Author Topic: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)  (Read 6812 times)

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MeowMixer

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Edited to add- Link to (poor quality mobile phone) pictures post 14

B/G-Lived with DH 7 years, we’ve had ‘Stinky’ for almost as long as we’ve been together. My in-laws have seen this dog a couple of times. For the first 6 years living together we were in my parents basement apartment, not ideal for entertaining, so they met her once when she was about 8 months old, and again this past summer after moving into our first house and inviting them over for dinner. Both times Stinky has barked at them when they’ve come to the door. Doorbell goes, she barks. I believe this is why they don’t like her. Once guests come in and everything is settled down she’s fine and runs around doing other things. I have figured out in the last few years that if I meet my guests down the driveway and walk in with them while I have her with me she assumes they’ve been with us forever and doesn’t get as excited about them when we come in the house. Unfortunately they showed up earlier than I was expecting them so I didn't have a chance to be out there already waiting.

Also, Stinky does not go where she hasn’t been invited. End B/G

So this July we got Stinky a baby brother. Baby in age alone, currently at 6 months he outweighs her by almost 40 pounds.  A week after we brought him home we’re invited over for dinner at his parents where they ask that we bring New Pup over. Okay. FIL wants him to know his scent before he gets big because he thinks otherwise when the dog is full grown he'll be attacked. We’re invited over a couple of weeks later, again asked to bring the puppy because a niece was going to be there and she loves puppies… okay. We only stay for a short while because we were headed elsewhere, but a few minutes before we left a neighbor friend of theirs arrived with their dog (most of their friends have dogs that are specifically invited) who proceeds to bark and growl at our dog because he doesn’t get along with other dogs.   MIL scolds neighbor-dog saying ‘none of that! This is puppy’s home too now so you’ll have to be nice and share!’ That really rubbed me the wrong way. They’ve made jokes about having to make sure all the ornaments for the Christmas tree need to be at least three feet up so that he won’t knock them down. I’m not bringing him over for Christmas. I told my hubby I don’t want to be chasing him around with so much going on -100 pounds and the coordination that comes with a 6 month old puppy is a formidable combination alone- but add to the mix a 3 year old niece, toys, foods and chocolate there is too much that could go wrong. Hubby backs me up on that so it’s not issue.

My issue is (if you’ve come this far, congratulations you’ve stuck through my rambling) I don’t want to bring him over anymore, period.

I’m not sure if my reasoning is irrational but they’ve never, ever invited Stinky over. I figured it was because she’s a bigger dog, 65-70lb lab-X where as their friend’s dogs are smaller, I thought it was a size issue. With our new guy though that blows the theory out of the water because he’s already way larger, and will double in size.
The only reference they had ever made to Stinky when we’d come over would be ‘do you still have the dog?’, but with new puppy any communication includes questions about how he’s doing, when will we be bringing him over and if Stinky is treating him well. Every time it’s brought up I have to bite my tongue from defending my Stinky. There has never been any indication or action to suggest that she’s an aggressive dog, she’s never attacked/bitten/growled at anyone or any dog. She’s a squirrel chaser, and she barks when the doorbell rings, but she’s a good dog.  She’s never existed to them but oh! new puppy! He’s part of the family now! This. Irritates me to no end.

Am I being irrational? I know if this was a situation involving children it would be absolutely unacceptable, but this is a dog we’re talking about. Are my defensive feelings about my dog justified, or since she obviously will never know these people don’t acknowledge her existence in my family is it just the crazy talking? I haven’t brought these feelings up to my hubby because frankly I don’t know if I’m just being crazy. That’s why I’ve come here first. Do I have a leg to stand on when I say I don’t want to bring pup over, ever?

Thank you oh wise e-hellions in advance.   
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 05:02:08 PM by MeowMixer »

Surianne

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 01:06:47 PM »
This would really bother me too.  Even though I know Stinky can't get her feelings hurt or understand what's going on, it still made me feel horrible on her behalf.  However, I think explaining it to the in-laws wouldn't accomplish anything.  I'd just go with bringing neither Stinky nor the puppy when visiting the in-laws.  Just say "No, we're leaving the dogs at home" (or with a sitter, or whatever) and refuse any further explanation.

Both Stinky and the puppy sound like wonderful dogs.  I'd love to see pics if you have them  :D


onyonryngs

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 01:07:48 PM »
I don't think you're being crazy at all.  You can just use the "It's such a hassle to bring him" and leave it at that. 

rose red

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 01:14:30 PM »
Why don't you ask them why they love the new puppy and wants nothing to do with Stinky?  Maybe there's something silly or serious they never talked about, and if you ask and they feel comfortable telling, the problem can get solved (or at least you'll know what's going on).

Minmom3

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 01:14:41 PM »
How about "The dogs don't need to go visiting" ??
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

wheeitsme

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 01:15:56 PM »
My feeling is that you don't get to exclude (even by omission) when you invite a "family" over when there is not an issue of toxicity/bad behavior.  I think it was okay when it was "just the humans", but now it's turning out to be "everybody but Stinky", and that's not cool. 

johelenc1

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 01:23:48 PM »
I think you are asking a lot to want people to get excited about your pets.  It's a dog, not a child, and they don't have to like him.  As long as they are trying to hurt the dog when they are over, I don't think it matters at all how they feel about either dog.  But, if they do prefer Puppy over Stinky....I honestly don't understand why it matters.  Dogs have different personalities.  My dad has two dogs and I prefer one over the other.  If I decide to let one in my lap, it doesn't mean I have to let the other one up too. 

