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Made out to be the bad guy!

AdamT's picture

My wife has 4 adult children from her previous marriages/relationships. Those adult children now have children of their own. I was not around these adult children during my wife's and my courtship period, so they don't know that much about me. I, on the other hand, have no parenting experience, as I never had kids. My wife and I married later in our lives, when I was in my 50's and her in her late 40's. 

My wife and I have a large home with 3 adult cats. We've never had our cats around any other animals, so they've never gotten used to being around dogs, etc. My wife's daughter, who lives about 4 hours away, wants to come and visit my wife and some of the other family members who live in our area, which is just fine. She has a 10 y/o daughter and a 13 year old son, who will come with her. In the past, this daughter and her children, both the boy and girl, have stayed at our house, which has been great, since we have plenty of room. Lately, the 10 y/o daughter got an "emotional support" dog (a mixed/pit bull breed), and wants to bring this dog to our house and have it inside, with our cats. We tried this arrangement once before, and had to lock our 3 cats in our bedroom, with their litter box, food bowls and water fountain in our bathroom. When the dog first arrived, it made itself "at home" and ate the cats' food and slobbered in and drank out of the cats' water fountain, making it untenable for our cats to drink out of. The entire visit had our poor cats on edge and constantly hissing and spitting at the dog, who was trying to "play" with them. They, of course, weren't having it!! At the end of that previous visit, my wife and I both agreed that the dog would NOT be welcomed inside our house on subsequent visits, due to the stress it put on our cats and the fact that neither the daughter or granddaughter kept an eye on the dog, or tried to supervise it while it was here. It is NOT obedience trained and is just out of the puppy stage and aggravates the cats, which is a natural thing and to be expected. It just wasn't a good arrangement and was not good for our cats. This is their home, not the dog's, and they should not have to be intimidated or stressed out in it. I wouldn't dream of taking my cats to their house and expect them to accomodate them over their dogs.

My wife's daughter now wants to visit us again and, again, she wants to bring this dog into our house. I drew the line, expecting my wife to back me up on this and let her daughter know that the granddaughter's dog was not welcomed in our house, due to the presence of our cats. The daughter and granddaughter are, of course, more than welcomed here......just NOT the dog. My wife is now telling me that her adult children have discussed this situation and now they all feel that they are not welcomed at our house. That is NOT the situation. It is their dogs/animals that are not welcomed INSIDE our house!! My wife is now acting like I am in the wrong for not agreeing to let these adult children and their children bring their dog(s) into our home and that it is MY fault for making them feel, therefore, unwelcomed at our house. To tell you the truth, I feel like my wife and her children are trying to manipulate the situation and cause me to reverse my decision to not allow their animals into our home. I'm not going to reverse my decision, though, because I feel that my first obligation, under the circumstances I stated above, is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our 3 cats. Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand why and how these adult children feel that it is okay to take for granted that their animals should be welcomed, without invitation or question, inside our home. I just feel that their sense of "entitlement" to my home is just plain rude and inconsiderate. 

Am I wrong for feeling as I do and drawing the line against having these animals in my home?? Does anyone else but me see the reaction of these adult children to my refusal to welcome their animal into my home as an attempted guilt trip on me, or a tool of manipulation of the situation?? Please, I need some feedback here. What are some reasonable ways of handling this situation??

Thank you, in advance!!!!  

Thumper's picture

Hi Adam--welcome to st.

We have animals. You are well within your rights to say no to other pet visitors.  It could stress the kitties out. You don't need that.

Its your home--your rules. IF they have to travel with their dog, they can board in their own town OR offer them a list of "pet spas" in your area. Doesn't mean you pay for the spa..but at least they know what is available in your area.

Goodluck Smile


stepmonsterindahouse's picture

You are not wrong for drawing a line and not allowing the dog in your house. I have a pitbull that was raised with cats and is super gentle and respectful of them, but this is not the case with all dogs and cats, especially a puppy with unattentive owners such as your stepchildren/grandchildren. The stress it puts on your cats is just not fair... it is THEIR home. I would suggest to them that if the dog is trained and respectful it would be a different story and that if they properly train the dog you would be willing to try again. Even then, some cats just hate dogs, period. Being a pet owner means being their voice and their advocate, and it sounds to me like you're doing just that. F*** all the haters. 

AdamT's picture

I just want to thank you all for being so quick to post your inputs here. For my part, I just cannot see how other people can just automatically expect that their animals would be welcomed into another person's (family members or not) home, period!! It does feel like emotional manipulation here and I was really surprised that my wife changed her viewpoint from what we agreed upon the last time her daughter and granddaughter visited with the dog. It sure seems like she has a difficult time telling her adult children "NO". So, now the SD is in town, with the two SGKs (and the dog), but they are staying across town with the SS and his wife and kid. They have a dog, also, so this works out better. Thing is, the wife continues to tell me that her kids (and now my MIL) feel that they are not welcomed at our house. The wife is also making it a point to me that she is having to cook dinner and visit with her children away from our home. I have yet to determine if this means away from me, too!!! I think the whole thing is ridiculous, because the kids and my in-laws have always been welcomed here at our house......just not their dogs. 

JRI's picture

She is pouting.  Lol.

Thumper's picture

Just to add...we would never DREAM of imposing our pets on anyone else.

If they don't 'doggie spa" their pets, they are just cheap.

JMO of course

Rags's picture

I straddle the fence on this one.  On the one hand excluding the therapy dog would appear to exclude the SD and the GSkid.  My dad and I both have severe dog and cat allergies.  My GrandMother and GrandDad always had dogs.   They were clear. The dogs were more important to them than their own son and grandson.  So... we never stayed with my GPs when we visited them.  We stayed in a local hotel.  Which meant we did not visit them for more than a decade until my parents could afford for dad and I to stay in the hotel while my mom and little brother would stay with my GPs (Dad's Parents).  Since their dogs were not welcome in our home because they would make dad and I sick, my GPs almost never visited us.  Actually I can remember two visits by my GPs my entire childhood.

