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The right to keep dogs


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And, I think that the "core members" of the Boards are a cut above the average dog owner.

 

Geonni, I couldn't agree more. thumbsup.gif

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There seems to be that sense of entitlement that is blown way out of proportion. And then, Americans tend to see dogs as "little people in fur coats." I don't want a subservient dog! It's so demeaning!" Dog forbid they should ever say "no" to their precious pearl! Never mind that if you took the liberties with them that their dog takes with you, your kids, your dog, or your property - they would come unglued and start screaming for a cop.

 

 

I can see it now, you go peeing on someone's leg in public, tear up the interior of their car, now THAT would be quite a site!

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Some side with those who would restrict dog access (and ownership) because so many dog owners are sentimental/ill-informed/rude/dangerous to others . . . "wicked" in a word; "Not-like-us" in three words.

 

This illustrates two general observations I've discovered about human nature. 1) People are tribal (well duh). Regardless of how we like to think of ourselves as independent, free-thinkers, we have that primitive safety mechanism going on that prompts us to run with a pack. 2) One way to differentiate from the general masses or the "other" and establish ourselves as a pack member is to denigrate the other (which may or may not be warranted on one hand or exaggerated on the other).

 

Recently I've been studying Denmark Vesey's revolt (charleston 1822). In this thriving city full of enslaved blacks, some free-coloreds (who survived on grudging sufferance) formed the" Brown Society" to distinguish themselves from the ignorant, vicious, immoral darker skinned negroes. Not the first time nor first place that happened.

 

No, we are too fragmented for whatever reason, justified or not, to ever have an effective lobby for the dog owner in general, because, you know, I deserve the right to take my fear aggressive, smelly beast in public, and if he bites your ass then it's your fault for jogging by, but you need to leave your overly friendly, fluffy little yapping ankle biter at home because that damned dog is just too annoying to breathe.

 

 

ETA: Run-on sentence intended

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No, we are too fragmented for whatever reason, justified or not, to ever have an effective lobby for the dog owner in general, because, you know, I deserve the right to take my fear aggressive, smelly beast in public, and if he bites your ass then it's your fault for jogging by, but you need to leave your overly friendly, fluffy little yapping ankle biter at home because that damned dog is just too annoying to breathe.

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Working in retail and other customer service industries really exposes you to the "average American" and, most of the time, it infuriates and embarrasses me to know that some of these people are my countrymen. It IS a highly (if not almost entirely) ME society--there's very little common courtesy extended to others. I know quite a few dog owners who refuse to pick up after their pets because it's "gross." Plus, look at what's on TV. On that Jersey Shore spin-off, JWoww lets her tiny, obnoxious dogs pee and poop all over the house.

 

It's an instant gratification thing:

 

The dog won't behave so I'll call someone else to fix it. The dog still won't behave, I guess I'll ignore it.

 

It's tough call, I guess. I'd love to be able to bring my dog everywhere with me. He's well mannered, quiet, does what he's asked, but with today's society (or at least my own community which is very suburban and the part I live in is very...Wysteria Lane/Desperate Housewives-ish) I wouldn't want to take him into more places where I know he'll get accosted with sticky fingered kids, rough strangers, and other ignorant people.

 

I'm not really sure what my views are on this topic, I guess.

 

( edited to add: although I really hate paying pet rent and non-refundable deposits when my dog is pretty well behaved. :[ )

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And the vast majority of dogs I see in public are NOT manerly in the States, lunging at ppl, jumping up on everyone, pulling the owners and ignoring commands.

 

Reading this, I am reminded of this article about the differences between children in the US and Europe. If children in the USA are not taught manners, how can we expect their dogs to be any better.

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Reading this, I am reminded of this article about the differences between children in the US and Europe. If children in the USA are not taught manners, how can we expect their dogs to be any better.

