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Unwilling dog sitter

We went out to the MILs the other day and she said something about us watching her dog for a week. Apparently my husband had told her that we would watch the dog for a week next month while they go to Atlanta without discussing it with me first, which wouldn't be a big deal except that he doesn't help with anything around the house at all. They're dog is an 8 month old husky mix who tends to have accidents when she gets too excited. She sheds like a fiend and is unable to control herself even when reprimanded. There are also going to be rules:

Rule #1- She MUST be allowed to sleep in our bed. (this is definately NOT going to happen. It's gross. I can't have dog hair in my bed.)

Rule #2- She can only be in the kennel when we are not there. Even at night. (because she is supposed to sleep in our bed.)

Rule #3- She has to have people food mixed in with the dog food, otherwise she won't eat. (also not going to happen, she will eat when she gets hungry).

Rule #4- We have to go home on lunch to take her out. (very inconvenient.)

Is there any way to get out of this gracefully?

Re: Unwilling dog sitter

  • Tell your husband that he will be doing all of those things.  I would flat out refuse, especially on the bed matter.  If you can't get out of it, though, make him handle everything. 
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  • Since your DH already agreed here are some helpful tips to get through it:

    1. The dog can sleep in the kennel, it won't kill her. Just don't tell MIL.

    2. Brush the dog daily or EOD. This cuts down on shedding A LOT. 

    3. Follow the diet that was instructed by the owner. Although it won't kill the dog, you may experience digestive issues if the diet is changed suddenly. And trust me, mixing in food is a lot easier than cleaning up dog puke or diarrhea. 

    Also, if the dog gets excited and pees, use the no talk, no touch, no eye contact rule. This will prevent a lot of accidents. :)

  • You H agreed to it without talking it over with you so he can take care of the dog on his own. And make it clear that in the future decisions like that are made by you together.
  • Check into a hotel that week and let your husband deal with it.
    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • Instead of you checking into a hotel, take the dog to a good pet boarding facility and explain to MIL you weren't able to keep her puppy. Especially not in your bed--aren't you allergic?? Wink 
  • The only dog allowed in my home is my own.  I don't pet sit and I don't entertain non-human visitors, no matter how much my family members love them.  And DH and I do not invite overnight guests of any kind unless we discuss it with each other first.

    I would have DH call his mom and tell her that he's sorry but the two of you will not be able to watch her dog after all.  Especially given her long list of "rules", she should realize that what she has asked is actually asking quite a bit from you and it's not unreasonable for such an arrangement to simply not work with your own plans and schedules for that week.  Her trip is still a month away - this gives her plenty of time to find alternate accommodations for Fido.

  • I don't know, i would happily watch my parents dog if they needed me to, I have in fact...I would ask them to watch my dog (if I had one) when I needed them to, it's kind of what families do for one another.  I think you can compromise with the rules and flex your life a little bit...

    I wouldn't let the dog sleep in my bed either, but if you have them in a kennel for 9 hours while you are at work, and 9 hour while you sleep...that's a lot of time to keep a dog in a kennel...you can make the dog a sleeping area and have them sleep there.

    The food...feed the dog his food, but don't make anything special...tell your mother in law to make up "food packets" in advance...it ziplock bags...you can just store it in a big bag in like the crisper...just feed the dog what she gives you

    do what you can between you and your H to give the dog a walk...if you live close enough to let the dog out at lunchtime...then one of you should, it's just a week out of your life.

  • Your DH can watch the dog at his parents house.

    You can stay there too if you want.  Or not.   

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  • "No" is pretty graceful.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Tell your H that he should stay at your ILS while he watches their dog.  You don't want their dog in your house.

    I have a feeling if the dog comes to your home, even if you SAY H is responsible, you will be the one feeding, walking, cleaning up after the dog.  Make it easier on yourself and have hubby stay at mommy and daddy's.  Enjoy the week without DH. 

  • You know, other than #1, these rules really don't sound that unreasonable to me.

    Regarding #3, what kind of "people food"? Is she asking you to mix in some meat, eggs or vegetables with the dog food? Or does she expect you to feed the dog table scraps of whatever you're eating? I mean, I wouldn't want to feed my dog table scraps either, but like PP said if you screw with the dog's regular diet just because you don't agree with it then you could run into digestive issues. Just ask MIL to prepare the dog's food ahead of time for you, and feed the dog that.

