The Sad Truth about Dogs in Community

Most of the inquiries to Twin Oaks come through the front door of our email.  It takes about an hour a day, every day, to manage the regular incoming threads of communication.  Some messages get to us through side doors, like the community’s Facebook page. I respond to some of these.
We have a dog waiting list at Twin Oaks (and Acorn) that  it can take years to move through.

We have a dog waiting list at Twin Oaks (and Acorn) that it can take years to move through.

Hello there, i am curious about coming to join your community. i visited a few years back when i was 17, and now am 22 and want to revisit the idea. basically, i want to work, relax with my dog, and practice my music without any worries, in a very organic and fresh feeling environment. so if you could email me back about a tour for myself and some friends that would be awesome! Probably going to check out your site to try to find something as well. Thank you for a great choice in living! Peace and Much Love to YA!
Twin Oaks Community
Dearest Aaron: You can certainly come guest with your dog, but we currently have a waiting list for dogs, which sadly moves very slowly. So if living with your dog is a requirement, we may not be the right choice for you. I wish it were a different way, and i did not want to lead you astray
Paxus in Santa Cruz
It’s ok, thank you for the feed back.  How long of a waiting list would you say? I can wait six months for this opportunity- but yes my dog, (Mr Marv) is my companion. I would love to tho, with a place like this the wait is acceptable.
Twin Oaks Community
Sadly, Aaron, it could easily be years. One of the last people on the dog list waited for 5 years. The problem is the community caps the number of dogs at 4 and there are over 100 people who live at Twin Oaks, many of whom want dogs. The list is slow moving and long.
Ahhh ok, that is understandable thank you tho! Much love
Twin Oaks Community
can i use our dialog in a blog post? It will help others and i want to be able to reference it
I would be honored!
permission-based check box
I put this post up very late and should have added more explanation to it.
There are several reasons why dogs specifically are capped at Twin Oaks (and to a lesser extent at Acorn):
1) Packing – groups of dogs greater than 3 or 4 often pack and make noise at night and keep people up.  It is basically impossible to get rid of a dog once it has been accepted (with the exception of them attacking kids, then they can be expelled).  So the communes prefer to keep the number below packing thresholds.
2) Costs – The community pays all costs associated with dogs and cats.  Food and vet bills are the most common, but this is thousands of dollars per year and at Twin Oaks pets are part of the general trade off game which we play in which they are compared with all other things which we want to have.
3) Allergies – While i am not allergic to either cats or dogs, i have seen both communities lose amazing members because we were unable and unwilling to control pet access to public spaces.   Pet lovers like to brush aside this issue, but it is a real problem for people with allergies.
4) Livestock interaction – We often have other livestock which gets attacked by dogs.  Ducks and rabbits have both been attacked and killed at Acorn by dogs since i lived there.  We have been able to successfully train our current dogs, but these considerations play into the limit.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

4 responses to “The Sad Truth about Dogs in Community”

  1. Brian says :

    At East Wind anyone that wants a dog just has to get a petition signed by half the members. As long as I have been here no one has been denied. Currently 1 out of every 5 members has a dog. That’s about 15 dogs on the farm. I hate it. They are noisy and impulsive animals that shit all over the place.

  2. Lyndsey - Past Pets Manager says :

    While sometimes the dog list moves slowly, during the last two years of my membership there were two spots open and nobody on the list was claiming a pet. I believe this is still the case. In my opinion, if people aren’t moving on the opportunity and they are allowed to pass and still keep their position, then there’s no reason that a new person should have to leave their lovely animal at home. Though, now it’s absolutely none of my business! 🙂 So, keep on keepin’ on.

  3. nina says :

    i think it is quite true that there is this long of a wait for cats, but in my time at twin oaks, it has not been true for dogs. it’s been at least two years since we’ve had four dogs.

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