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How to say no to Dogs after breakup

(67 Posts)
MylittleCherubs Thu 28-Nov-19 18:25:43

I’m new to gransnet and would like some help with a dilemma.
Our daughter has 2 very small babies and the father after many years together has just decided he no longer wants to be in a relationship. This has only just happened and we are trying to support our daughter through this as she is still very young and she and our grandchildren have just moved back home with us. Reconciliation with her partner does not appear to be an option. The children are only age 18 months and 3 months and obviously this is very upsetting for her but she is committed to “ getting on with it” as her children are her priority.
Obviously we are helping a lot especially in the early days and luckily the babies are very good and sleep well.
We are in our early 50’s and both still work but our biggest problem is that our daughter wants to move her two large dogs in with us too and although we are not against animals, we already have 2 small dogs of our own and a cat. I feel it would be too much to cope with and unfair to our existing pets.

We have worked hard to have have a nice home and we can accommodate my daughter and grandchildren so hopefully they will have a stable home. She will in time move into her own house but she needs help at the moment especially as they are so young.
My opinion of their father I am unable to post on here and frankly I don’t want to waste my breath on him BUT my daughter is in bits regarding leaving her dogs behind and as she has had these for years she is really upset and keeps saying they will be good , she will look after them and clean up their mess etc .... BUT we really don’t want them and she is struggling to accept that and thinks she can probably win us round.
These are very large dogs compared to ours also.

Her partner says he’s not having them either , so the guilt trip is starting to happen and I don’t know how true this is - he will still be seeing the children ( well until that novelty wears off too !).

Please has anyone any advise to help our daughter understand that it’s not practical for us to have the dogs as well as our own pets and although none of this is her fault we are struggling with adding to her stress by not having the dogs - she is still in hope that we will have them. I really don’t know how to say a firm and fair no , one that she will accept and understand anyway without breaking down in tears.

Thank you for any advice you can give .

Gonegirl Thu 28-Nov-19 18:36:28

What will happen to the dogs if you don't have them?

Septimia Thu 28-Nov-19 18:39:00

Are there any friends or family who might foster her dogs for a year or two until she is ready to go it alone? She could still see them, walk them, even have them for short periods of time so that they are still keeping a relationship with her and the children.

Maybe, if you think there is someone who might fit the bill you could have a quiet word with them and they could 'volunteer'.

I expect it is hard for her to lose so much at once, but two big dogs on top of your pets, your daughter and two young children does sound rather a lot. The other other suggestion I have is, if you have the space, to build them a big cosy kennel outside.

Bridgeit Thu 28-Nov-19 18:48:43

You have to stay firm,if you don’t the inevitable will happen any way.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I am sure I have heard of dog fostering, perhaps ring around some kennels to see if this is available, it could give you the compromise you need for the moment , best wishes

agnurse Thu 28-Nov-19 18:58:03

TBH, if you ask her to get rid of the dogs, it could well add an additional level of difficulty to an already tense situation.

I agree that it might be helpful for her to see if there's someone who can take care of her dogs temporarily. If that's not possible, you may have to help her to get into a home of her own ASAP.

ananimous Thu 28-Nov-19 19:04:37

Dog fostering - on Facebook, kennels, or rehome them. It will all end in tears otherwise. Also get your daughter to study Richard Grannon's youtube, Narcology unscripted youtube, and narc survivor youtube - Goodluck I hope you find a foster-friend.

BradfordLass72 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:14:07

Your daughter really does have to start thinking of you and your DH and what you are already doing for her sake.

It is clear that 4 dogs and a cat, unless you live in a house the size of Buckingham Palace, is not going to work.

Even if you have a large garden where they could have a kennel and an enclosed dog run, I suspect that would be the thin end of the wedge. Eventually, they would be brought inside.

Emotional blackmail is not on (and not fair or appreciative of the fact you've given her and the babies a home) so when the guilt tripping begins, you have to be strong.
It's YOUR home too and you have a right to be comfortable in it.

You and DH are just going to have to present a united front and say you simply cannot cope with them.

I've just Googled 'fostering dogs' and the RSPCA and many others in the UK offer this service.

Hetty58 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:21:21

I think it would be better for your daughter to find accommodation for herself rather than stay with you. I don't really understand how she would be homeless in the first place. Surely, he should have left their home, not her. Who has the dogs at present?

NanKate Thu 28-Nov-19 19:26:15

I think it is dangerous to have 4 dogs in a house with young children. So I would definitely say no.

Can you help her with renting a property ?

Cotswoldslass Thu 28-Nov-19 19:29:38

I understand your reasoning, and as a dog lover and owner I understand your daughters view as well. If you contact Dogs Trust they may be able to help you - they have "foster" homes that take in pets and look after them until the owners are in a position to have their much loved dogs back (for example for people who are made homeless, have to go into hospital for long term care, etc.) It may be that they will be able to help your daughter. All the best to you and your family.

MylittleCherubs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:31:46

Personally I think the dogs will stay with ex partner as he works with dogs and they have had the dogs since pups together.
I think it is more of the case they are her dogs/ her babies and she wants / needs them.