On the other hand, someone bringing pets when they visit your home is extremely presumptuous and their playing like you are excluding them because you are excluding their pets is pathetic and completely ass baring your SD as a dipshit.  And... I would not have someone else's pitbull in my home with my small pets.  I had a pit mix for years. She was a sweet heart and the most loving, accepting unaggressive, affectionate dog possible and would never hurt anyone or any animal.  Though she did like collecting baby bunny rabbits and would bring them home alive quite frequently.  She would sleep next to there incubation boxes and make absolutely sure that we would take care of her bunnies.  Eventually we had a wild bunny troop that set up around our home for years and would visit with Maggie all of the time including bringing their babies to visit with her.  She had her bunny family that she had raised several generations of.

When it comes to pitbulls, they are a very risky breed to have contact with unrelated small children and small animals.  My parent's Bichon (Bichons are hypoallergenic and as long as he is washed a couple of times a week to minimize his status as a dust, pollen and mold mop he does not cause dad or I allergy problems) just had his head eaten by a pitbull that was being walked by a little girl.  My parent's dog was on the back of my dad's truck bed liner and the pit dragged the little girl about 15ft and jumped up and ate my parent's dog's head.  The poor guy was dragged off of the truck, slung around like a rag doll.  He lost an eye and spent a couple of months recovering.  

Ultimately I do agree with your position.  The SD and GSkid should be welcome but the dog needs to stay at home.  Therapy dog or not.  Excluding the dog does not cause an illness for your SD and GSkid unlike my GP's choice to keep dogs and exclude us from their home.  Though they would never say they excluded us.  We were always welcome... if we were willing to risk our health to visit them.


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I own dogs and have owned a pit in the past. My pit was very gentle but like all pits high energy. I would never bring my dogs to someone else's home, I hire a dog sitter when I am gone. It is rude to bring your pets into someone else's home and just as rude to be offended when the homeowner says no. 

If you want to propose a compromise to show you are not evicting them from your home. Allow them to bring the dog but with the limit that it must be crated when inside your home because of the cats. 

Merry's picture

Dog lover here. I spend a small fortune in boarding bills because I don't impose my animals on other people.

But what is the therapy dog for? I think "therapy pet" has become a scam, but some animals do perform functions by alerting to a seizure or other life-savung activities, and if that were the case with the granddaughter I might be willing to inconvenience the cats for a few days. But my feeling is that if the dog isn't trained, it falls more in the "scam" category. Real therapy dogs are pretty highly trained and socialized, to my knowledge.

And your wife is upset that she has to COOK and visit at somebody else's house? Well whose fault is that? When my Mom visited she might offer to cook a meal, but it was never expected. Sounds like your wife is unable to tell her kids "no." That's on her, not you, and she's willing to make you the bad guy because of her own weakness.

AdamT's picture

No, the dog isn't trained to perform any kind of medical purpose. They've called it an "Emotional Support" dog because the SGD has emotional problems having to do with the SD's emotionally abusive ex husband. Apparently, the child's therapist suggested that the SD get her daughter a support animal to offer unconditional love. Personally, I believe that it is absolute bull**** to view the purpose of this dog in the same way that a traditional trained service dog would be looked at. 

Rags's picture


At least this kid is not old enough to breed it's own unconditional love targets.  My DW has two second cousins who are out to breed minions to provide them with the unconditional love that their crack head mother and multiple absentee fathers have failed to provide.

I cringe every time a new gender reveal, birth announcement or baby shower invitation shows up.  The two serial breeding 2nd cousins have a younger sister who I hope and pray refuses to join her two elder sisters in the breeding for unconditional love movement.

AdamT's picture

Thank you all, again for all of the overwhelming support and input you good folks have given here. I'm feeling a lot more less "evil" as a stepgrandpa than I did before!! An update to the situation is as follows:

The SD and her daughter and son had elected to stay, with their dog, at the home of my SS and his wife and 2 y/o boy. They also have a dog, so we thought this was all worked out. Well, last night, the SGS and SGD asked to stay here at my wife's and my home......without their dog. The SD and dog stayed at the home of the SS and SDIL. So, now we've ascertained that the SGD, after all, does not require the constant presence of her "emotional support" pit bull/mix dog. When the wife talked to the SD this morning, she was told that last night was a hellacious free-for-all, due to the fact that the 2 y/o child refused to sleep and demanded middle of the night McDonald's food to stop screaming. When SDIL tried to placate said child, said child told her to "Shut Up". He (the 2 y/o) was also rude and sassy to his mother, also, telling her to "Hush". Suffice to say, no one got any sleep at the SS's house last night. Btw, SS is an over the road trucker and is not home right now. SD now says she "cannot spend another night" at the SDIL's and "doesn't know what" she's going to do. I can tell you what she is NOT going to do.....bring that dog here. Personally, I think providence has dealt a rather definitive lesson to SD and SGD that they should probably either board their dog when they travel or just stay home. 

I'm truly sorry for their troubles, but I didn't cause their problem, and I can't solve it for them, either. Once again, thanks for your support!!!! 


DPW's picture

The steps are acting like they do not have choices about the dog. You can board it, you can leave it at home and hire a dogsitter/walker, you can rent a hotel room and keep the dog there while visiting your home, you can not go and stay home with the dog.

I have had a similar experience in that my dogs were not welcomed to a distant relatives house for Christmas one year. I chose to stay home with my dogs as they are my family moreso than this distant relative. All good. Dog owners, or at least responsible ones, know that their dogs are not always welcomed and should have back up plans.