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Husband and his dog

(36 Posts)
defnotnanny Mon 03-Oct-11 13:51:18

Would value some opinions on this one. My daughter is expecting her first baby (IVF and much longed for) at the end of November. She and her husband have asked me to stay with them peri-natally to help out (they live over 200 miles away) and I am thrilled they have asked me. My husband (who is my daughter's stepfather) may come too, subject to work commitments. However my husband has a dog which he expects to bring with him. Normally I fully accept his attachment to his dog. We have been married for 7 years and the dog has been around longer than I have and I know my place! My daughter and my husband get on very well, but the last time we stayed with them, the dog attacked their cat who went missing for over a week. My husband assumes that everyone adores his dog (not the case!), but understandably my daughter is not keen for the dog to come on this occasion and I support her in this. It will be an anxious enough time as it is. My husband would not consider boarding the dog (he would sooner put me in kennels!) and friends who have looked after the dog in the past won't have him now. He is 14 and very `needy' and barks incessantly if my husband isn't around. I would like to keep the peace all round but am at a loss as to how to keep everyone happy. Any suggestions would be very welcome.

absentgrana Mon 03-Oct-11 14:03:13

defnotnanny You definitely cannot take a dog to a house where there is a cat without the house owner's permission. It is simply not fair on the cat whose home it is – even if it has a dog of its own. Your daughter has quite enough going on this time without trying to keep dog and cat separate or worrying about the cat running away and getting lost, run over, adopted by someone in the next street who thinks it's a stray, abducted by aliens, etc. It might not come home this time and your daughter doesn't really want to be pounding the streets, sticking notices on lamp posts and looking under cars while calling "Tiddles, Tiddles" with tears running down her nose. Also, lovely though dogs are, a new mum doesn't terribly want them poking their noses into places where there is a tiny baby even if it is just inquisitiveness rather than aggression.

First, your husband must understand that your daughter's cat is as important a pet to her as his dog is to him. I appreciate that he is unenthusiastic about kennels, especially for an old and needy dog. It looks as if the only solution is for your husband to stay at home with the dog. However, if a neighbour could be prevailed upon to do a little looking after, perhaps your husband could travel to your daughter's, stay overnight and travel home again the next day. This is not an ideal solution but right now the most important people in this scenario are your daughter and soon-to-be grandchild.

supernana Mon 03-Oct-11 14:03:21

I know of a lady who is a pet-sitter. She moves in and takes control for however long she's needed. Naturally she gets a small wage. She enjoys the challenge and apparently there are many others who feel likewise. Otherwise, if man and his dog are not welcome, then man and dog will have to stay put on this occasion.

greenmossgiel Mon 03-Oct-11 14:03:39

Maybe it would be wiser for your husband to stay at home with the dog? If it's old and a bit cantankerous, it would be stressful for everyone if it was to be there, don't you think? I can understand how your husband feels too, though, as the old dog is still part of his family! Would it be possible for you to pop home for a weekend during your stay, as your son-in-law would be with your daughter?

Baggy Mon 03-Oct-11 14:10:55

If the dog isn't welcome to the daughter, then the dog can't come. If the dog owner doesn't want to be apart from the dog, then he can't come either. If dog owner feels "put out", tough. The needs and desires of the mothertobe come first. Also last. I think, defnot, that a little putting your husband second for a change would not do him any harm. If he really thinks it's OK to take a dog that is not welcome into the house of a new baby, then he is being selfish. Just tell him daughter doesn't want dog around. No argument.

supernana Mon 03-Oct-11 14:37:15

Baggy for Prime Minister grin

defnotnanny Mon 03-Oct-11 14:53:17

Thank you all for your support of my own view on this. It is an ongoing issue really. My other daughter and boyfriend are not allowed dogs/cats in their rented flat (tho they do have pet rats!) and my son's wife is allergic to animal hair and has to take anti-histamines prior to visiting us. Am beginning to feel socially stranded sad It's difficult to seek advice from friends, because I don't want them to feel that I am asking them to have the dog in a roundabout way. I think that if my husband really wants to come too, then it is up to him to ask around and see if he can find a kind friend to have the dog for a day or two. Dog issues aside, I am really excited about the baby. It will be my first grandchild and am so pleased to have found Gransnet!

