Even Fur Babies Can Be Badly Parented

by admin on August 16, 2011

Repost if you love your pet…..but don’t care for your guests

There is a Facebook status that I am seeing pop up frequently amongst my on-line “friends”.  Due to the nature of the post, I have been hesitant to comment back to these people for fear of offending, but I’m sure I’ll be safe here amongst etiquette-loving friends.   I’m sure you’ve all seen the post before (those of you who are Facebook users), it’s goes something like this:

TO NON-PET LOVERS who visit our homes and complain about our pets. 1) They live here, you don’t. 2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘Fur’-niture. 3) Chances are, I love my pets more then I like you. 4) To you, they are animals.To me, they are my babies and family … who are hairy, walk on all fours & don’t talk back and don’t judge! Re-post if you love your pet.

So, here is my response:

1) No, I don’t live here, but you have invited me here as your guest and, as such, should be aiming to be hospitable and make me feel at ease – not make me feel like I’m in the way of your cat.

2) See number 1). And maybe think about giving the place a little clean-up.

3) Well, why did you invite me here, then? I think I’ll just go and leave you to your pets and then we’ll all be happy.

4) If your actual babies barked at me from the second I entered the door and then proceeded to bite and scratch at my legs, you would probably stop them – wouldn’t you? You want your children to grow up being respectful adults that other people enjoy being around, why would you not want the same thing for your “hairy babies”?

Now, I’m no great animal lover, but I’m definitely no animal hater, either. I do understand people’s love and affection for their pets, but the joy of being a host and having guests in your home is to make them feel comfortable and to enjoy their company – not to stand them in a corner so as not to bother your precious pets.

I work as a community nurse, visiting new mothers in their homes to check their babies. This is a free service that mothers volunteer to undertake. I do not appreciate those families who allow their dogs to jump all over me, stick their nose in my bag and lick my hands. I’m here to see your baby, and now I have to go to another home to see another newborn baby with your dog’s lick all over my leg – now, that’s not very hygienic or fair on the next family, is it?

In short, if you can’t be bothered to try and make your home an enjoyable place for guests, don’t bother inviting them over!   0810-11

Just as there are bad parents who let their darling little Fufus get away with entitled murder, there are bad pet owners who don’t teach their pets any manners and feel that the world should revolve around their furballs.  Their pet can do no wrong and so bad behavior like licking, jumping up, barking, etc. are all condoned so that Fluffy The Special Snowflake Dog doesn’t get his feelings hurt.

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Riri August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I guess some people like to dress up their pets, let them on furniture, sleep with them, etc; it’s their business. It’s fine if they love and cherish their pet as much as they would a child, but consideration toward guests come first. There’s a reason it’s not acceptable to say “I dislike (certain race of people)”, but it’s acceptable to say “I dislike (certain type of animal)”; because animals != humans. Admin and OP said it all, why bother inviting a guest if you’re not going to make them feel welcome?

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Emmi August 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I have extremely severe allergies to dogs/cats/rabbits/anything with fur down to hamsters and mice. I can tell just getting close to a person if they have pets, because I immediately break out in a rash and get wheezy. It is a very inconvenient allergy! Also, it’s horrible because I absolutely adore animals and would have several if I could.

I am not able to visit the homes of any of our family or friends with pets, which is pretty much everyone except for my own parents. When I saw all those Facebook statuses popping up, it was all I could do not to comment and say that I was more glad than ever that I could not visit their homes if that was how they liked to have things! I did manage to hold my tongue, as seeing who posted this status I wasn’t terribly surprised.

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bansidhe August 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

There’s no way I would allow my critters to jump all over guests or behave in an obnoxious fashion. That’s just rude. Neither do I regard my guys as furry children, which is why they’re happy and well adjusted, rather than neurotic.

That said, if you’re the type who dislikes animals in general and will get offended if one of the cats rubs up against your leg or one of the dogs runs up to greet you (without jumping on you), you are so not welcome in my home.

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Aje August 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I got this e-mail too- and I thought it very harsh and rude. I unfortunately know several people who treat their dogs better than they do their children. One lady spent every day with her dogs, and when she went on vacation- she took her dogs, not the kids. Last time I saw her she told me she never sees her kids (now teenagers) anymore and how sad that makes her. Before they grew up it was a little like having a dog- since they were stuck at home so she knew they’d be there when she got back. Sadly enough, they have their own lives now and have no interest in spending time with their mom.
Also, to our Jamacian friends… in puerto rico it’s considered bad taste to name a dog a person’s name… there is a distinction between dogs and people. As it should be.

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Leela August 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I love my dog, but I totally agree. You’re not doing your pet any favors by treating it like an adult human and expecting it to ‘understand’ why it’s not supposed to jump on people.

K- I prefer people take their dogs to the dog park rather than the people park. Some people don’t think leash laws apply to their supposedly well-behaved and harmless animal.