 

 

Weirdly enough, the unique way Europeans raise their children today is exactly how I was raised here in the US, 50 years ago. No wonder so many children and pets of today tend to seem strange and undisciplined compared to what I grew up with. ;)

 

~ Gloria

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On that Jersey Shore spin-off, JWoww lets her tiny, obnoxious dogs pee and poop all over the house.

 

Oh god please don't tell me she's a representative sample of the average American. If so, I'm defecting to New Zealand.

 

When we were looking for a place to rent, a few homes didn't allow pets, some only if they were under 30 lbs (the stupidity of that rule has already been discussed), many did not allow German Shepherds, pit bulls, or rotties. Others charged a non-refundable deposit, usually around $250 per animal, and some also charged extra each month. The house we ended up with charged only a refundable, one-time pet deposit, I think $200. Based on the damage a 4 month old Rudder did to the drywall when we didn't latch his crate, I don't think we're getting it back rolleyes.gif

 

In my somewhat limited time in Ireland, England, and Spain, I didn't see many dogs, period. I definitely didn't see any on public transportation, even in the rural areas. When I spent a summer in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, however, stray (starving) dogs and cats were EVERYWHERE. It was heartbreaking to see the condition they were in, though in parts of Nicaragua the people aren't in much better shape.

 

My guess is that space and urbanization have a lot to so with people's view of dogs as well as what they consider a well behaved dog. In general, European cities (yes, I'm generalizing...though considering the US is the same geographic size as Europe, with its own very distinct regions, I'm gonna do it anyway ;)) are much more tightly packed and condensed than their US counterparts...perhaps that makes it much more noticeable when a dog is poorly trained. If your dog is sharing your 300 sq ft apartment with you, you have a heck of an incentive to make sure it behaves. In the US so much of the population lives in suburbs with backyards that it's easy for joe schmo dog owner to just kick his dog outside when he gets tired of their behavior in the house. Since joe schmo also rarely takes his dogs into public, there's even less incentive to ensure he's well socialized and behaved. In mostly rural CR and Nicaragua, the abundance of stray dogs doesn't really bother the populace because there is lots of room...neither really steps on the toes of the other. Of course, GDP and human welfare condition play a huge role in Nicaragua and CR's attitudes as well.

 

I suspect space is just one of the many factors that leads to differing attitudes.

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When I was 11yrs old, my father was transferred to Holland and we were to stay for a 2yr period. I had finally been allowed to have a dog, all be it a used dog LOL, he was my dog. So I put my foot down when told I had to give the dog up and finally my parents gave in and we took 'Joe' with us. Joe traveled all over Europe with us, into resturants, grocery stores, on the bus, first class on the ship (we traveled tourist). I don't know about the rest of Europe but I was told that the love of dogs in Holland was because many people had to eat their dogs to stay alive during the occupation by Germany during the war and the Brits are well known for their love of dogs. Probably the Scots have the long tradition of the shepards dogs coming to town with their masters to enjoy a night at the pub. I do believe in America we had to fight long and hard just to allow seeing eye dogs into public places. In recent years there has been the cultural shift in this country to provide more dog friendly public areas even Hotels are getting on board. And than we have the Petsmart stores, so really things have improved some what. I don't rent so that area is still a major problem for alot of folks who want to keep a dog. I guess it gets down to 'where there is a will, there is a way' and the impossible just takes a little longer.

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I admit I am a little confused on the original thesis behind the OP. I expected from the title to see a post discussing laws and/or regulations coming down from government or responsible agencies. Perhaps regarding licensing or animal limits. However, I don't see how private landlords choosing not to allow pets, or choosing not to allow dogs on the premises of their grocery store, bar, or whatever, has anything at all with anyone's right to own a dog.

