First, Your FIL sounds as though he is in significant need of mental health services.
Second, do you own a tent? I'm dead serious - I would HIGHLY recommend that you and your husband enjoy the great outdoors this summer and fall - camping fees can be quite inexpensive and many have restrooms with showers. You can even ask friends if you can camp in their backyard.
Third, there is no way IN HELL I would stay with anyone that treated me this way - please PM me for some other thoughts I'd rather not post.
Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. W. C. Fields
Thank you all for the ideas - maybe there is something to the power of COTH as we're going to look at a rental tonight! The landlord has said no large dogs in the ad, but I think we're going to put our dog in the car and hopefully have them meet that way, maybe it will change their mind! Our realtor also found a couple places and we have plans to go see them this weekend, so hopefully something will finally pan out.
Trust me, we're trying to get out of here ASAP! It's just incredible how few places there are to rent/purchase around here and how many people are trying to rent/purchase. A normal occurrence is to show up 15-20min before the open house starts and find the place swarming with people already, then have the landlord show you the stack of applications they already have and admit they already have more people submitting applications than they'll be able to rent to. It took a friend of ours 2 years to find a place here and they ended up having to break into the place the weekend before the inspector came, so they could fix it up as much as they could so it would pass inspection so they could buy it. Our realtor doesn't know how stressful things are with our current living situation, would that info be at all helpful? I'm just leery of telling people in person what's going on if we don't have to, since the few people we've confided in don't believe it's as bad as we say it is.
Thank you for the ideas regarding the service dog licensing and the HUD/rent to own ideas, will definitely be looking into that tonight. Hubby just had a coworker tell him you can ask your primary care doctor for a letter stating your dog is a "support animal" and you require the dog with you for medical reasons. Apparently if you have a letter like this, people cannot refuse to rent to you because of the dog? One more thing to be looking into!
Not sure how long we'll be able to keep wherever we move to a secret from the in-laws, as we unfortunately have lots of mutual contacts. We will definitely ask people not to share our information, but not sure if the in-laws will then pressure them into anything or not. The one thing in our favor, I hope, is that my dad is an ex-cop and I have a lot of cop friends of his and mine in the local area. The in-laws are well aware of this and always stop short of anything we would be able to call the police about. However, a couple of my dad's cop friends have said that once we move, if the in-laws show up uninvited, just keep the door closed, ignore the in-laws and call them. Then we'd be able to start getting a paperwork trail on them.
It's definitely not just FIL, MIL is just as bad, just more subtle. They egg each other on and when they're together, these two could sell ice to an eskimo, they're that convincing.
Another possible way to find a place to live would be to find
someone who needs help in their housing, perhaps elderly
or disabled. You would need to do only limited caretaking
since you both have day jobs, but some folks might be very
grateful to have your company (and your dog) if you filled
a need in their life (like trips to grocery and/or doctor). I
would ask a pastor or center for aging office to find such an
individual or couple.
I don't know what local laws are like where you are, but here in Mass, you can serve ANYONE with a "No Trespass" notice, even relatives. We, unfortunately, had to do it, temporarily, once. It is delivered by local police, and they keep a copy on file. We actually had ours read, verbally, to someone in jail in another city, by those cops, that qualified too. Unless there is such a thing on file, people can come on your property and ring your doorbell, try to visit yout, etc... With it, they cannot. If the person shows up, you call the police. The trespasser won't be subject to arrest, but the police WILL be able to force them to leave. Without the notice, they wouldn't be able to unless they were doing something illegal. Less than a restraining order, which requires some danger to you to be put in place and will result in an arrest if it is violated.
A lot of KOAs have rental cabins also, and might be pet friendly. You furnish your own linens and towels, but they are inexpensive and quite nice. Many trailer parks end up buying trailers and renting them. Look for little, out of the way places that might not do any more advertising than a sign by the road. Ask your dad if he knows someone who has a house that's empty they might be willing to rent.
Just wow. Not much to add except that even if there isn't a COTHer right near, you could ship your dog. Uship.com is a great way to find a trucker heading in the right direction, they do pet moves all the time.
So if anyone reading this thread is in a position to foster the dog (I'm not, unfortunately), you could raise your hand and the OP could contact you by PM so her own location is not made public.
I hope that the OP has found herself and her DH in a better situation since she posted! If not, and if we are close, we would be happy to have pooch come hang with our zoo for a bit, as long as he/she is good with a toddler and two others canines.
Thanks for all the good thoughts! There's definitely something to the power of COTH because the past few weeks have been a whirlwind!
We were finally able to find a sublease situation that let us bring our dog (paid a huge pet fee and paying large additional per month fee) but all our other pets and the 30 gallon aquarium are with my parents and one saint of a friend who's about an hour away. The good news about the place we're at is that we're NOT with the crazy in-laws, the landlord is okay with a month-to-month situation and he's really laid back. The bad is that it's an absolute hole, with horrible neighbors (blatantly leave out glue traps and poisons, actually keep "score" about the number of small animals they've poisoned over the weekends), but after living with the in-laws, even someone who's consistently nasty to your face is like a relief!
A couple weeks ago our realtor told us about a particular kind of mortgage for "rural" homes, which in our area just means anything outside city limits. The amazing thing about this mortgage is that they only require a $1,000 downpayment, because apparently rural property is undesirable. No clue what that's about, but we're now looking at actual horse properties that are inside our price range because they need some simple fixups - since our downpayment only needs to be $1,000 and hubby and I are both fairly handy, we've got plenty to use for the repairs the places we've looked at need! So, going from thinking we couldn't afford a townhome to looking at properties? Definitely a head-trip; I keep thinking that whatever place we eventually sign on is going to be a miracle for sure, in more ways than one.
The in-laws were livid when we left and have since gone to new lows of manipulation/nastiness that we've heard about from mutual acquaintances. We planned the move out day around a time we were fairly sure they'd be at their church and had a couple of my dad's cop friends on standby, but because we had such minimal stuff at their place, it was a pretty easy load-and-leave situation. It took them about a day to realize we were not actually living there anymore, then they showed up at our storage facility and tried to get in. Apparently, they claimed they "lost" their gate access code, but couldn't tell the manager any details like the number of their storage unit, what the name on the account was, how long they'd been there, etc. The manager asked them to leave, then called us because we'd told him a bit about the situation. What's creepy to me is that we thought they had no idea where our storage facility was - bills were done online, we used my parent's home address for a mailing address, refused to tell them where we were storing our stuff, etc and they still found out where we were.
They do not know where we are living now and this weekend we changed storage facilities, so hopefully that is taken care of. We've been getting REALLY concerned calls from mutual acquaintances, apparently the in-laws have been telling people some pretty offensive and crazy stories about us. Hubby's grandparents (paternal) are even coming out in a week to see for themselves what's going on and to "have a talk" with us. I am NOT pleased with this latest development and we've already told them we're not having them over while they're out, since we're not chancing the in-laws figuring out where we're currently staying. There's been silence since then, so we'll see how it goes. We've forwarded all mail to my parents' house, so if they try to figure out where we are based on mailing address, they won't find us.
Unfortunately, the bank we're doing our mortgage with considers opening new phone lines as new lines of credit so since we're far enough along in the paperwork process, we can't really change our phone numbers unless we wanted to start over from the beginning. And I am not delaying things by another 3-4 weeks. So, for now, we just screen our calls and don't answer their calls or listen to their messages.
Crossing fingers that we'll be able to get a place quickly! We've put in offers on 2 different places so far, but nothing's come through so far.