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Arrynne August 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I feel for the OP. The home health nurses in my community have a policy that people must put up their dogs before the nurse can enter the home. Apparently two nurses were bitten the previous year. I adore my critters, but I am always willing to put them in a bedroom when I have workers over or guests who are uncomfortable. Guests to my home do have to put up with fur on the couch, but I am happy to get a towel or sheet for them to sit on to protect their clothing.

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Carrie August 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I love my dog more than anything. I’ve taken off of work to take her to the vet. I volunteer for the local rescue when I have the time off from my classes. I’m quick to call animal control when I see an animal being abused and I’ve call 911 before because I saw a dog sitting on the median of a highway.

But saying that, I’ve trained my dog, she will not jump up on strangers, growl or bark at them unprovoked, or slober all over them. If I’m inviting someone to my home who is afraid of dogs or someone who is bringing their young child, I put my dog in the other room with some water and a toy. This is good for her and for my guests and cuts the stress level considerably. Nevermind she’s only a beagle, I know some people that are afraid of her and all dogs, even tiny ones. (The maintence person at my apartment complex certainly is!)

If you are going to invite a guest over you know isn’t crazy about your pet(s), you should be considerate of them. Yes, your animal lives there but you invited your guest over knowing they do not like animals/have allergies/whatever else. It’s your job as a host to make them comfortable. If you do not want to put you animals away and clean up for your guests, then don’t invite people over.

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Jennifer August 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I can see both sides of this issue, as my mom is one of these people who would behave in this way. I am of the opposite view, that animals are great but should not be looked at as people’s “children.” Don’t get me wrong, I treat my dogs well but I also know how they are and act accordingly to make sure people are comfortable in my home first. With my mom, however, it is all about her pets and I go into the house knowing that is the state of things. The cats will jump on the counter, or the dogs will run to you barking and jump on your legs to say hi. My statement to the OP, or anyone who gets offended by a person’s animals is that if you know this is an issue, either tell the person (I would be mortified if someone told me that I needed to control my dogs around them and would promptly do that) or offer to meet elsewhere. If it is family dinners or a reason that is unavoidable, talk with other family members and see if they are in agreement. If they are then one of you can host the function away from the person’s house, and/or sit them down and explain the situation.

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Jordan August 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I love my dogs, and I would be incredibly insulted if someone who came to my home complained about them. But then again, I have made the effort to train them well so that they do not bark at people, never jump unless specifically given the command to, and do not beg. So, I can see where the people posting that are coming from if they have people coming into their houses and saying (as I have had people say to me) “why don’t you keep those dogs outside where they belong?” Um, no. But if their dogs are as badly trained as most of the commenters here seem to be assuming, then they’re not only being bad hosts but also bad dog owners.

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josie August 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I have issues with cats walking around on the countertops where food is prepared….ewwwwww!

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G-Radical August 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I don’t get people’s obsession with the “fur-babies.” I have nothing against those who love pets but I just cant fathom spending all that money on an animal. I am afraid of most dogs (especially the really friendly ones that jump and bark as soon as you walk through the door) and am allergic to cats so it’s no surprise I am not the biggest fan of pets. BUT If you invite me over please be courteous of my fears and allergies! I will take medication in anticipation but it only helps so much…

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Jenna August 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I wouldn’t that that status repost request seriously. I consider those to be poking fun at the Mommy/Martyr repost requests.

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LS August 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Unless the mother is blind, the pet is a luxury and not a necessity. And the nurse is providing a free service. It’s apparent the mother is now spoiled.
When you give something away free to the wrong people, they will resent you.

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Laura August 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

It’s supposed to be a joke. Cheez…

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Stepmomster August 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

People have really weird ideas about their pets sometimes; my Father is allergic to cat dander, so I spend a good amount of time vacuuming for him and cleaning the house before he comes over. I even bath my cats so they can sit on him and he doesn’t have an attack. Most people are allergic to the dust, pollen, and other goodies in the cat’s furr, not so much the cat, but in case it actually IS the cat they are allergic to, baths twice a month can really help their allergies.

I would never dream of telling him to just “deal with it” because my cats are my babies. I find that completely bizarre.

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Tara August 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I can see this from a pet lovers point of view. Just because we post it, doesn’t mean we all have animals that we let slobber of anything, never clean the litter box, or allow to jump all over the company.

1) They live here, you don’t.
There will be pet stuff in my house. If you see a cat toy, or a doggy chew, please ignore it like you would a child’s toy.

2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘Fur’-niture.
Despite my best efforts, there will be cat fur. Even if I vacuum and use a lint roller, it will be there. Please ignore like you would ignore a spot of dust that was missed.

3) Chances are, I love my pets more then I like you.
Please don’t ask me to pen my well-behaved animal just because you don’t like them. I don’t ask you to contain your child. (Of course, severe allergies and fears of said animals need to be considered)

4) To you, they are animals.To me, they are my babies and family … who are hairy, walk on all fours & don’t talk back and don’t judge!
They are my family members and have a place in my home. Please respect that.

