This actually happened three or so years ago, and it still bothers me when I think about it. What do you guys think?
B/G: Our Boxer, Daisy, got a mild case of kennel cough at the dog park, and was on medication for it. She had been taking it for four days, had been kept inside the whole time, and was going a bit stir-crazy. One of my uncles (not the one I've been posting about here, but one on my dad's side of the family) lives upstate with my aunt, and my parents moved into Aunt and Uncle's old house next-door to my grandfather years ago. (Aunt and Uncle pulled a fast one on my dad with the house, not telling him or my mom about the multitude of repairs that it needed, and even though it was sold "As-is" they took the good ceiling fans upstate with them and replaced them with crappy ones that wobbled and creaked as they spun. My parents were later told that they paid too much for the house, but my dad said to just let it go. This has no bearing on the story at all, but it was the first "weird" thing that they did, and even though my mother has never confronted them about it, she's never forgiven them for it either. I mention this because it might be one reason why we react the way we do to some of the things they say or do.) Uncle and Aunt had an old dog at the time. End B/G.
Four days into Daisy's medication, she was doing much better and was getting into things. My grandfather was having a family gathering that summer. Nothing huge, just a barbecue with hotdogs and burgers. We thought it would be nice for Daisy to get out for a couple minutes and see what the commotion next-door was, so we took her out on her leash and harness and walked her over. (I know, I know...The dog had kennel cough, she was sick, but the she was no longer acting
sick. Quite the opposite, she was bouncing off the walls, and we could hear her barking inside. We live near woods, so no neighbors were disturbed by the noise, but I didn't think all that barking was good for her throat while she was sick. Our thinking was that she would quiet down when she had satisfied her curiosity, and we had no intention of keeping her outside for more than a few minutes.)
We were two thirds of the way across the lawn when we realized that my uncle's dog, which had been inside my grandfather's house (we thought they had boarded him before driving down), was out in the yard on a chain where he could sit for the party and be in the thick of the action, lucky him.
Before we could say anything or begin to bring Daisy back, my aunt said something I couldn't hear, and my uncle pointed at us and shook his head. "You'll have to take her back. We don't want her around Duke, she has kennel cough."
Fair enough. A valid complaint. Just one problem...Daisy lives
here. They didn't want to board their dog when they came down because he was old, but they didn't want to leave him inside the house either because "hearing the party outside was stressful for him". Uh...yeah? Exactly my point. My dad took their side (I think he just doesn't want to make waves, being the middle son), my mother was annoyed, but I quietly fumed and didn't say a word to either Aunt or Uncle while they were there. This wasn't hard to accomplish, because the informal gathering was big, and I simply made myself busy where they weren't sitting/standing. Meanwhile, Daisy barked herself hoarse in the house and was exhausted for two days afterwards even with my brother and I making frequent trips to the house to calm her.
Now, they had a point that time. Fast-forward two years, and there is another family barbecue. Daisy, who did not
have kennel cough this time around (or any other kind of disease), was again brought out of the house on her leash and harness. She's much calmer than she was that first year, so she was very well-behaved. Uncle and Aunt had their dog with them again, and once again they told us that they didn't want her over there, this time because her presence was "upsetting Duke". This time we stood our ground, and Daisy stayed. Well, my mom and I stood our ground, but my dad had made it clear beforehand that he was staying out of it, and that if my mother had a gripe she could speak up. Which she did, nicely, and while Aunt and Uncle didn't look amused they couldn't come up with a good argument, and let it be. Duke, far from being upset, seemed very smitten by Daisy, who eventually became rather annoyed with him and "led" us to the other end of the yard.
Aunt and Uncle loosened up a bit when they saw that the two dogs got along, and "Grandpa Duke" wasn't going to expire with fright (both are/were big dogs, but he was about 13 at the time and Daisy was about 3).
Their "poor old dog" wasn't bothered by her presence in the least, and he only just passed away this November (which we were sorry to hear).
Some might argue that we were inconsiderate for not accommodating family here, but I disagree. I think that they
are the inconsiderate ones (and snowflakey, to boot) for trying to oust our dog from her own yard and my grandfather's yard just because they used to live here. Kennel cough notwithstanding, because the second time they tried this stunt Daisy was fit as a fiddle.
So...my etiquette question is this. Should visiting family board their pets/find other accommodations for them, or do they have the right to say, "Put your dog away so that our dog, who does not live here, can be with his family."? And even with my dad backing them up to keep the peace, is there something that I or my mother can say to make it clear that what they are doing is wrong? If it actually is
wrong. I'm not sure if I'm right, or if no one
is right or wrong, and it's just a difference of opinion...
In time, they'll probably get a new puppy; they've always had a dog. I worry that they might find some reason why they can't board him/her, and why Daisy should stay away, and I was wondering if it would be acceptable to just look bewildered and say, "Daisy lives
Just for the record, Daisy destroys when she's agitated, so this would mean hours in her crate.