Author Topic: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home - Update #14, 40  (Read 7932 times)

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lorelai

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This happened a couple of months ago, and I'm curious how you all would have handled it.

<BG>I am allergic to both cats and dogs, so when DH and I moved in together, the month of me + him + cat was pure hell for me. He wanted her to be an outdoor cat eventually, but he's always lived in small apartments in downtown cities, so no place for a cat to wander around. When we moved in to a place in the hills, we decided to let her roam around during daytime and then put her in at night to sleep, in our detached garage. (The garage btw is really nice, carpeted, with a bathroom, not that she uses it :) and some furniture and hidey holes. Essentially, a cat's heaven, except there are no people in it, although he spends time with her every day.

Our kittie is terrified of most people, and of all other animals, so we decided to make our home pet-free and to tell people with pets in advance that pets aren't allowed, when we invite them over for bbqs or whatever. We blame it on kittie as even if we don't let her out for the day, she'll smell their scent in her territory and she doesn't like that at all. And also, I'm terrified of dogs.</BG>

We had friends (Mike, Eleni, and their 2 year old son Ike) from another country a couple months ago, and they stayed with us for two weeks. They were moving to our area from a country in Africa, and transitioning here to find a semi-permanent place to live. We actually stayed with them last year while visiting their country. They had an open invitation with us, and we were happy to host.

They are very animal friendly, and I am both allergic to and scared of dogs. One night we encouraged them to go out to a concert after they put Ike to bed, and we stayed back "babysitting" which meant checking up on him and watching him change sleep positions. It was basically their first date in 2 years, so we really wanted them to enjoy it. Couple things happened that night. First, they got back pretty late, and it was 1AM on a weeknight (and we didn't want to go to sleep just in case Ike woke up), and second, they brought back a stray dog with them!

DH went out to talk with them and was basically like, dude, no dogs or any pets allowed because of Lorelai's allergy plus this is Kittie's territory! But it was so late in the night to do anything about it. It just seemed like there were no good options for us. The dog was found 2 blocks from our house. They didn't want to let the dog free in case some harm came to it (we didn't like that either), but we also didn't want it in our yard. It was too late to call any neighbors about it. And DH didn't want to call animal control in case they put the dog down.

Houseguests were really apologetic for crossing the line, but in their eyes I could tell that they had a lot of empathy for the dog and that if they saw a stray dog of course they would stop to pick it up, and it never even occurred to them that it would upset us. Whereas if I see a stray dog sometimes I might think about calling animal control or calling a neighbor, but I would never stop to pick a dog up. Because Mike & Eleni don't own a dog, we never told them about our rule in advance, so I don't blame them for their actions. And in every other way they were wonderful houseguests.

I started to think maybe I was rude for even being the way I am, and that maybe I could cultivate a little more empathy for the dog. When I see cars stalled on the highway I don't stop - because I'm suspicious and feel that I need to protect myself from crazy people. This is a bit of a stretch, but the whole thing made me wonder. Is it rude not to extend kindness to others when it inconveniences you or puts you out, when the other (in this case the dog) truly needs help? I wonder what you all might have done in this situation.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 03:53:29 AM by lorelai »

Harriet Jones

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 05:40:44 PM »
Even if you weren't allergic/afraid, it seems strange to bring a random dog back to someone else's house.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 05:42:09 PM »
Even if you weren't allergic/afraid, it seems strange to bring a random dog back to someone else's house.
Seriously.
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Roe

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 05:50:06 PM »
This might just boil down to a cultural issue but IMO, they were extremely (to put it nicely) rude, rude, rude! 

I'm not surprised you guys said 'no' to the dog staying.  I wouldn't either and I'm not allergic at all.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 06:13:55 PM »
You're nicer than me, I would not have let it stay. The most I would have said is "The dog may stay tonight, but no longer. Tomorrow he is going."

This is your home, you have the right to say no. And that's not rude.

Surianne

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 06:35:47 PM »
It sounds like your houseguests didn't know about your no dogs policy, or that you were afraid of dogs?  In that case I don't think they were unreasonable -- I would have picked up the lost dog too, and asked if we could put him in the backyard for the night if you weren't comfortable with him in the house.  He could get hurt or further lost overnight, so I can see why they did that.

That said, if you really can't have a dog in your backyard, I think it's also fine to enforce that.  If something like that ever happens again, Animal Control will usually take your name and contact info so that if they do decide to put the dog down, they'll call you (ie your friends) first and give you the chance to take him back.  I would ask about their policies.  Calling an emergency vet or shelter emergency line would be another tactic to ask for advice.  I think if I weren't allowing the dog in my home, I'd at least try to help them find someplace else for him.

It really is a tough spot for a dog lover to be in, seeing one lost and scared like that. 

EMuir

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 07:35:56 PM »
I would keep it in the garage, or shed.  Or tied in the backyard.  And call animal control.  They don't just kill dogs immediately, and the pound is where most people go looking.

Yvaine

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 01:39:54 AM »
It sounds like your houseguests didn't know about your no dogs policy, or that you were afraid of dogs?  In that case I don't think they were unreasonable -- I would have picked up the lost dog too, and asked if we could put him in the backyard for the night if you weren't comfortable with him in the house.  He could get hurt or further lost overnight, so I can see why they did that.

That said, if you really can't have a dog in your backyard, I think it's also fine to enforce that.  If something like that ever happens again, Animal Control will usually take your name and contact info so that if they do decide to put the dog down, they'll call you (ie your friends) first and give you the chance to take him back.  I would ask about their policies.  Calling an emergency vet or shelter emergency line would be another tactic to ask for advice.  I think if I weren't allowing the dog in my home, I'd at least try to help them find someplace else for him.