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Mary August 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

We have several friends with large dogs and have encountered the attitude of “don’t worry, he’s just excited, he’ll calm down after a few minutes!”

Well guess what? Your gigantic dog that is twice the size of my toddler has been jumping on her or at her (while she’s up in our arms) and you’ve traumatized her enough that she will be scared of dogs for the next decade!

Our girls have finally gotten over their fear of all dogs and we were finally able to get a small dog (10 pounds). He is NOT allowed to jump on anybody. We will not tolerate it. Our girls are still scared to death of big dogs!

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kingsrings August 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I’ve been on both sides of this spectrum. I have two cats, so there’s going to be fur evident just about everywhere, even though I do my best to vacuum and clean up. If you can’t handle any fur being near you, then my apt. is not the place for you. I am also not going to lock my cats up for your convenience. It’s their place, too. You can shoo them away if they’re botheiring you, they’ll heed. On the other hand, I’ve pretty much been banned from two friend’s house because of their very unruly, undisciplined house of pets. They allow their pets to do all sorts of misbehavior, and if you complain, they just tell you it’s your fault for them doing it, or you just don’t understand dogs. So I’ve been banned from their house because I won’t put up with their dogs doing such things as jumping up on the dinner table and trying to steal food off of plates.

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Shannon August 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I have a friend who would probably repost that status if she saw it.

Whenever she hosts, her dog (a beagle mix) gets into EVERYTHING. He’s constantly slobbering, sneaking food, knocking into people and barking. One evening, we’d all gotten together to make tacos and watch movies. Within five minutes, the dog had snatched a taco out of one guest’s hands, and knocked a bunch of food off the counter and started to eat it (in that noisy, rapid inhale way only a dog can pull off). She very gently was all, “oh, please, don’t do that!” instead of being firm and removing him from the room. More annoying, my husband suggested crating the dog until we were done eating…instead, she DECLARED THAT DINNER WAS OVER AND PUT ALL THE FOOD AWAY. We were still hungry! Needless to say, we left soon after that.

The dog is an elderly rescue, so I think she decided there’s no point training an older dog. But it can’t make the dog happy, I’m sure people food can’t be good for it, and her poor ownership has cut many an evening short.

Another (former) friend had the world’s most indulged cat. She insisted a mutual friend (and her neighbor) check on the cat at least twice a day whenever she left town, and would call him up and screech down the phone if he wasn’t monitoring the cat. Having owned cats, let me say, 1. Cats are by nature independent, you can get them an automatic feeder, water, and some toys and that will hold them for a weekend, 2. overindulging a cat makes it crazy and neurotic. This cat would constantly leap onto furniture, scratch things, chase invisible monsters…it was like a feline meth tweaker.

Though the kicker was that for all the coddling of the cat, she wouldn’t ever clean out the litter box or vacuum. I am somewhat allergic to cats, and would have to leave her apartment within five minutes because my throat had closed and I thought I was going to pass out.

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Library Diva August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Agree that it cuts both ways. I think this originated as a response to people who are actually rude to your pets, feel like they can comment on whether or not it’s OK if your cat’s curled up on a chair not bothering anyone, or freak out of they get ONE cat hair on their clothing despite your best vaccuuming/dusting efforts. But the chain status itself, besides being as vapid as chain statuses are, is rude in and of itself. It’s not polite to openly tell someone in your life that you rank them below someone or something else, or that you hate having them over.

If you really can’t abide someone’s pets, do what you’d do if you couldn’t abide their children, their husband, the neighborhood in which they live or the manner in which they keep their home: don’t go over there. Meet them elsewhere or have them over to your house. And try to remember, whatever your pet status, that an invitation to someone’s home isn’t an invitation to pass judgement on their lifestyle.

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Chocobo August 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

It doesn’t matter whether the owner feels that their furry pets are “children” or not — children should be sent away for adult gatherings as well and taught not to interrupt the adults just as much. Certainly I was confined to the second floor of the house when my parents had friends over for nighttime parties, and if an adult was visiting during the day, I was to leave them alone unless I really needed something. Animals, being animals, don’t have the ability judge whether or not they should interrupt or interact in a situation, or the sense to stay upstairs when they are told to be, and so should be put away in the bedroom or pen when a guest comes over. Growing up, our dogs were taught not only to leave guests — and furniture — alone, but not even to go into certain rooms, especially the dining room and the parlor.

Otherwise, you are valuing your animals over your guests, or the whims of a child over an adult conversation. That’s fine, and your prerogative, but don’t expect too many return guests, who are only trying to pay you a visit and end up babysitting furry creatures and entertaining children. No matter how adorable your dog is, or how charming your children are, your guests are not there to visit them, they are there to visit YOU. If they are there to visit your pets or children, then that’s a different story.

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--E August 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Yeah, I never understand this, either. I have had cats instead of children, and they’ve been my wittlebabydahwings, but in my house pets are very definitely #2 to the humans. My current cat has been known to bite people, and if he gets rambunctious, he gets locked up in a separate room. His howling isn’t pleasant, but, just like a two-year-old, he eventually settles down and takes a nap.