 

As for pet rent, I imagine your shock over seeing the VA listing has more to do with the fact you are a homeowner who does not have to worry about these concerns than anything being out of the ordinary. Lucky ;) As a long time renter in several areas of the US over the past 2 decades (I've not yet purchased any house), this is extremely typical. And it's not just dogs, it could extend to cats and rabbits or other pets too. Heck, fish tanks are often not allowed in standard leases. I am here to tell you that it is really a situation of where there's a will there's a way - if you have a REASONABLE number and species mix of pets, you will always be able to find housing to rent. It may take more time, and yes, it will probably cost some money. But that has nothing to do with anyone's right to own anything. I have paid anywhere from $15 - $100/month for pet rent, and pet rent is required the majority of places I have lived. NRF pet deposits are very standard as well, and I have seen them up to $1000. As a consumer, you can always decline to rent at that place if you feel the pet rents are too steep.

 

I agree with others who have posted too about the US seeming to become more dog-welcoming within public areas in recent years. It probably depends how urban and/or progressive your area is, but I have certainly noticed this myself. There are shopping centers and restaurants all over the bay area that allow dogs in the outside mall or seating areas, increases in dog parks, plus I find it much easier to find a nice hotel room these days that allows pets than I did when I was always moving cross country back and forth from college to my summer home with my family. Of course they usually require a room fee, but at least I don't have to try and sneak anyone in! The biggest deal that irritates ME personally is that even in areas where dogs aren't actually allowed (like grocery stores, or inside dept stores in the mall), I see tiny "bag dogs" more and more. People act like becaus ethey are tiny and cute, and I guess CAN be put in a bag, the signs saying "Service Animals Only" do not apply to them.

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For me it comes down to this: I can and often have been refused an apartment/house/share because I have a dog (and a cat). Landlords aren't allowed to discriminate against you if you have kids, and kids often cause as much wear & tear and noise and disruption as dogs or cats.

 

Sure, there are lots of irresponsible dog owners that have unruly, messy, noisy dogs. But there are just as many parents with unruly, messy and noisy kids.

 

In a housing market full of hungry and poor people searching for cheap housing (I live in the SF Bay Area too,) it can be damn hard to find a place that is affordable and allows pets. My animals all have references, but that makes no difference to many landlords. Sure, if I had a couple grand to throw down I could pay a pet damage deposit and live in a warren of ticky-tak apartments, but I don't. (Nor would I be much interested in living next to a pair of endlessly yapping and unhousebroken Bichon Frises on one side, and a rambunctious pea-brained Labrador on the other.

 

The other thing that is so frustrating is how uninformed landlords usually are about the relative hassle associated with different types of pets - or even different breeds of dogs. I found myself looking for a home several years ago with a Doberman Pinscher, a Maine Coon Cat, and a Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo. This was in the early 90's and my top dollar that I could afford was $500.00 a month. This alone didn't give me a lot of options, unless I wanted to live in very high crime areas with poor bus service. But the thing that really got me was they always turned down my Doberman out of hand - despite the fact that she was a non-barker and push-button trained - and had 3 references to attest to it. Many were iffy about my cat, who weight 20lbs - precious little of it fat. He was also very well-behaved. But they never said no to the cockatoo who could scream like a slasher movie, had a beak like a bolt-cutter and a keen desire to dismantle anything and everything with it. Go figure...

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Oh god please don't tell me she's a representative sample of the average American. If so, I'm defecting to New Zealand.

 

 

 

Lol, no, I was just using her as an example as to what people have to..."model" themselves after. They see it on tv, and they think it's okay. Just like with shows like the Dog Whisperer, etc. etc. Even if it's just a subconscious thing, it's still an influence.

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I guess my experience with rentals is a little different. We currently have four dogs and two cats in a recently remodeled home with full disclosure to our landlord. It was the first house we looked at when we decided to move last year. Granted, we didn't look any further once the landlord said "ok, four dogs and ...um, two cats? pause...ok" but my rental before that was fairly easy to obtain with a slightly higher number of animals. Neither one charged a separate pet deposit and the current one didn't even charge us first and last month's rent - he was just too worried it would be empty. I think the key is to avoid rental management companies - understandably they don't want the hassle. But private owners are often very motivated if you can sell yourself having stable employment and good rent history. I do live in an area where foreclosures are rampant, so you do have to be careful but we ended up with a good pet-friendly, affordable rental in a great neighborhood very easily.