It really is a tough spot for a dog lover to be in, seeing one lost and scared like that.

I probably would have picked it up too.  :-[

blarg314

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 03:40:24 AM »
The roommates of a friend of mine did that with a stray puppy. It gave the whole house fleas.

I'd say it's pretty presumptuous to arrive home at 1am, when you're staying as someone's houseguest, unexpectedly toting a stray dog and saying, basically  "It followed me home. Can I keep it?"

At most, I'd let them tie the dog up in in back (or leave it in an enclosed yard) with some water until it's morning and they can call the local animal control or pound. Definitely not in the house - I have no idea if this dog has got fleas, or what its temperament is, or whether it's safe to have in the house.

And animal control does not automatically kill stray animals that come through its door.  They do give the owners a chance to contact them to find the dog, and generally give other people a chance to adopt it, before killing it.

What were they expecting you to do?  Because if you're not taking it to the pound, you could be stuck with the dog for an extended period of time while trying to find the owner, and permanently if you've ruled out animal control or letting it loose.



Pen^2

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 04:22:25 AM »
It sounds like the houseguests may have been aware that there was a no-pets policy, but they chose to ignore it. They felt their own needs and wants were more important. Not cool. They certainly knew about the policy once the OP's husband had explained it to them at the time.

And yes, it is hard to say no to an abandoned animal. But you shouldn't do a good deed at the expense of someone else! That's not how it works. I really feel this comes down to them putting themselves first, no matter how good their intentions may have been.

If you felt you absolutely had to accommodate them, you could tie the dog up outside the house, possibly, or put it in the garage and juggle the cat to somewhere else appropriate for the night (an infrequently-used room maybe). I would be hesitant at having the dog inside the garage, though, because it could have all kinds of diseases or parasites. It might not be toilet trained, or heavens know what else.

Where I lived until recently, animal services don't operate on weekends or outside normal office hours. It's actually how we ended up with our cat: we couldn't call anyone because it was a Friday night, and by the time Monday rolled around, we'd fallen in love. So calling might not always be an option. But it's your house, so your rules are law. "I'm sorry, that won't be possible" would be a good phrase here. "But it's lonely! and stray!" "Yes, and this is a dog-free home. That just won't be possible."

It is absolutely not rude to enforce rules in your own home, even if guests choose to forget them when convenient, and especially when there is a health-related reason (allergies should not be brushed aside). If they want to care for the dog, then it's their responsibility, not yours. It is on their heads to find a vet to check it's health and find a place for it in an animal boarding house until they either find it's original owner or find a property of their own where it can join them. You have a dog-free home. The sudden appearance of a dog does not change that--that's the whole point of the 'dog-free' policy.

Twik

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2013, 10:12:01 AM »
What eventually happened to the dog? Because if they didn't want to turn it in to Animal Control, and they can't find the owner - well, I guess they still have the dog?
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Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2013, 10:24:45 AM »
I'm the house that all stray cats and dogs turn up at.

I think it because Ive always got water bowls filled and sometimes food scraps out for our Magpie birds and crows.

I'll keep them overnight, but first thing in the morning I call Animal Control/ Council. They come, pick up the lost pet, keep it for a week themselves, and if no one turns up. Then they turn them over to a non kill shelter.

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*inviteseller

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 10:39:17 AM »
I am also the person that all strays flock too..if it has a fuzzy face, I feed it!  I have stopped on the side of the road to help animals and picked them up more times than I can count, but I would never take one to another persons house unless I knew in advance that they were like minded.  They may have thought because you have a cat, you would be ok with it.  I don't see this as rude though..more misinformed.  They were doing a wonderful thing by helping the animal but they just did not think of what they were going to do next. 

OP, I know you are allergic and afraid of dogs, but many shelters run programs aimed at helping people become more comfortable around them.  You don't have to go gaga and get one, but it can help ease a fear of something that is around you in everyday life.  You sound like a good person who would help an animal to the best of your abilities so it is a shame to have that (quite understandable) fear.

Miss March

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2013, 11:03:29 AM »
Quote
But it was so late in the night to do anything about it. It just seemed like there were no good options for us. The dog was found 2 blocks from our house. They didn't want to let the dog free in case some harm came to it (we didn't like that either), but we also didn't want it in our yard. It was too late to call any neighbors about it. And DH didn't want to call animal control in case they put the dog down.

So what did you end up doing? The dog couldn't stay in the garage (it was your cat's place), so.... did you tie it up outside for the night? Did it sleep in their car for the night? Did they end up releasing it to find its way home? What happened?
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lorelai

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Re: Houseguests bring uninvited dog to our pet-free home
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2013, 12:36:14 PM »
The dog was aggressive and wouldn't let us get close enough to it to tie it up, so we just left it in our yard with some water. I think DH put out some cat food. :)

That night I posted the dog's photo/description/location where it was found, onto our neighborhood website (maybe 70% of our neighborhood is signed up for this social network for neighbors) and asked if anyone knew who owned the dog. I never did get a response to the post, but in the morning, Mike left for work and didn't see the dog anywhere. Our house is gated, and it ended up following him out of the house and back into the neighborhood. I felt really bad about that, but no one ever did claim him.

Mike is from around here and Eleni is not, so I'm not sure how much cultural differences played into it.

DH felt really strongly that he didn't want to call Animal Control - my impression of them was similar to several of yours, in that I thought they would at least be able to look up the dog's chip or try to contact the owner in some way, before doing anything drastic. His is that they would put him down and he didn't want to contribute to that. But our neighborhood is in the hills, and we have wild animals around here. No pets should be wandering around at night. In the end I don't think we helped the dog much.  :-[