When people hear the word “asshole,” most think of Homeowners Associations. Iceland requires them for apartment buildings, and don’t worry, neighbours here aren’t any less douchey and horrible—a fact Hilmar Birgir Ólafsson learned all too well during the notorious #PuppyGate of 2016.
The canine crusade
Hilmar, a programmer with a dream, bought an apartment on Stakkholt. Naturally, he wanted to add to his growing household a gorgeous floof named Tinni. In the haze of his animal induced hubris, Hilmar didn’t get special permission from the rest of the building to buy the dog, as his apartment had its own separate entrance. This grave mistake would later cost him everything.
Hilmar’s neighbours—a gang of vicious hound haters—were immediately up in arms against poor Tinni, demanding that Hilmar give up the pooch. In their canine crusade, they claimed that, while no one in the apartment complex had doggie allergies, perhaps guests of residents might, which would be a safety risk. Of course, Tinni would never even come into contact with other residents, nor their hallways, because of the private entrance.
The hellish homebodies also proclaimed that Hilmar’s acquisition of Tinni was a slippery slope that would inevitably to everyone in the apartment complex becoming animal-hoarders or vigilante zookeepers.
Hilmar’s issue became a cause célèbre for those advocating dog law reform. C’mon, we live in a society—can a man not keep a well-behaved pupperino in his own apartment? What is this, North Korea? Also, the ideas of “allergies” and “animal hoarding” were never brought up in relation to those in the building that owned cats. An interesting contradiction, no?
In the end, Hilmar was forced to remove the puppy, which resulted in him moving out. He then decided to move to Stockholm where he now works for Spotify. So really, his bitter neighbours did him a favour, as now he knows all the cool music, while they will forever be bitchy bitch-haters.
Read more nerdy war stories here.
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