I am going to suggest that they stay with ex and she goes and visits them on days he does not take to work and also takes them out on a Sunday afternoon to the fields and we will babysit - I’m confident they can stay put .
Thank you

Iam64 Thu 28-Nov-19 19:35:10

Hetty58 makes a good point, it should have been her partner, the father of her children who moved out of their family home, not her and the children. I do realise separation with two such young children isn't something a young mother would do without need.

Is the house on mortgage? Can you help your daughter pay her share of the mortgage, with a legal agreement to ensure her ex partner doesn't make merry with any financial gains that accrue. If rented, he should move out and let her and their children have continued stability in what has been their home. That way, you can offer practical and maybe financial support and she keeps her children and her dogs.

Losing the dogs will compound her feelings of loss of control, loss of what she thought was a life long, loving, shared parenting relationship. Devastating for her.

If none of that is possible, I honestly feel you will struggle to find what will be long term foster carers for these dogs. Most breed specific and any other dog charity will be familiar with placing dogs who come into their care because of relationship breakdown. They are unlikely to be in a position to offer fostering for an unlimited, unspecified timescale. Dogs Trust, Breed specific charities, local rescue shelters can all offer to rehome her dogs. I can't imagine losing my dogs, as any stage of my life, especially when I was a young mother with a child (yes, I was that person). However, the children have to come first. that's just how it is. Either she regains what was the family home and lives there with children and dogs, with what sounds like excellent support from you, or she gives the dogs up and moves in with you on what has to be a temporary basis.

best of luck with this difficult situation

MylittleCherubs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:36:44

I don’t think anyone else in the family will have them but I think they could stay put with ex and they can come to a compromise we’re she can walk them at weekends and nip to see them in the day - only 20 mins away .

We’ve toyed with outside homing but she will probably still bring them in and it does not help either with our cats - although our dogs are fine with them.
Husband really worried as we have a very new kitchen and doors and worried about any damage.
Thank you

MylittleCherubs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:38:30

Thank you

Auntieflo Thu 28-Nov-19 19:41:47

There is The Cinnamon Trust that will foster a dog if the owner is unable to care for them.
But, I am not sure if it is only for more elderly owners who perhaps have to go into hospital temporarily.
It may be worth investigating.

MylittleCherubs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:42:00

It’s his mums house they were in and she does not live in the UK - she wanted to come home , she is still on maternity leave and did not want to struggle with her children , affordability of nursery when she returns to work will be a lot better with family support

Sussexborn Thu 28-Nov-19 19:53:56

The dogs trust charity may offer some advice. It used to be the canine defence league. Her vet may know of someone who is willing to foster the dogs in the immediate future. It’s going to be a shock having little ones staying and two big dogs would add a lot of stress.

SirChenjin Thu 28-Nov-19 19:53:57

I hope you can get this sorted and the dogs can stay where they’re settled.

Do you mean your DD lives in another country? If so, does she has permission from her DH to take the children back to the UK?

Gonegirl Thu 28-Nov-19 20:06:15

The mother who owns the house lives in another country. hmmgrin

SirChenjin Thu 28-Nov-19 20:37:20

Crikey - I’ve totally lost track of who’s coming back to where confusedgrin

Quercus Thu 28-Nov-19 20:42:19

The children are the priority. TBH two large dogs with two children under two is ridiculous and probably unmanageable for anyone. Just state clearly what you have said above, that you can accommodate daughter and children but not the dogs. She will have to re-home them/ give to rescue.

FlexibleFriend Thu 28-Nov-19 20:48:03

Tbh I think you should consider you're daughter moving in as a stop gap until she gets her own place. She needs to go to the council and get on the housing list. You say she needs your help with the children but surely you don't have to live in the same house to help her. Did her husband not work, did he stay home and help her? If not then she's perfectly capable of managing the two kids on her own. I don't think helplessness should be encouraged, in fact quite the opposite. She'll get help if she asks for it. I'm a dog lover and have always had multiple dogs but I've always made sure no matter what happened I could afford to keep my dogs and that's exactly what happened. I was told in my divorce to rehome the dogs etc and sell my house so that my ex could have part of what he'd never paid for. I found a way of not doing that. It's always better to help people draw on their own resources rather than step in and take up the slack. Let her get all the help she can for herself and then anything you give her help with will be extra's and no doubt much appreciated.

EllaKeat Thu 28-Nov-19 20:51:57

Gonegirl what is funny? I don't get it....
OP, as a dog owner myself, I can understand how your daughter feels. In addition to losing her head and and her home, she is losing her dogs too.
However, I totally agree that there is no way that everyone can move into your home and live comfortably.
Her having access to the dogs is probably as good as it is going to get, even if she does get a place of her own.
Very sad all round, but best of you help her see what a huge additional responsibility she is wanting to assume at this stage of her life.
Hope it all works out well.

Hetty58 Thu 28-Nov-19 20:59:05

I'm sure that she can manage just fine with two small children. I coped with four children, work and study (all at once) when I was widowed. She will be motivated to find somewhere to live if she misses the dogs. The present arrangement should be temporary.

SirChenjin Thu 28-Nov-19 21:14:58

Getting on the council housing list is by no means a quick fix - people can be on the list for years and if she’s been offered accommodation with her parents who have a house large enough to take her and the 2 DGDs then she’s not homeless and therefore won’t be considered in need of housing.