absentgrana Mon 03-Oct-11 15:02:39

Welcome to gransnet defnotnanny The first grandchild is a joy and delight (and it gets better with subsequent ones). I hope all goes well next month and you have loads of lovely cuddles with the little one.

defnotnanny Mon 03-Oct-11 15:07:19

Thank you absentgrana. Still feel I am here under false pretences at the moment! smile

Annobel Mon 03-Oct-11 16:11:42

I also feel that the dog might feel put out by the presence of a new baby and become sulky or even aggressive, especially if he isn't used to babies and young children as I suspect he isn't.

riclorian Mon 03-Oct-11 16:17:47

Of course you are not here on false pretences defnotnanny --baby is here, just hasn,t popped out to say 'hello' yet !! Welcome and Good Luck !!

greenmossgiel Mon 03-Oct-11 16:22:55

defnotnanny - you just enjoy the run-up to the wee one being born! We're all looking forward to hearing more from you! smile

HildaW Mon 03-Oct-11 20:18:20

Dog in question! P.S. hope all goes well with baby!

HildaW Mon 03-Oct-11 20:21:58

P.S.S. We have very elderly cats and have found, without too much effort. catteries that cater for elderly cats. Any good kennels sould be able to offer a similar service, to be quite honest its easier than finding respite places for elderly humans!

defnotnanny Mon 03-Oct-11 21:24:19

HildaW ..... I have elderly dad to sort out as well as the dog for the end of November! In an ideal world elderly dad would perhaps mind elderly dog, but sadly my dear dad isn't keen on dogs. I'm sure it will all work out in the end and thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and greenmossgiel I will update in due course.

Sbagran Mon 03-Oct-11 22:14:52

defnotnanny - what a lovely considerate lady you are!
Your hubby needs to appreciate the situation you are in and needs to give you some respect and consideration in return.
Whilst you fully understand his commitment to the dog, (and very commendable that commitment is), he needs to recognise you have a commitment to your daughter and grandchild.
As the dog has been aggressive before I would be very concerned about taking it anywhere near a wriggling 'squeaky toy' of a new born baby.
If hubby really insists on not getting a dog-sitter or using kennels etc then he must stay at home!
Please do not allow him to prevent you being with your daughter on such a marvellous occasion as the arrival of this precious child.
Apart from what your daughter has been through it will be your first grandchild and something you will never ever get over!
I now have three and eight-ninths grandchildren! Obviously I adore them all and the arrivals of second, third and soon-to-arrive fourth were just as amazing, but the first is just special somehow.
I really hope hubby will understand and you will be there for the momentous occasion.
Don't feel you are on GN under false pretences - as someone else said - the child exists, just hasn't made an appearance yet!
God bless you all and let us know when baby arrives!
Loads and loads of love and hugs are on the way! smile

harrigran Mon 03-Oct-11 23:49:37

Welcome defnotnanny First grandchild is a great experience, do not let anyone spoil it for you least of all a grumpy old dog (the animal not the DH) smile

grannyactivist Tue 04-Oct-11 00:01:08

Hi defnotnanny and welcome to our lovely online community. Reading these posts, there's not much more to be said really; Baggy once again has hit the nail on the head. Lovely that your grandchild will arrive in time for a very special first Christmas - enjoy.

glammanana Tue 04-Oct-11 09:24:51

I think supernana's suggestion of a pet sitter is a good solution to this problem,but maybe your DHs work commitment's may not allow him to go with you as you stated,I would never dream of taking Barney our rescued JR anywhere near a new baby as he is a tempremental little so and so and whilst we love him he does not come first in the pecking order.Enjoy the time with your new grandchild when the happy time arrive's and get ready for emotion's you never knew existed.x