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For me it comes down to this: I can and often have been refused an apartment/house/share because I have a dog (and a cat). Landlords aren't allowed to discriminate against you if you have kids, and kids often cause as much wear & tear and noise and disruption as dogs or cats.

 

I have also been refused an apartment or house due to having pets. I've been refused for being a college student, too. The reality is that in highly competitive rental markets, you might get refused for almost anything, including having kids, although they may not tell you the reason. In fact, I've helped employees I've hired get cheap passable rentals when they are first moving out and I have come to believe many places will tell you they have a lot of interest towards their units just so they can just tell you they rented it to someone who got their materials together first (rather than, I preferred to rent to that person). What I am saying though, is that eventually you can always find some place that you can bring your pets. You may or may not be able to afford the pet rent they charge, but that to me has nothing to do with your right to own a pet. I have every right to own a horse right now...but can I afford the board OR be reasonably sure that I can afford board consistently for the next many years? No. I'm trying to say the fact I have no horse has nothing to do with my *right* to own one.

 

Sure, there are lots of irresponsible dog owners that have unruly, messy, noisy dogs. But there are just as many parents with unruly, messy and noisy kids.

 

Yes, and boy howdy do I know this to be true. My 2-yo is WAY more destructive than Odin. And I have now come to believe there is no such thing as a ruly, quiet, neat and tidy 2-yo. They are all to one degree or another like living with a drunk, undomesticated, unhousetrained badger. People say that prairie dogs and raccoons make terrible pets, but human toddlers make TRULY terrible pets ;) Levity aside, though, the difference here is that people cannot rehome their kids. I am sure there are many heartless landlords that would not allow kids if this were legal to do for just the reasons you describe.

 

In a housing market full of hungry and poor people searching for cheap housing (I live in the SF Bay Area too,) it can be damn hard to find a place that is affordable and allows pets. My animals all have references, but that makes no difference to many landlords. Sure, if I had a couple grand to throw down I could pay a pet damage deposit and live in a warren of ticky-tak apartments, but I don't. (Nor would I be much interested in living next to a pair of endlessly yapping and unhousebroken Bichon Frises on one side, and a rambunctious pea-brained Labrador on the other.

 

I think the bigger issue here is that searching for rental housing of ANY kind in the bay area can be damn hard. Because it is such a competitive market. I've found 4 different places for my family to rent here, in a spectrum of rent classes from the absolute Oakland ghetto to nice family neighborhood in San Jose, and none of them were easy housing searches. And yes it is REALLY damn hard to find a place that is affordable. Period. Once you start adding ANY extra non-negotiable requirements, such as "I have pets" but also, "I need to be located near a good school", "I need 2 bathrooms/yard/X number of bedrooms", "I need to be located within walking distance of public transportation/my job/the freeway", "I require a house with a stove that actually functions (true story)", "I need at least one dedicated parking space", "I don't want to live in a ticky-tacky house/yuppie complex/THAT neighborhood", or whatever, you will make it that much harder on yourself to find affordable housing. Still not really about pets at all.

 

The last place we got actually does NOT charge us pet rent, so that makes 1/4 that has not since I have lived here (and again I've rented elsewhere too and paid pet rent there as well.). We were pleasantly shocked. This house had been up for rent for literally ONE DAY. It was an open house for one day on a Saturday. We went, but assumed we'd just be turned away because the listing didn't say "pets ok". Strangely, because we were renting from a young family, our kid actually was the reason we got that house. But there were 7 applications in line in front of us after only a few hours. So, many more people visited, but a full 7 other people had already put in an application and paid the app fee within hours of this place going on the rental market. That's what I mean - when competition is that stiff pets are just one more thing that MIGHT weigh against you enough for you to lose out on place x, because it doesn't take much at all.

