Se­nior, his dog Jelly­bean find a home to­gether

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - Se­nior, his dog Jelly­bean find a home to­gether
An 84-year-old who was strug­gling to find an af­ford­able home for him­self and his dog will have a new place to live at the end of Jan­uary.Stan Par­sons was search­ing for a unit to rent in his com­mu­nity of Cres­cent Heights af­ter he was told his cur­rent lease was not be­ing re­newed. But ev­ery­where he turned, he found poli­cies ban­ning all pets or dogs the size of his seven-yearold Labradoo­dle, Jelly­bean.Al­ice Wheaton learned of Par­sons’ sit­u­a­tion af­ter Post­media shared his story, and got in touch with the se­nior to of­fer him one of the units she rents out in the neigh­bour­hood.Once he moves in later this month, he and Jelly­bean will still have easy ac­cess to the lo­cal dog park, where they are rec­og­nized by other res­i­dents. The se­nior will even have a yard to pur­sue one of his favourite hob­bies once the snow melts: gar­den­ing.“It’s a great re­lief,” Par­sons said Fri­day. “You’re sit­ting here won­der­ing, won­der­ing what you’re go­ing to do. Now it’s solved with a lot of help from dif­fer­ent peo­ple.”Wheaton said as a land­lord, sheasks po­ten­tial ten­ants to see the vet records for their dog, to en­sure they are a re­spon­si­ble pet owner and that they will be a re­li­able renter. She added she has never had a prob­lem with a pet owner as a ten­ant.“When I heard about Stan, it was like, ‘OK, well I have the means and I have the will,’” she said. “And I re­ally wish that ev­ery­one else would see dogs and cats as an as­set.”She made a con­ces­sion in the rent to meet Par­sons’ bud­get and will ar­range to get fur­ni­ture for him.“I could not imag­ine be­ing 84 years old, lov­ing my pet, and be­ing told I had to give that up,” she said. “And to me, what I did is not life-sav­ing for sure, but it’s lifeen­hanc­ing. And hav­ing se­niors as part of our com­mu­nity, ac­tive, out and about, in­stead of be­hind closed doors, wait­ing for a fam­ily or friend to come visit them — that’s not a re­ally great way to live.”Ann Toohey, sci­en­tific co-or­di­na­tor at the Brenda Straf­ford Cen­tre on Ag­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary and one of Par­sons’ ad­vo­cates, said so­lu­tions are still needed for the many other se­niors who are un­able to find sub­si­dized or af­ford­able hous­ing for them­selves and their an­i­mal com­pan­ion.“I can’t say how de­lighted I am that we’ve man­aged to link a very de­serv­ing in­di­vid­ual and his dog with a home,” she said. “It’s been such a heart­break­ing is­sue.”But, she added, her heart “con­tin­ues to break” for the many older adults who are told they need to part with their beloved pet to se­cure a place to live.“That is the re­al­ity right now for sub­si­dized hous­ing,” she said.

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