“Owning a dog is slightly less expensive than being addicted to crack.” -Jen Lancaster

This has been a very long three months. As some of you may know, but most of you probably don’t, we have been having some gigantic issues with the management company of our apartment building. Today we had to put on our respectable clothes and spend hours playing grown up in a court room to defend our right to live in our apartment for the next couple of months. Not fun. But, in theory, it’s an ill wind that blows no good and this particularly bitter wind certainly brought with it a handful of lessons about being a grown up.

1. Get everything in writing, especially if a verbal agreement contradicts something that is written. Example- when the nice realtor who lives in the same building with her dog says the management looks the other way about small pets, despite the lease saying no pets, do not just believe her because she is nice. Nice doesn’t hold up as well as words on paper.

2. Have a nest egg or an emergency credit card. Preferably both. Just in case life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes you get stuck with surprise expenses, like pricey doggy daycare in NYC, and it’s nice if you can deal with those expenses without having to eat ramen for a month.

3. When in doubt, lawyer up. Seriously. If you have to go toe to toe with a company whose sole interest is their bottom line, it’s a good idea to have someone on your side who can finish their signature with Esq. Lawyers are much harder to bully with forms and technicalities and not-so-subtle intimidation tactics than the average tenant. It’s a pricey investment, but the peace of mind is worth it, and, sometimes, if you get someone really good, the results more than pay for the cost.

4. Some things are worth fighting for. Our tiny canine princess (pictured below) has brought incalculable amounts of happiness to my home and I would fight for her a million times over.

Fay

And as for the last lesson…

5. Winning. Is. AWESOME. That tiny pup and all her various people are staying right in this apartment until the lease is up.

Boom. Lawyered.

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