I have a strict no-feeding-from-the-table (or comfy TV chair) policy. This translates to a cat who may take a shot at begging, but gives up after just one try when he’s pushed away from the dinner plates. My cats have always understood that they do not eat where the humans eat.

Contrast with a friend of mine who would always give bits to her dog and cats under the table. Dining at her house was so annoying, because the critters wouldn’t let you eat your meal in peace. They were constantly begging and trying to get into your lap.

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delislice August 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

A few years ago, our good friends had their house foreclosed. There’s a complicated explanation why they didn’t see it coming. We gladly opened our home to them for the few days it took for them to make other arrangements. Their teenage daughter, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is deathly afraid of dogs. Knowing that, we took our miniature dachshund to a kennel for the duration.

Do we love our dog? Of course. Do we understand that for some people being around a dog might not be simply a matter of personal preference? Yup.

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SV August 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I love animals. I have worked in the veterinary field for almost 20 years. I have 2 dogs, a cat and three parrots ( as well as three great children. ) Animals are one of the driving forces in my life, both personally and professionally.

Statements like this facebook post offend me…even though if someone came to my house and complained about my animals, THAT would offend me more. Animals are not people, nor do they wish to be treated like people. It is a disservice to the animal to treat it as such, and yet every day I encounter people who seem to feel that in order to be a good, loving pet owner they must indulge their animal’s every whim and bad habit. It sets my teeth on edge to see puppies that COULD be well adjusted, loving pets but are coddled to the point of ruin.

My house, as stated, is full of animals. If you come over you need to expect that. If I invite you ( or if my children invite someone) I make sure you are well aware. However, my dogs will not jump on you when they greet you. They will wag their tails, give a sniff, then go lay down. My cat will say hi and leave. My parrots will be safely in their cages, because not everyone likes birds. My couches and floors will be clean and not full of fur. My house does not smell like animals or look like it is full of animals, and you certainly will never have to move one of my pets in order to sit down. If you are nervous of dogs I will put them outside. However, this is their home, and I would not be comfortable having people here who found their presence offensive. They are well behaved, loving pets who deserve respect, the same as guests in our home deserve respect. I must say though that I don’t personally know anyone who would find their presence offensive :)

And without question I would have them away if a professional of some kind was over- that’s just common courtesy.

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IndyJones1967 August 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I don’t have kids, I have pets (mostly cats, but one elderly mutt). They are well-mannered, because I wouldn’t want to put up with them, either. We clean up after them, but let’s be reasonable: with four animals, there will be hair. Where we tend to run into trouble is when we host events like open houses and family picnics and ask that very small children be left at home because while the house is childproofed, our pets are not. I’m not sure why it’s perfectly OK to keep the guest list to older children and adults because you have a house full of antique crystal, but not OK if you don’t want Fluffy dealing with “but Junior is just petting, he’s not really dragging her around by the tail.”

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Kovitlac August 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

As a huge animal lover, I agree with most of what the OP says. I do think that there needs to be some sort of middle ground. Visitors should be accomidated, and lucky for me, most of my visitors are people who either really like animals, or are neutral toward them. I likely wouldn’t invite someone over who absolutely hated cats (not saying I wouldn’t be friends with them. Just that there are other places we could go to hang out).

About the fur issue, like Tara said, despite the best cleaning job in the world, there will likely be SOME fur, just like there’s still likely to be the occassional human hair lying around. Now, if someone was over who suffered from severe animal hair allergies, I’d do my best to clean up. But in all fairness, I’d prefer meeting elsewhere then. Recently I had a friend stay over for a week and a half who has a very minor dander allergy. She likes my cat and didn’t mind him hanging out in my room for us or even sleeping on the bed. She took a pill when needed, but overall she became accustomed to him very quickly. Not saying everyone is lucky enough to be able to deal with an allergy this easily, but common sense dictates they at least do something to help themselves, if possible.

As a side note, I’ve only ever shut my cats away if I felt it was for their own good, or they were in danger of hurting someone. I used to have a cat that hated other people. Her I would place in a bedroom when company was over, not just to keep her from hurting anyone, but because it wasn’t fair for her to be picked on by children or frightened by strangers. In all liklihood, she would have hid anyway. As for the other cat, who adores people, I’ve only felt the need to put him away once, and that was when the poor thing was getting his ears and tail tugged on by kids who should have known better.

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shari August 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I dislike those sorts of posts as well as the other ones declaring “repost this if you have the world’s best xxxx”.

My pets normally hide when there are visitors, they prefer to keep to themselves but for some reason there’s always someone who says that animals just love them and try and track them down from their hidey holes.

Manners go both ways!

