Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ok, Here We Go Again -- Service Animal and Condo Board

Back in 2014 we faced a huge battle getting Skruffy approved as a Service Dog with the Condo Association.  Well, unfortunately, the Association, run by a different person this time, is still 'Barking' at the idea.  (pun intended)

First, back in 2018, with a new president at the helm, we were asked to have Marcia re-certified as having a disability and a need for an emotional needs dog.  I sent off a scathing letter which said, in part, that we did not have a emotional needs dog, we have a service dog...and that the Condo Association already had a letter from a Neurologist which clearly stated that she has MS, that she needs the services of a dog, and frankly we were offended by the idea that Marcia would have to re-certify...MS is for life, it does not go away.  I threatened with another HUD complaint if they pursued the matter any more, and never heard back from them.

So today we got a Registered Letter, which the post office tried to drop off yesterday but we were at Marcia's Doctor's appointment (which went very well, by-the-way), so at 10:30 I go over to the post office and as I expected, it was a letter from the Condo Association.  They wanted us to fill out a full page application pertaining to Bubba, and then, on top of that, take a two page application to the doctor for him to fill out pertaining to Marcia.  So I get back home, and talk to Marcia, and then head off to the Association President's place to see if I could talk sense into her.  We had submitted the same form for Bubba which was agreed on back in July of 2014...and she accuses me of using the Association's Letterhead (which was part of the form) without their permission!  Well, if you know me, that set me off.  I tried to tell her that this form is the form agreed to back in 2014, and she said "no, it was not", even though she was not on the board back then.  I told her I would abide by the 2014 agreement, and I would put that in writing and she could send that off to their lawyers.   

So I go through all my paperwork from before, write a two page letter explaining how they are not following HUD rules, not following ADA procedures, and that we were not notified of the new form, nor was anyone else living at the condos notified, and that we will NEVER have Marcia re-certified, and "IF" they have a new form pertaining to a dog, that we would consider using that form "IF" it followed HUD and ADA rules and procedures.  I included this line:

"Association Presidents and Board Members come and go, MS does not go away. HUD is very clear that once the Association Board knows that she is disabled, and needs a service dog, that they MUST provide a waiver to the “no pet” rule."

The real bad thing about it is that this has brought undo stress upon Marcia, again.  Stress and MS do not mix well at all.  Attached to my two page letter was six different items, most multiple pages, where I highlighted HUD Rules which were being violated, including one which included the idea that all of this might be in retaliation to our HUD complaint, which is a major violation of the law.  Now the ball is in their court...let's see how they want to play it.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Trying to Settle In -- Home in Florida

Skruffy inside giant sequoia

We have been home for eight days, and for the most part, we are settled back in...but there is a BIG HOLE still in our lives, in our hearts...

Gas prices in Florida

One thing we love is the Florida Gas Prices compared to the California Gas Prices.  I have a 14 gallon tank in the HHR, and I put nearly 13 gallons in at Sam's Club Friday.

Gas Prices in California

Back in late November, I put just over 13 gallons in, and it cost me $45.50!  That's $15 more in taxes in California than in Florida!  THAT'S a bunch!!!  On top of that, Florida's highways are in much better shape than California's highways...makes you wonder doesn't it???

The Original Mama Maria's

It took us a week, but we finally made it to Mama Maria's.  To top off the treat of eating at Mama's, we met Marcia's granddaughter and great-granddaughter there.  No pics, they don't want pictures of the nearly 4 year old out on the Internet...all I can tell you is that she is growing up, and is as cute as could be.  

Marcia's Dr. Apt

Next week is Marcia's first Doctor's Appointment of the new year.  Today we went to get blood work done, and we were back home within the hour.  Sometimes it has taken us over an hour just to get the blood taken once we walked in the door!

Bubba is sure adjusting well without Skruffy.  We turned in the notification to the Condo Board about Skruffy's death, and Bubba being the new service dog.  We are going to look for a younger dog to fulfill this need, probably start looking in March.  He reminds us when he gets his "Arny and Sandy" treats...sometimes this 16+ year old acts like a kid.

Skruffy in Redwoods

It has been 2 1/2 weeks since we lost her..the hole in our heart is a bit smaller...I have not had any more dreams of her, but we both miss her so much.  

Skruffy in Texas along I-10

All of these pictures of her were taken back in 2012, except the one below which was taken a few years while we were headed to, or already in, Alaska.  This one above was taken at a westbound rest area in Texas along I-10 between San Antonio and Van Horn.  It was a very windy day, and she let me put her securely up on this tree limb, and you can see by her face just how windy it was.  When we drove along the same highway but eastbound, I looked over at that same rest area, I think the same tree...there are going to be many, many memories like this as we travel.  Happy memories, which help fill that empty hole...

Skruffy Driving (actually we were stopped)

Now when we drive, we just figure that Skruffy is there with us as our "co-pilot"...sitting on my dad's lap.  We love and miss you both.