 

The other thing that is so frustrating is how uninformed landlords usually are about the relative hassle associated with different types of pets - or even different breeds of dogs. I found myself looking for a home several years ago with a Doberman Pinscher, a Maine Coon Cat, and a Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo. This was in the early 90's and my top dollar that I could afford was $500.00 a month. This alone didn't give me a lot of options, unless I wanted to live in very high crime areas with poor bus service. But the thing that really got me was they always turned down my Doberman out of hand - despite the fact that she was a non-barker and push-button trained - and had 3 references to attest to it. Many were iffy about my cat, who weight 20lbs - precious little of it fat. He was also very well-behaved. But they never said no to the cockatoo who could scream like a slasher movie, had a beak like a bolt-cutter and a keen desire to dismantle anything and everything with it. Go figure...

 

It is stupid to be sure but sometimes the restrictions are based on insurance and liability rather than reason. A lot of insurers have clauses against certain dog breeds. My father in law (an attorney), and also a dobie lover and owner, counseled me and my husband against several breeds while we are renters, including dobies, because it is that much harder to find housing. Again, not impossible, but just one more thing.

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I think the bigger issue here is that searching for rental housing of ANY kind in the bay area can be damn hard. Because it is such a competitive market. I've found 4 different places for my family to rent here, in a spectrum of rent classes from the absolute Oakland ghetto to nice family neighborhood in San Jose, and none of them were easy housing searches. And yes it is REALLY damn hard to find a place that is affordable. Period. Once you start adding ANY extra non-negotiable requirements, such as "I have pets" but also, "I need to be located near a good school", "I need 2 bathrooms/yard/X number of bedrooms", "I need to be located within walking distance of public transportation/my job/the freeway", "I require a house with a stove that actually functions (true story)", "I need at least one dedicated parking space", "I don't want to live in a ticky-tacky house/yuppie complex/THAT neighborhood", or whatever, you will make it that much harder on yourself to find affordable housing. Still not really about pets at all.

 

So true... I was once in the market for a share rental. and was refused for the most outre' reasons - "you have a TV", "you're not Vegan", "you're an Aries".

The list was endless. After finally finding a place, (short term rental) I realized that I didn't want to share a place because the other people - even dog-owning people - could not be trusted to not let my dog out. My dog is not a gate charger, but if someone leaves the door standing open... she didn't actually go out because she's trained not to, but you never know. And yes, we had discussed this issue before I moved in. <_<

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But the thing that really got me was they always turned down my Doberman out of hand - despite the fact that she was a non-barker and push-button trained - and had 3 references to attest to it. Many were iffy about my cat, who weight 20lbs - precious little of it fat. He was also very well-behaved. But they never said no to the cockatoo who could scream like a slasher movie, had a beak like a bolt-cutter and a keen desire to dismantle anything and everything with it. Go figure...

 

:D I laughed at this! So funny and true.

 

I agree about the kid comment as well. I lived in an apartment for 2 years before buying a house. We had kids running up and down the stairs, pounding, screaming, leaving toys in the hallway, playing in the parking lot almost getting hit, drawing on the walls, etc. I wonder what the inside of their apartments looked like?! However, almost each apartment had a dog or two and only one dog caused a problem and the owners knew it and were working with the dog (barking on the balcony). I would rather live in a building full of dogs than one full of young kids. Just last night we went to a baseball game and the usher had to reprimand these young kids 3 times while their parents did nothing. How embarrassing yet the parents didn't see it that way...

 

If I were a landlord I would take dogs with a deposit (refundable though if no damage, never understood what a non refundable deposit was) and if I thought a dog/owner might be an issue I would ask to meet the dog and/or get references. I feel if someone asked for a deposit for kids say under 7 years old, parents would be outraged. Yet, pet owners just have to suck it up. I know dogs are not children but with both pets and kids, you make a choice to have them. No one forced you to have kids or dogs so if you are asked for a deposit or such you should take it in stride.