crimson Tue 04-Oct-11 10:54:48

Gosh; just had a slightly similar situation myself, but only in that I will no longer kennel my dog and it is tying me down [the last time I went abroad my dog would have died had she been in kennels; thankfully it was the first time I'd used a pet sitter]. I understand how your husband feels about his dog. Don't want to pry but does he have children/grandchildren of his own? And, could your daughter's confinement be something that is making him unsure of his relationship with you? If so, you might need to tread carefully with him emotionally. Anyway,as Baggy said, the starting point is that the dog can't go to your daughters.You say he barks a lot when your husband isn't with him. Has he always been like it or is it that, with old age he's becoming blind, deaf or both? Have you tried using a dap diffuser/ collar/ spray when your husband isn't around to calm him down [I swear by them]. I'm actually looking into pet sitters for my dog [the girl I used before isn't suitable], but I don't want a 'live in' person, just someone who comes over twice a day [it actually doesn't cost much more than used kennels anyway]. The agency I'm going to use specialise in 'problem dogs' as well..this is for @ £7 an hour. A sheet or something that smells of your husband, a dap diffuser and a good dog sitter and you should be ok, and you'll need to use them in the future anyway for future visits. No one can exoect to take an old grumpy dog to someone's home, especially with a new baby around. I'm sorry to rabbit on like this, but I was a wreck last week trying to sort out what to do with my beloved dog so I sort of know how your husband feels.

defnotnanny Tue 04-Oct-11 13:48:08

crimson ..... husband has one granddaughter of his own and in fairness to de dawg, he has always been fine with her, but doesn't see her that often. He has always barked a lot and is getting worse as he gets older. My husband did try some of the deterrents you suggested but to no avail. He is a cocker spaniel and I understand that this breed of dog can be quite needy. I am very fond of the dog myself and have always humoured my husband's attachment to him, but on this occasion I am standing firm. My absolute priority is my daughter. I agree that something that smells of my husband can help (he has a vast selection of manky old t-shirts!). We always have to drive anywhere on holiday so that the dawg can come too. He has travelled extensively all over Europe! On the occasions when I can't take enough time off work to do this, husband drives with the dog and I have to fly separately (no such thing as a cheap holiday in our household!) In fact this evening we are off on an overnight ferry to France for four days and dog will be coming too!! I hope you manage to organise some happy arrangements for your dog.

crimson Tue 04-Oct-11 14:44:15

I always used to have cocker spaniels before I switched to whippets, and my last one was yappy; she drove me mad and as she got old, blind and deaf she got worse. I had my first spaniel before I had children,and she was treated very much as a dog, I never picked her up and cuddled her etc because I'd heard of spaniels that had been treated like children and they became very jealous when actual children did take their place. I made a huge fuss of her when I had my first child and have to say she was the perfect family pet. I then had another spaniel who was equally adorable, but bred a puppy from her that was the yappy one. Since the debacle with my sick dog 5 years ago I hadn't left the country till this weekend; her replacement comes with us on holiday [annoyingly she suffers from travel sickness]. This weekend was my first weekend away from her [she's 4 now]. I can't really afford both the holiday and the dog sitting costs, so it's all getting a bit complicated. I can see why you and your husband are so fond of the dog, though; I still melt whenever I see a cocker spaniel. My grandson is actually scared of dogs, which is sad, as my current whippet is the gentlest creature, but even if he wasn't scared I would never leave him alone with her. I did crate train this dog which means that I can take her places where she can be kept in her own space when neccessary. I wouldn't be without a dog but do feel terribly tied down sometimes. I've just returned from Paris and am so in love with the place that I can't wait to return; there are so many places that we didn't have time to see, but we walked down the Champs Elysee's on Saturday night to Place do la Concorde with the Eiffell Tower lit up in the distance and I really don't want to be here at this moment in time....Bon vacances..and good luck with your grandchild!

defnotnanny Fri 09-Dec-11 23:58:23

Just a brief update following all your very helpful comments regarding my husband and his dog. All has ended well. In fact he decided himself that bringing the dog was not a good idea and has remained at home with the dog. My first grandchild, Henry, was born this morning, weighing 8lbs 14oz and I was thrilled to be a co-birth partner with my son-in-law. Husband will meet his new step-grandson at Christmas. A very happy ending for all concerned and thanks to everyone for their advice and suggestions!

harrigran Sat 10-Dec-11 00:27:43

Congratulations defnotnanny thanks

Faye Sat 10-Dec-11 06:41:26

Congratulaions defnotnanny, enjoy your new grandson. thanks wine