My name is Finnegan and I live in an HOA.  Since I understand people complain a lot in HOAs about dogs, I thought it might be helpful for pet parents to hear directly from a beagle about the fundamentals of being a responsible canine companion. Here’s what you need to know:

1.  Dogs poop.  Since our pet parents don’t want us to poop in the house, we are told we have to poop outside.  We even get pushed out the door to poop when it’s freezing outside or raining!  Unlike our pet parents, dogs don’t have opposing thumbs and fingers.  That means we don’t have the ability to open up a poop bag, pick up our poop and throw it in the garbage.  Trust me, to stop people from complaining about piles of poop, we would pick-up our own poop if we could! 

If you live in an HOA and there are piles of poop all over, don’t blame the dogs.  Blame our pet parents for being bad canine companions.  My pet mom, who is an HOA lawyer, tells me that after notice and a hearing, pet parents can be fined for not picking up poop.  She even told me that some HOAs use doggie DNA to figure out where the poop came from.  That sounds like a great idea to me.  Instead of pointing the finger at innocent dogs who can’t stop ourselves from pooping, hold our pet parents responsible for not picking up our poop!

2.  Dogs bark.  As a beagle, I have to tell you that we have the best darn bark of any dogs on the planet.  There’s nothing I love better than to bark at rabbits in the neighborhood or to bark a greeting to other dogs as they walk by.  We bark when we are happy and we bark when we are protecting our family.  We can’t help it – dogs just bark! 

I really hate it when my pet mom makes me come in the house when I’m having a bark fest in the yard.  She tells me that I’m being a bad citizen and ruins all of my fun.  She also tells me that she loves me and doesn’t want the HOA to make me leave because my barking causes a nuisance.  What the heck is a nuisance?

Maybe that’s why my mom tells her clients that it is the responsibility of canine companions to make sure their dogs don’t cause a nuisance with their barking.  She tells folks:  (1) not to leave their dogs outside unattended; (2) to bring their dogs into the house when the barking gets out of control; and (3) to talk with a trainer or try a citronella bark collar for dogs who can’t control their impulse to bark.

3.  Dogs are your best and most loyal friend.  My pet mom and dad adopted me from Colorado Beagle Rescue and they tell me that I’m their best friend.  While we live in an HOA and have to follow the rules, we still have a lot of fun and a great life together. 

It hurts our feelings when people yell at us for things that are perfectly natural like pooping and barking.  For those of us who live in HOAs, we have to count on our canine companions to protect us from finger pointing and anger. Please help us by being responsible canine companions!