In Olari, Espoo, the afternoon sun warms the apartment building and its surroundings, but it’s quiet outside. When the front door opens, the first thing you see is a dog running to the nearest shrub before the walk has even begun.
The reddish-brown Butch, who looks like an American Staffordshire Terrier, gets even more excited when his owner, Alice Lubitch, picks up a stick. It’s time to see what kinds of tricks this 40-kilo pup knows. On command, he raises his front paws.
Even though Butch isn’t silvery grey, his strong build resembles that of a great white shark. This is no wonder; his owner has always liked animals with an unusual appearance.
“He doesn’t scare the neighbours; they don’t hesitate to share a lift with us,” says Alice with a laugh.
Alice, who studies social services and works in child welfare services, moved from Leppävaara to her Lumo home in Olari at the beginning of this year. The move meant a much shorter commute to Kivenlahti as the bus stop is located right in front of the building. The way to the nearest walking trail, perfect for dog owners, is equally short. The services of the Iso Omena Shopping Centre are a five-minute drive away. The forest and the dog park are also nearby.
“There are plenty of nice walking routes in this area. You don’t always need to walk the same trail.”
Because of her bikini fitness hobby, Alice is also thrilled that the nearest gym is within walking distance of her home.
Dogs and cats living in harmony
Butch sniffs around while his owner talks on his behalf. According to Alice, the seven-year-old rescue is kind and calm, but his behaviour is still affected by his past. The cropped ears suggest an imported dog.
Butch was less than a year old when he was found in a forest on the border between Ukraine and Russia. No one knows what the first months of the puppy’s life were like. He may have even been used as bait in dogfights.
“In Russia, these types of dogs rarely end up as pets.” The dog’s gaze and body language reveal a reserve towards strangers. According to Alice, Butch wags his tail at familiar people but gets nervous around anyone new. The same cannot be said about the hairless Sphynx cats who share the Lumo home with Alice and Butch. They greet the visitor at the door like two lapdogs looking for belly rubs.
With their blue eyes and hairless bodies, Bonny and Kira, imported to Finland from Russia as well, also reflect their owner’s fondness for unusual-looking animals. As they have no fur, they usually seek out the warmest place in the apartment. In the summer, this usually means the glazed balcony where they can observe their surroundings.
“The cats seek out the warmest spot, no matter how hot it is.”
In fact, one of the cats immediately pads to the bedroom and buries herself under the duvet. It’s the perfect place for a nap.
Once, Alice could not find Kira anywhere and wondered if she had escaped the apartment. To her relief, the cat was found at the back of a wardrobe under piles of warm clothes. The hiding place turned out to be a great spot for a catnap.
Lumo living suits both pets and their owners
Completed in 2021, the Ylismäki building was acquired by Lumo homes in the summer. According to Alice, the change of lessors improved the quality of housing even further. The common areas, for example, are now tidier. Lumo homes are obviously great for pets as well, and the building and its location are as optimal for animals as they are for the actual tenant.
“The building’s parcel point has been a wonderful service. The building also has a great sauna facility, a roof terrace and clubrooms that can be used for parties and get-togethers, for example.”
While Butch is lying on the sofa, one of the cats walks on him. It looks like these four-legged friends have found a way to live in harmony. Alice says that she already had a Sphynx cat when she got the dog. Therefore, young Butch immediately got used to these slightly smaller creatures that have a keen interest in practically anything that moves.
Alice has learned not to leave anything valuable on top of desks and tables. Less than a year old, these cats will drop anything and love to play with things such as ballpoint pens. It’s best to hide them before it’s too late.
If the views from the eighth-floor balcony do not provide enough entertainment, Kira and Bonny keep an eye on their owner. Their dog-like character translates to a certain sociability. Alice works shifts and tends to dedicate her time at home to her pets. That’s when the sofa gets a little cramped.
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