Adobe Stock

Pets are part of the family, and in some cases, those looking for housing will put the needs of their pets above all else.

New York Times writer Kim Velsey profiles a New York couple that traded a desirable Park Slope location for an apartment with good outdoor access for their sick dog Bonnie, who couldn't go on long walks to the park 15 minutes away. This limited the couple's options, especially in New York City where outdoor space is scarce.

Of their two choices, one was a shoe box in a good location in Park Slope and the other a roomy one-bedroom in South Slope without a dishwasher. Also, the backyard could only be reached through a window — which they had to bend down and squat to get through — to reach a set of wooden steps leading to the ground. More complicated still, it was shared with the first-floor tenants across the hall, who also had two dogs.

They moved in this May, though not without some misgivings. While the layout of their new apartment is superior to that of their old place, which had a front door that opened directly onto the bathroom, their new bathroom is tiny and there is no superintendent or laundry in the building. And living on the first floor has meant curbside trash collection right outside their bedroom window, along with an ant infestation that required large quantities of caulk to eliminate.

“We completely downgraded for Bonnie,” said John Tucker, the tenant and Bonnie's owner.

Read More