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Hanna August 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I do not like animals at all, and I especially can’t stand dress-my-pet-clothes-and-call-it-my-2nd-child pet lovers. (Seriously? Your DOG is your 2nd child?! How the heck do you think that makes your ACTUAL child feel?) But when I’m at your house and your dog is bugging me, please do something about it. Dogs are not humans and the fact that you’re more considerate of an animal than a human is disgusting.

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Jennifer August 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I have already posted my comment on the story but I have a huge issue with K’s last statement. My husband and I have been dealing with infertility issues for the past six years. My jaw hit the floor with that last statement.I have two dogs, they are not my children, they are my dogs. I do not treat my dogs like they are my children, they get no table scraps, are not allowed to beg, are moved off of furniture to make room for people. I lived in an apartment in CA for two years, and during that time had a dog that needed exercise that walking just couldn’t give her. I believe that taking your dog to the dog park is not so “sick.” I wonder what K would do with her children if they got hyper, just keep them in their room? No, you send your kids outside to expend energy. It’s the same with dogs, and before you jump on my case I am NOT equating dogs and kids.

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MGB August 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Great posts! I put one in earlier but I want to add something my wife and I learned many years ago from a veterinarian friend of ours. People who do not like cats try to avoid them by looking away and paying no attention when the cat comes near. In the cat’s world this is inviting behavior. If you don’t want a cat to come to you stare at it and do not smile. Cats do this to one another when they want to fight or dominate. So, the cat will usually back off and walk away. It doesn’t always work but it often does.

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Blondie August 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I do get both sides. I adore dogs and all of their doggy glory, slobbery, excited and jumping. I get that there is a time and a place as well as proper training. I do appologize if I have worked a dog up into a frenzy, they do the same to me :) However, I am deathly allergic to cats, as in airways close up, eyes swell shut, and it has ended in hospital visits. I don’t hold it against the cat. I do hold it against people who feel like they need to “test” my allergy. As in- I mention this to EVERYONE before I go to their homes. No one likes the EMS visit. I had an ex roommate invite me to spend the weekend after I moved out of state. He knew very well that cats and I don’t mix. However, when living together he always wanted one. I asked before visiting if he had followed through on getting a cat. No, of course not, he hadn’t been home enough…. Welllllllll I show up, Kitty ambles out to meet me, I turn around and leave. To this day he and his girlfriend tell the story of how I wouldn’t spend the weekend with them because I was afraid of their itty bitty kitty… yeah. Thats why I didn’t stay. It had nothing to do with my wish to breathe….

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badkitty August 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Honestly, I’ve never seen this post but it is something that I would put up by way of explanation for a certain type of visitor… and my friends would get a giggle out of it.

All of my animals are well-trained and socialized, but I do occasionally have people who don’t ever mention that they despise animals until they are in my home. The animals aren’t allowed to harass anyone, but I’ve had people just FREAK OUT when a kitty rubs up against their legs or the dog does a play-bow to greet them. One friend knew I had pets and seemed to not have a problem with them… until she was over one afternoon for lunch and asked me “you don’t let the animals in the kitchen, do you?” I assured her that they were not allowed on the counter and didn’t interfere with meal prep (because that’s just gross) but that they do wander in or through from time to time. She turned green and insisted that we go out for lunch instead. It’s overreactions like this that pet parents fight constantly.

As a trainer, I’m deeply bothered when I hear that someone allows the animal residents to harass or threaten guests, because it speaks to the insecurity that animal lives with on a daily basis. On the other hand, I’ve had to ban one friend from visiting if she’s going to insist on bringing her children because she sees nothing wrong with the horrible things they do to my animals and reacts violently when one of the animals moves to defend itself. (Cat hissed and swatted at child who was trying to jab a screw – don’t ask me where he found it – into kitty’s eye, dog growled when child climbed onto her pillow and tried to sit on her, etc.)

There are two directions in which people can take this extreme, and both are wrong.

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Zhoen August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

People who think of their animals as babies “love” them, but don’t really love them enough to give them structure and limits, and treat them appropriate to their species. Tara and bansidhe have said this all most eloquently.

We have a cat in our family, who thankfully doesn’t shed much, and has proved to be low-allergenic to our cat allergic friends. He doesn’t jump up, although he likes to hang out around people. I make an effort to keep the place clean, and will gladly shut off the main room if a guest is allergic or anxious. He never gets up on counters, ok, a few times – but not as a habit, and we clean well on the few occasions. When a mildly allergic friend offered to sit for Moby, we brushed him well, used a fur-cleaner on him, and made it all as easy as possible. Friend does like Moby, especially at Tail Chasing Time, but can’t pet him without immediate hand washing. Any VERY allergic friend, we would meet out, or at their home, no question, apologies all around.

On the other hand, a visiting future in-law scowled at his appearance most sourly, and all he was doing was walking around in his home. I shooed him away from her feet, and he disappeared into the bedroom, but she kept the disdainful look. Well, some of us can’t keep our faces neutral, and she didn’t say anything, but sheesh. If he’d leapt into her lap, I would have been both shocked (he never does this) and apologized profusely. He didn’t get closer than three feet. Oh, well.

