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vaknitter 06-30-2013 03:20 PM

Honest or Impolite?
I have a cousin who wants to come visit with her toddler and dog. Last time they came they were sick and got my two boys sick. I said big dog needs to stay downstairs (finished guest suite) or outside (acre fenced yard). Within minutes the dog was in the main part of the house and my boys were screaming as the dog licked them and knocked over the younger one. Her toddler dripped milk all over my house and almost ruined my portable crib. She is hinting she would like to come again. Am I better off being honest and saying you can come as long as....or should I just not acknowledge the hints?

Jan in CA 06-30-2013 03:31 PM

Tough situation, but if you can do it I'd go with honesty if you don't mind them coming. She may consider it impolite and not come anyway, but seriously it IS your house.

GrumpyGramma 06-30-2013 03:42 PM

I vote with Jan.

I hate family situations like this. To me it begs the question, why do so many people with dogs, big or otherwise, think everybody should love having them around? Add to that, why are someone else's little darlings and their bad habits supposed to have free run in someone else's space? Your cousin could get someone to take care of the bothersome critter while they're gone. I can't have animals in my apt. so that's an easy one for me. My kids weren't allowed to have things like food and drinks all over the house and so I wouldn't allow a guest's child to carry milk or other drinks around either. Well, maybe water. My guess is that I'd tell my cousin how it is, when they arrived I'd enforce the rules I'd set, and my cousin would soon go home and probably wouldn't want to come back very soon. I often had the opposite problem: At home my kids were expected to keep food and drinks in the kitchen or other appropriate spot and when we were away from home others would encourage them in what I considered bad habits. Good luck keeping your home your home while not alienating family. I hope it's possible for you all to have a good visit and nobody get offended, upset, or mad.

shadowfox118 06-30-2013 04:13 PM

i think you should tell them they should not come over with their dog, personally, we have 2 dogs, a medium size one, and a large one, we never take them around because we don't wanna infringe on the kindness of our family members, and we expect the same,

GrumpyGramma 06-30-2013 07:22 PM


Originally Posted by shadowfox118 (Post 1380315)
i think you should tell them they should not come over with their dog, personally, we have 2 dogs, a medium size one, and a large one, we never take them around because we don't wanna infringe on the kindness of our family members, and we expect the same,

You all have common sense and show common courtesy. A lot people don't seem to have a clue what either of those are. :thumbsup:

Antares 06-30-2013 07:44 PM

I'm all for honesty and for enforcing boundaries--especially in your own home! First of all, I would tell these people BEFORE they're invited and BEFORE they get there what the house rules are (no dogs allowed on my property--meaning, she has to leave it at home, only eat here, only drink here, etc., etc.) Then I'd politely tell her what happened last time and that it was not enjoyable for you and your family. Once you've made the what and the why clear, then and only then can you leave it up to her whether she wants to play by your rules or stay home!

I'm a big believer in boundaries, and I don't see any reason why you should be run over and taken advantage of in your own home! That's a bunch of BS--and the fact that's it's family doesn't matter one bit!! After all, every hotel, amusement park, and restaurant has ground rules for their establishment, so why should your house be any different?

DogCatMom 06-30-2013 08:21 PM

I have large dogs (Bernese Mountain Dogs) but no children. (I did, however, teach middle-schoolers....) Your cousin is doing her child and dog no favors by not training them in positive behavior.

Regardless of your decision on the upcoming visit, it would be a kindness to inquire whether she's aware of "positive reinforcement training" for dogs and, if so, whether she's used it (or can get help) to accustom the dog to either a large crate or an ex-pen--short for "exercise pen," a specific kind of portable enclosure to keep dogs in one place.

Info on positive reinforcement training is all over the Net and in books/magazines, etc.--just don't go anywhere near Cesar Millan, the Dog Abuser. Here are some places to start:

--Whole Dog Journal
--Peaceable Paws

And, in case some of the dog's behavior is due to anxiety in new places or around unknown people,

--Fearful Dogs

Baby gates may help enforce the boundaries of the house for the child; perhaps letting his mother, your cousin, know that you'll use baby gates to divide the house into "food" and "non-food" zones may help clarify the rules both for her and her child.

I've used baby gates for my dogs, even though they're designed for use with young children. When a new rescue comes to live with us, the baby gates give my cats a safe haven, a room or two where no dog can get close to them. (Berners aren't known as cat-killers or even -chasers, but feline peace of mind is priceless.)

Hope it all works out!

GrumpyGramma 06-30-2013 08:57 PM

My daughter's dogs are not allowed upstairs, to be sure they use a baby gate. It works really well!

Woodi 07-03-2013 07:53 AM

no dogs here, but we do have two cats. My son and his wife are coming to visit; my son is allergic to cats. We booked our cats into a Cat's Meow Lodging place for the duration of their visit.

My opinion: family members, especially, people, come before pets. Too many people these days are forgetting rules of common courtesy. I think it's up to us 'elders' to remind them, however uncomfortable that may be. They may bristle, but it will likely be only temporary.

vaknitter 07-03-2013 10:01 PM

Thank you for all the input. The situation was avoided b/c my MIL decided she was going to come, then she got sick and the hubby asked her to stay home. Now I get a quiet day with the hubby and my boys and a 4th of July parade - yeah :woohoo:

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