As for taking the puppy over for Christmas - I think it's a terrible idea - for all the reasons you mentioned.  You don't have to take Puppy anywhere you don't want to.  Just tell the parents you aren't bringing him and that's that.

You can decide whether Puppy goes over to play or not.  But, you can't decide that anyone has to like both of your dogs.  I can't imagine getting seriously offended because someone liked one of my cats but not the other.  I do think you are being just a little crazy:-)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 01:25:03 PM »
'Oh, no.  If we were to bring a dog to your place at Christmas, it would be Stinky.  She's much better with children and a lot less likely to get into trouble than Baby.  So we'll bring Stinky, instead, OK?'

And watch/listen to them sputter.   >:D

OK, maybe not.  But it's nice to think about.

OP, I don't think you are being irrational at all.  If your in-laws invite you over, with Baby but sans Stinky, 'Oh no, Baby and Stinky have bonded so well, we don't like to separate them.  We'll just leave them at home, together.'
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

WillyNilly

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 01:31:59 PM »
Your feelings are your feelings, so you are fine & justified to be hurt.

But I think this is a case of two classic issues.

1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Stinky barked and greeted them negatively the two times they him. They don't see him as a friendly, wants-to make-nice-with them animal.

2. I'm guessing here, but there might be some issue with you having lived in your parents home. Stinky barked at them like they were intruders, but probably viewed your parents as family. Classic jealousy.

I think its perfectly reasonable however to not bring either dog over to visit, especially at a busy time like Christmas! And also they sound like very large animals - probably not super easy to just casually take them places.

Edited: to fix major typos
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 02:30:45 PM by WillyNilly »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 02:10:07 PM »
I don't think you are being unreasonable.  And I am a "dogs/cats are pets not kids" type of person. 

But this seems similar to a grandfather who only wants to give attention to the grandson or the aunt who only has time for babies and the older kids are ignored. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 02:19:25 PM »
I might be a tad hurt too if I were in your situation, but I think the best solution is simply not to bring either dog over to their house. If they ask why, you can simply say it's a lot of work, and you'd like to be able to relax and enjoy spending time with them, rather than trying to keep an eye on the dog at all times. You don't owe them any explanation, and as they're YOUR dogs, you are the only ones who get to choose when and where they visit.

Salvage3

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 02:34:05 PM »
I totally agree with Siamesecat.  And, a small disclaimer, all of my family brought their pets to family events at my parents' and others houses.  I'm not sure how it worked; but it did, and they were of all kinds and sizes.

I think a simple statement of not bringing any dogs because of the extra work and hassle, both in getting them there and in watching them, is the way to do it tactfully.

MeowMixer

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 02:35:14 PM »
Thank you for the responses.

(I will try to figure out how to post pics from facebook. I have tried it before, it hasn't worked)

Surriane - I wasn't going to bring this up to the inlaws, this is something I wanted to discuss with hubby, but I wanted to check myself first to make sure this wasn't completely crazy to feel this way, as johelenc1 said they are just dogs. Which btw I'm not asking that they love both dogs. Hubby and I love them both, my parents love them both. I just don't like the blatant favourtism. This worries me a bit since there's blatant favourtism towards my hubby's younger brother too, in addition to this I worry about when we have children if this is going to become an issue.

To address WillyNilly's first point - no, you're right, barking puts people off. Once they came in and sat down there wasn't another peep out of her. But there are no second chances with them, you're right. Hubby's old dog with his ex was food possessive. FIL will still bring up how she would guard rawhide treats given to her if you looked at her. never growled or snapped, but she would stop and stare. Other than that by all accounts a lovely dog, but I think you might be correct, once a dog has done something less than perfect they're marked. Since Puppy has just discovered his voice this whole issue may blow over before the spring. He has a booming bark, shakes the walls.

Please understand that I'm not asking they that they like all my pets. Some people like dogs, some people don't. Some people like certain dogs, not others. I just wanted to know if feeling badly about my snubbed dog is crazy. I just want hubby and I to present a united front. This was a sounding board exercise to feel around the best aproach.
I get it, a dog will never be a person, but if we never have children it will be the closest I have to them. And while they are only dogs I do love them.

Outdoor Girl - I like the responses... both of them! but I think I'm sticking with the second to say out loud lol :D

Eden

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 02:59:07 PM »
I might address this from a standpoint of logistics. IF you're going to bring Baby over, make clear you're bringing Stinky too. "Oh that sounds great. We'll be there with the dogs at 7." Just assume she's invited. If they specifically say Stinky's not invited, say that if you bring one dog, you bring both, so if they're not okay with Stinky, you'll just leave the dogs at home.

MeowMixer

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Re: Am I being irrational? Re: in-laws and our dogs (novel length, sorry!)
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 03:04:48 PM »
If this doesn't work, I don't know what else to do... this is embarrassing, I'm part of the computer generation....! .... you'd think I'd have some idea how to post a simple picture... Hubby can build a computer by himself, I get outsmarted by the coffee maker... Now, below your albums on f/b it says 'share this with your friends and family'. Now if that means only those with a facebook account, or those on your actual friends list, I have no idea.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151449241030268.832406.598670267&type=1&l=bd7893cf69