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Angela August 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Let me add that I agree with the general idea that pets aren’t people, but there is nothing wrong with dog parks. Maybe OP thought they were a dog version of Disneyland? They’re a fenced in public area where you can take your dog off leash and play with other dogs.

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PrincessSimmi August 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I have two cats. Yes, they are my babies. Yes, they will be punished for misbehaving. Yes, you can expect there will be fur on my belongings. Yes, I do refer to myself as their Mummy.

Mostly they’ll give newcomers a sniff over before walking away for a nap or to stare out the window. They NEVER jump on people they don’t know. Grace will climb onto your lap for cuddles if you sit still for too long, and I know some people don’t appreciate that.

Mostly they are well-behaved, apart from the occasional accident… but visitors need to understand that the cats and I live in a very small apartment, and there is no way for me to pretend they don’t exist when you come over.

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IndyJones1967 August 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

To those dealing with allergy issues I would like to add that before/during inviting anyone over for the first time, we always make extremely clear that we do have animals (ESPECIALLY the cats) in case of allergies. If they have allergies and still want to come, then at least it’s informed consent! :D

Pets are allowed anywhere humans sit. Pets are not allowed on any food-related surfaces such as kitchen counters or dining tables. None of the cats have ever been given human food of any kind so they don’t seem to know it’s cat food as well; I can leave a full plate on a chair to go get a drink and the plate will be unmolested when I return (not so much with the dog, a shelter rescue with about 10 years of eating who-the-heck-knows-what behind her).

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Eccentric Lady August 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I will admit I find the status statement rude, for it’s basically trolling for drama. Such declarations are unwarranted in my opinion as well.

I do have a dog, who’s spoiled but well behaved. She doesn’t jump up on guests and allowed on the beanbag furniture we have. She’s an older pooch who’s not used to the quick movement from kids so when I do have some come over, I have to warn them to approach her slowly and if she growls back off/let her go for she has a distinct abrupt ‘grumpy’ growl when she’s had enough attention and she wants to be left alone. There’s been times I’ve seen her ‘growl’ and leave only to have the kid not heed my dog’s request and I had to step in and get the kid to listen – dogs aren’t toys.

If I have some work done in the house, granted, my dog’s put up or put out in the backyard. But if guests want to set on unfurred furniture, that’s why we have a sitting room upstairs! LOL

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Ari August 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

I can see where the person who wrote that Facebook status comes from.
I have three dogs and three cats. My grandpa and step-grandma hate animals. They come over occasionally. They complained about the animals. So, the next time, I deep cleaned the carpets, laundered the drapes, vaccumed the floor (and chairs), and had air freshener and scented candles (not lit). I had the dogs in my room and the cats in my bathroom. I had even given them all a bath the day before and sprayed their coats with pet perfume that day.
My step-grandma came in and immediately said my house smelled like a “f-ing zoo” and then freaked out because some pet hair had gotten on the couch between me cleaning it and trying to herd cats. Several times during the visit, they said I should take my pets outside and shoot them. Um, no. You knew I had pets. I offered to meet you somewhere else, but you wanted to come to my house. I would rather be with my animals than most people I know.
My animals are all well-trained. The only one of the dogs that barks is my guard dog. She has saved my life several times by barking at and going after intruders. They don’t jump up and don’t paw or beg for food. One of my dogs has passed the TDI test and is waiting for the paperwork to go through to become a reading buddy for the library I work at.
Also, I my dogs and cats are like my children. I teach them manners, discipline them the way their mother/pack would when I catch them doing something that needs correcting, feed them, groom them, play with them, and take them to get medical care.

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Michelle August 17, 2011 at 12:10 am

I have a member of my family who has a dog and another member of my family who is afraid of dogs and at Christmas time when we were all at the first member of the family’s place, that MOF decided that this year, the dog could run around the place and do what it wanted. The second MOF with the fear of dogs also had a back injury so that whenever the dog was around her, she would tense up and end up in extreme pain. Also, when another MOF brought their dog to the family gathering, both dogs ended up in a spat with my then 2 yr old toddler in the middle. The original MOF just said “oh, you’re all right” to her, but she is now scared of dogs (even ones she used to like) and cries when any dog comes near her. I also had a fear of dogs as when I was about my daughter’s age, a large one jumped on me an knocked me over, so a fear of dogs is not irrational for us at all.

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Jenny August 17, 2011 at 4:05 am

This is the best example of this I’ve seen yet!

“PLEASE post this as your status if you know someone who has been eaten by Penguins. Penguins are nearly unstoppable and, when hungry, also breathe fire. 71% of people won’t copy this into their status because they have already been eaten by Penguins. Another 28% won’t because they are hiding in their showers with fire extinguishers awaiting the coming Penguinapocalypse. The remaining 1% are awesome and will repost.”

However, I’m a little worried all the mums who post similar things about their kids will be offended if I repost.