     

    If you really don't want to do it, your husband should say to her, "Mom, we've talked it over and we've realized that we just don't have the time and resources to take care of the dog like she deserves to be taken care of. We won't be home often and we don't want to leave her all alone. We've gathered some information about local kennels and dog-sitters, if you'd feel more comfortable leaving her there, where they'll have more time to play with her and take care of her."

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  • Yeah, just call her back and tell her no.

    I wouldn't let a shedding dog into my HOUSE, much less into my bed. I grew up with a shedding dog. You better believe we were still vacuuming hair out of the carpet and furniture years later.

    I'm sure your MIL can find a doggie hotel to suit her needs. It's not your responsibility to let a messy dog into your home. It's a pet, not a child, and it doens't NEED to be in your house, sleeping in your bed, and p.issing on your floor. Period.

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  • I think you're kind of screwed. If your H goes back to MIL and says "I accepted without talking to DevyLynn, and now we can't take the dog." You = bad guy.

    Instead, you make the rules for the dog in your house and have H communicate them.

     "Mom, we've talked about the dog staying with us and feel that the "rules" you are making aren't reasonable. Here is what we can do for the dog while you're gone. Dog will not be sleeping in our bed. That is non-negotiable. We make the rules as to what is and is not allowed in OUR bed. We are happy to put a bed down in our room if you have one, but beyond that the dog will sleep on the floor as dogs do. Also, we can not stop home at lunch to walk the dog. It isn't a reasonable request with our work schedules. The dog will be crated during the day when we are at work in the hopes of preventing accidents. Finally, we are happy to feed the dog whatever food you provide, but neither DevyLynn nor I will be preparing anything special for the dog or giving him/her our table scraps. So if you give us human food in ziplocs to toss in with the kibble, great - but if not, the dog will be eating kibble all week. I'm sure the dog will eat when he/she gets hungry enough.

    We understand that you give your dog special treatment, but we aren't you and we aren't a fancy pet boarding place. We have our own home - and our own rules in it. We understand if you would rather pay a kennel to comply with your rules rather than have him/her stay with us."

    "Oh - and as you know we don't have a dog - so we expect that Fido will be clean and bathed BEFORE you drop him/her off. My friend told me to request you have Furminator used to reduce the shedding in our home."

  • image Shell24:

    Your DH can watch the dog at his parents house.

    You can stay there too if you want.  Or not.   

     This exactly.  I would be PISSED if my H agreed to do that without talking to me first.... especially if he is already slacking on helping out around the house.

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  • I can give you advice from the perspective of "I've been there".  Our ILs have horribly  mannered dogs that get to sit on whatever furniture they want and are treated like human children.  I understand that they get to make whatever rules they see fit to in their own home - but we won't indulge that in our home.  ILs can't afford boarding for them so whenever they go out of town (less frequently now that they are financially pinched), they expect DH and I to take care of them.  DH does it totally by himself. 

    The rules that they have for their dogs in their home are for THEIR home, not yours.  You can easily say that since you don't have a pet of your own and they have all the gear they need at home, that your DH will come to their house and watch their dog.  I will stop by my IL's when DH is there but I don't stay there overnight.  I tried that once and I had a herd of dogs either sleeping directly on top of me in the bed or curling up on my feet when I moved to the couch to try to get more room.  I was crabby and miserable and said I'd never do it again. 

    Pets are a touchy subject for a lot of people.  There are plenty of folks out there who, like my ILs, treat them like people and there are plenty of folks out there who barely acknowledge that they have an animal at all.  (Right or wrong - I'm not gonna judge)  The expectations that they are giving you are obviously not unreasonable to them and their dog is accustomed to being treated like that.  It really isn't your place to tell them otherwise.  You can choose to not follow their routine, but understand that you may do it at your own expense.  Dogs are habitual creatures and sometimes it is easier to go with the flow than it is to try to re-train - especially since you're not going to be there for long. 

  • image sinnedambition:

    Since your DH already agreed here are some helpful tips to get through it:

    1. The dog can sleep in the kennel, it won't kill her. Just don't tell MIL.

    2. Brush the dog daily or EOD. This cuts down on shedding A LOT. 

    3. Follow the diet that was instructed by the owner. Although it won't kill the dog, you may experience digestive issues if the diet is changed suddenly. And trust me, mixing in food is a lot easier than cleaning up dog puke or diarrhea. 

