The Sad Truth about Dogs in Community
Correction: It turns out i am completely wrong in this post and advice. Apparently, after 16 years of having a dog waiting list, Twin Oaks now does not have one. And off and on has not for the last two years. The post is still useful for historical purposes, including the explanation at the end as to why he communities limit specifically the number of dogs we have.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.