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Shea August 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

@ Stepmonster- Often, the largest part of the dander to which people are allergic is the saliva and urine. Once a cat licks itself, the allergen is spread once again, so frequent baths only do so much. It’s not usually the fur, but it is usually the cat (or dog, etc). I love the well-meaning dog owners (my sister being one) who claim that “it’s okay that my dog is all over you- she has hair, not fur, so you can’t possibly be allergic!”. Uh, yeah, I can.

I’ll admit I”m not crazy about being around dogs, cats, etc. due to allergies, but respect pet owners that do what they can (if I could have a cat, I definitely would). I do take extra allergy medication on my part, but if a pet is well-trained enough to not jump and slobber all over me (no licking, please- it leaves welts wherever they’ve licked!) I’ll tolerate as best I can. If I’ve been at a pet owner’s home, I immediately ditch my clothes (before spreading it to my own furniture!) in the hamper and shower. It helps a great deal.

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C. J. August 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

I hate 99.99% of re-post material anyway. They usually sound sanctimonious and/or state the obvious, then tell me I’m not a Christian/hate America/don’t support the troops/love my friends since I won’t copy and paste. The Christian ones especially frustrate me because they usually use that, “If you don’t repost this, you’re denying Jesus!” line. But I digress.

The pet one never even registered because the people I’m friends with who’ve posted it are rude anyway. It’s sad/awesome that my mind just filters out things that would anger me now. I’ve seen it, but strangely the people from my friends list who post it are usually pretty antisocial anyway. I guess now thy can blame their lack of a social life on their pets instead of their poor manners?

I was never a pet person until recently. I have a kitten who is behaved, who we’re training not to beg, and who tries to avoid strangers entirely. Yesterday, he was feeling a little under the weather (his tummy was rumbly and he was more lethargic than usual), and I babysit an eight year old who is used to him playing with her. When she came over, I explained that he had an upset tummy and she was adorably over-careful with him (“Can I pet him again? Can I still talk to him?”) and made me a picture of him for my fridge. However, soon after my boyfriend’s 40 y.o. brother came over and was really rough with him. I explained that he wasn’t feeling well, and he still petted him rougher than he’s used to (which I mentioned), stuck his fingers in his face repeatedly, growled and meowed, and tossed him around. And then complained when my kitty bit him. If my stomach was upset and he’d been acting as he was with my cat, I’d have bitten him sooner.

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Jayn August 17, 2011 at 9:06 am

At least when you’re at their house you know to expect animals. My SIL once brought her (small) dog with her when she was staying overnight…without telling us. This was a problem because–

1) The apartment we were in did not allow any animals (which didn’t stop some people, but still)
2) My husband is allergic to animals–she knows this, being his sister and all
3) As it turns out, my husband is EXTREMELY allergic to her dog. For comparison, the two cats we have now can go for two weeks without washing before it’s an issue. Her dog starts bothering him within hours. And the cats are bigger.

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Kathryn August 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

I am afraid of dogs, but if your dog is polite and well behaved my heart rate goes back to normal in about 15 minutes and I can enjoy a visit in your house. The difference between a well-trained dog and an untrained dog is a big deal to me.

My mother-in-law has to put her two dogs outside if she wants me to come visit now because they will not leave me alone, they jump, bark and growl at me, and one time one of them cornered me in a room growling and I had to yell to get someone to come and call him off. My mother-in-law always sighs and moans about having to shut up her poor dogs – but after the cornering in a room incident I told her that she was welcome to come visit me (which she deems too inconvenient) but if she wants me to come visit her she will have to shut them up.

My stepmother-in-law on the other hand has a border collie, and even though this type of dog is very active, she has trained it to be very polite. This dog never jumps on me, it barks as the car drives up but not at me once I get out, and it sniffs my hand and then mostly ignores me. I have no problem visiting her and her dog, and the dog is allowed to be out with all of us so it can socialize with those who do want to play and visit with it.

Not training your pets makes it awkward for guests who might be allergic or afraid, but also, at least in the families of my two in-laws, the well-trained dog and its owners are both in a better and more comfortable situation too.

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kjr August 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

I knew when I saw this post it would definitely create some debate. I have a dog that I absolutely love. I have no children (yet) and work in an office by myself so he joins me every day, other than days that clients are in. He is an invaluable source of companionship and I can’t imagine life without him. I think some people do go a bit overboard with their dogs, but as long as there is no harm in it, why does it matter to anyone else? Sometimes I get looks in the winter because I sometimes put sweaters on my dog. He has a very thin coat and I live in NH with temperatures that drop well below zero, and if I don’t, he’ll shiver from the cold. Go ahead and stare or judge, I don’t care.

That being said, I do think the status post is rude and is what gives good pet owners bad names. If I invite you to my house, know that you either have allergies or don’t like dogs, I will put him in another part of the house. Dog or no dog, I would always make sure my house is clean before having guests over, so I don’t expect anyone to have to “deal” with dog fur on their clothes. My boyfriend is a carpenter. Do I expect you to “deal” with sawdust in my house? Nope. It is a stupid status that is looking for response, I ignore them.