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Dear Doggers,

 

 

A couple years ago my dogs and I stayed with a friend I hadn't seen in 30 years. His wife had two little fluffy dogs: untrained, unmannerly, unreliable and much loved. When bedtime came round she asked me how many pee pads I wanted. I'd never heard of these conveniences and said my dogs would go out before I retired and again in the morning. When I went in my bedroom, she'd set out pee pads for my dogs' nighttime convenience. She couldn't imagine a housetrained dog.

 

Donald McCaig

 

OMG! That is hysterical! How clueless can one be?!?

 

Jovi

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Weirdly enough, the unique way Europeans raise their children today is exactly how I was raised here in the US, 50 years ago. No wonder so many children and pets of today tend to seem strange and undisciplined compared to what I grew up with. ;)

 

~ Gloria

 

Me too.

 

I recently spent the weekend with a dear friend and her 2 young children. They are good kids, and funny and smart but their parents are totally exhausted. The kids are front and center at all times, their livingroom is a playroom and the only TV in their home is kid friendly shows.

 

When I was a kid I was sent to my room to play at 8 pm because at that point the TV was inappropriate for kids. Our toys were in our rooms. The adults had adult time, the kids were expected to be busy. I never felt neglected or unloved.

 

Back on topic, I have rented with up to 4 dogs and a cat in many places around the country, almost never paying an unreasonable deposit. I always rent from individuals if I can over agencies, and I am careful to repair any damage immediately. Sometimes it took a little time to find a place, but I always found a place.

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When I was a kid I was sent to my room to play at 8 pm because at that point the TV was inappropriate for kids. Our toys were in our rooms. The adults had adult time, the kids were expected to be busy. I never felt neglected or unloved.

 

 

Still laughing over this ^^ I thought we were selfish parents for doing this! I also have a doggy leave me alone time, it's when ever I say. They are more understanding than the kids were!

 

I can't comment on the rental/housing issues. We've owned our own place for so long. My time in CO was renting from a stockdog friend so can't count that either.

 

Can't imagine what I'd do if I couldn't find a place to live with my dogs. Guess it'd be a campground for us!

 

Living in different cultural areas, I notice the city(s) are actually more dog friendly than the country. Fine if you live here and have a place for you own dogs, but take you dog to the local diner...no way. Take him to the local city cafe and they have speical patio seating for people with dogs. At least that's been my observations.

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Still laughing over this ^^ I thought we were selfish parents for doing this! I also have a doggy leave me alone time, it's when ever I say. They are more understanding than the kids were!

Yeah, me too. I say, "Go away." and the dog goes. She doesn't sulk or think she's in trouble. She likes to be left alone sometimes too!

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  • 5 months later...

My roommate owns two year-old >5lb Maltese. She got them when they were about 8 weeks old and they have manged to chew up most of her expensive nursing books, pee and poo in every room in the apt numerous times, tear up her carpet and dug a hole in her dry wall. I did mention they were both less than 5lbs, right? I have years of experience training dogs, and I've tried to help her yet she refuses to listen to anything I do, she won't crate them because that's "mean" and the only reason she leaves them in her room when she leaves is because me and our other roommate make her (we don't want to pay for the damage they would manage to do to the living room) One of the also pees anytime someone new comes into the apartment because they never left and met new people the first six months of their life because they were "just puppies" and she didn't want to take them outside.

 

What bothers me is that I can't have a dog because we have a 20lbs limit and I don't think I'll even own a dog less than 40. I can assure you any dog I own will not cause that much trouble or damage anywhere I live. So, after living with my roommate and her puppies (who are supper sweet, and I do love them) I can see why landlords do no want people to own dogs. Yet I think weight limits are ridiculous. Someone with a well trained Doberman or even border collie would not be able to live here. Those two little dogs would give any big dog a run for their money in damage.

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