Shepherd, so we decided to rent an entire house this time. Knowing that we were unlikely to find a house we could afford in Brussels we decided to look for a place outside the city. But even then it was not easy. About half of the ads we consulted said outright that pets were not allowed and another 30% gave a negative reply when we asked them about it on the phone.
When we finally had an appointment to see a house it was because my boyfriend extolled Loki’s virtues to the owner (herself a dog-owner) and promised we would bring Loki to the visit to prove what a good dog he is. The house is in Kessel-Lo (about 30 km from Brussels) and on the day of the visit we got there early and took Loki for a one hour walk in a nearby park, hoping it would calm him down somewhat. Unfortunately this was not the case.
Loki is not used to visiting people and was extremely nervous. He whined non-stop and would not stay still. I spent the entire visit focusing on the dog, and did not really notice the interior of the house. I was convinced Loki had ruined it for us, but the owner seemed to realise that he was basically a nice dog temporarily unsettled by a new environment.
So the end of the story is that we are moving to Kessel-Lo on the 1st of July. It will take me an hour to get to work every morning, but we will have a 600 m² garden and plenty of green areas to walk the dog. Our new home is pretty much in the centre of the below satellite image, so as you can see we are in between the more urban landscape of Leuven to the west and the countryside to the east. Until now I have only lived in Helsinki and Brussels, and while neither of them is a very big city they are both capitals, so this will be a change!