@K – Your post was rude and judgemental, which discredits you immediately. As far as dog parks, I see them as the saying “good fences make good neighbors”. Some people don’t like dogs, therefor don’t want dogs in a park with them or their kids. That is fair, so we have dedicated parks for dogs and dog owners to keep everyone happy, all while being able to socialize our dogs with other dogs to make them behave better. Why is that crazy? I won’t even touch on the “Americans” or “infertile” statements.

Do I let my dog on my leather couch? Yep. I want to ENJOY my dog, he loves to cuddle and I love that too. I got a leather couch so that I could easily clean it. Do I let my dog sleep on my bed? Yep. (gasp!) He sleeps at the foot of it and I don’t mind. How does that affect anyone other than my boyfriend and I? Do I understand why anyone wouldn’t love a dog? No, but I completely respect it, as I expect that respect back.

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Alexis August 17, 2011 at 9:25 am

Wow. I’m amazed that a person with such a lousy attitude has any friends at all, even on Facebook, much less guests or visitors.

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Enna August 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

@ Ari – that was bad the way your step-dad behaved.

Personally I am an animal lover – but if someone I know is scared of animals then I will put myself inbetween the person and the animal. For example a lady I know is scared of dogs and when a collegeue of hers brought a dog along (this was in a charity office) my firend said she had wished the collegue had for warned her. When my firend said she was scared of dogs I immidatly played with the dog and did my best to keep it way from my firend. The colleuge looked hurt when my firend said she didn’t want the dog near her but then if she had asked first then my firend would have been able to explain the situation to her.

I can see both sides, it’s one thing to have a phobia or an allergy it’s another thing to be melodramatic. However some pet owners need to be better pet owners and control their animals. I think there is nothing wrong with an animal being on the kitchen floor but it is wrong for an animal to be on surfaces where food is prepared. Although pinic tables are a bit different as they are outside and all kinds of wild animals can jump and poop on them.

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Xtina August 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

@ Ari: that’s the position I’m in with my in-laws; they dislike animals, and no matter what I do, they claim that they can “smell them all over the house” and act as though a stray cat or dog hair is going to poison them (if their noses are that sensitive, they need to be put to use sniffing bombs in war zones; even people who are allergic to cats come to my house and don’t realize we have them). So I can understand where posts such as that the OP is writing about comes from, and it’s likely an (over)-reaction to someone who has had an experience with pet haters such as what you describe.

However, I also dislike that status post—I have had pets all my life and have never thought of them as people. They are our pets and we love them, but they are animals. They are trained and don’t bother people and don’t jump on the counters, on guests, beg, etc., and I totally understand that someone may be allergic, not like animals, etc.—and I certainly will not force my pet on you if you are one of those people. BUT, my home is clean (such that most people tell me they never even knew we had animals until I told them), my animal and its fur will be kept away from you, and other than the occasional sighting of the odd roaming cat, there is no reason whatsoever you should come into my home, knowing I have animals, and complain about them. THAT is where I take issue. Otherwise, I totally agree that guests in my home shouldn’t and don’t take a backseat to my pets.

@K–ditto other comments that the last part of your post was harsh and uncalled for.

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Lucy August 17, 2011 at 10:05 am

This goes both ways.

I have a dog. She is friendly, calm, nonthreatening in appearance, not a barker by nature, does not drool or “piddle”, and I do not allow her to jump on guests or pester them for attention and food. I vacuum, sweep, and dust before guests arrive, and keep the guest room closed to make sure as much dog hair as possible stays out of it, even though it’s upstairs at the far end of the house, where the dog never goes. I often have her professionally bathed and brushed beforehand, too, to reduce shedding as much as possible. She has her own beds and doesn’t get up on the furniture. My house does not smell; I don’t want to live with pet odor, either! I love animals–I’ve owned them all my life and used to work for a veterinarian–but I cannot stand people who don’t raise their “children”, human or animal, with any manners or discipline.

On the other hand: She’s long-haired and she sheds a lot, no matter how much she is brushed, so don’t wear your best black wool pants. She’s elderly, arthritic, used to living in the house, and we live in a hot climate: I will not banish her to the backyard for the duration of your visit. If you are so afraid of, or so dislike, dogs that you expect her to disappear while you’re here, you don’t belong at my house. I will be happy to meet your for lunch at another location.

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Serenity S. August 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Admin: “Fluffy the Special Snowflake Dog” is hilarious!!

K: Your comment about infertile people and mental illness was inappropriate. This site is for learning about being polite, not for attacking people.

I think that the FB post may have been meant as a joke. Or perhaps started by someone who had well behaved pets that a visitor complained about just to be snarky. I love animals, but I do dislike it if animals are poorly trained. I don’t care to be jumped up on and clawed by a large dog while their owner doesn’t stop them, for example. Of course that is the pet owner’s fault, not the pets fault.

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