    Also, if the dog gets excited and pees, use the no talk, no touch, no eye contact rule. This will prevent a lot of accidents. :)

    have you ever had a husky?  It's kind of beyond normal dog shedding.  Daily brushing isn't enough when they're blowing an undercoat which is usualy around this time of year.

    I will add though, except for the food the dog can do everything your way at your house.  Our dog sleeps on our bed.  Even when we're not home.  When she's at my mom's house she doesn't even look at the beds.  She sleeps on the floor.  She knows the rules are different at my mom's and it doesn't phase her - or hurt her. 

  • Yikes, I would be pretty upset if H agreed without speaking to me first. We're dog people, everyone in our families have dogs and are treated like family. They come to our home, the dogs come too. However, there are boundaries. Our dog sleeps in the bed with us. That doesn't mean any other dog can. I would kennel her at night or use some blankets to designate a spot for the dog to lay at night. If she is in the kennel all day and all night, that is too much time in a kennel and is borderline cruel. How old is the dog? If he/she is young, or not use to "holding it" all day, you will need to come home for lunch to let him/her out. If MIL cares about her dog as much as I care about mine, I wouldn't just flop my dog onto someone for a week. Relative or not. Sorry she did this to you. Have H take complete responsibility and clean the dog hair in the process!

  • image DevynLynn:

    We went out to the MILs the other day and she said something about us watching her dog for a week. Apparently my husband had told her that we would watch the dog for a week next month while they go to Atlanta without discussing it with me first, which wouldn't be a big deal except that he doesn't help with anything around the house at all. They're dog is an 8 month old husky mix who tends to have accidents when she gets too excited. She sheds like a fiend and is unable to control herself even when reprimanded. There are also going to be rules:

    Rule #1- She MUST be allowed to sleep in our bed. (this is definately NOT going to happen. It's gross. I can't have dog hair in my bed.)

    Rule #2- She can only be in the kennel when we are not there. Even at night. (because she is supposed to sleep in our bed.)

    Rule #3- She has to have people food mixed in with the dog food, otherwise she won't eat. (also not going to happen, she will eat when she gets hungry).

    Rule #4- We have to go home on lunch to take her out. (very inconvenient.)

    Is there any way to get out of this gracefully?

     

    Rule #1 is not a rule...they do not get to create rules for your home.  Now, if you'd like to dog sit whilst in their own home - you can accommodate by allowing the dog to sleep in the master bed while you take the guest room or couch.

    Rule #2 is common good sense as far as the dog need not to be in a crate if you are home.  The dog should be sleeping in the crate or on a bed...since this isn't the dogs house, she will need to be crated because of the bathroom problem.  Feed back Rule #2 to the ILs that Dog will be free while you are home, but will be crated at bedtime...that your sitting for the dog remains conditional on their getting the dog used to its crate at night between now and the time your sitting for it.  Stress to them how stressful the dog is going to be when it is absent it's owners, absent surroundings that are familiar and comforting, and then thrown into a crate overnight if they don't get it used to it while the dog is on it's own home turf.  (Plus you don't want the constant howling and crying it will do if they don't cooperate with you on this.)

    Rule #3 You absolutely should not mess with the dog's ongoing diet.  That isn't the same as telling you what to do in your own home.  Have your MIL precook whatever it is that she wants you to mix in and send it to you in a zip-lock bag.  It takes no extra effort of any true measure on your part to dump some pre-cooked chicken into the food dish when you feed the animal.

    Rule #4 That is going to be DHs deal - tell him.   

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  • I have the best MIL in the world, so I'm not one really to judge or voice my opinion, but isn't it nice to be able to help out family members sometimes?  I agree your husband should be sharing the work load, if not doing it all because he didn't ask you first, but I think sometimes, stressing about helping people out is more work than just doing the work.
  • image Norway_T:
    I have the best MIL in the world, so I'm not one really to judge or voice my opinion, but isn't it nice to be able to help out family members sometimes?  I agree your husband should be sharing the work load, if not doing it all because he didn't ask you first, but I think sometimes, stressing about helping people out is more work than just doing the work.
    It's not so nice when you're being taken advantage of and treated like a servant in your own home, which the OP's MIL is trying to do.
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