November 30, 2012

Landlady: Get rid of dog or move out

Doctor's note says chihuahua necessary, couple claims

PLATTSBURGH — The holiday season is turning out to be anything but a festive time for Robert and Theresa Duell.

“We are on pins and needles, and we can’t sleep at night,” Robert said. “It’s all we think about, and we can’t relax.”

After living at 94 Abenaki Road in the Abenaki Mobile Home Park for the past 30 years, the Duells got a notice saying they were being evicted.

“I went to pay the rent at the beginning of this month, and she (landlady Phyllis Gregory) wouldn’t take it and told us we were being evicted,” said Robert, 80.

“I was confused. I didn’t understand it.”

Gregory reportedly told the Duells they are “objectionable” tenants. The problem is tiny.

Not tiny, as in a small matter, but rather Tiny as in a small chihuahua.

The Duells have had Tiny, all 8 pounds of him, for the past four years. He is more than just a pet, they say.

“My wife has a very serious hearing problem, and when I am not here, she relies on the dog to let her know if someone is at the door or something,” Robert said.

The couple have a note from Dr. Fern E. Likhite attesting to the fact that Theresa has hearing difficulties and needs the dog for assistance.

Still, the eviction notice stood.


The ultimatum for the Duells is to either move out this weekend or get rid of Tiny, which they say is not going to happen.

“That dog is my wife’s first priority,” Robert said. “She loves him so much she would never part with him.”

Theresa’s attachment to Tiny was evident during a recent visit, as she cuddled the perky dog while tears streamed down her cheeks.

Moving the mobile home is not an option since it is a 1973 model and will not meet specifications at any other mobile-home park. The Duells are worried that they might have to live in their car.

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