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Dogs and Grandchildren

(130 Posts)
Lucaslovesfelicity Fri 20-Nov-15 12:40:10

So, went to visit my mum yesterday who has two large dogs. She absolutely dotes on them and often refers to them has her babies ( she has 3 human babies, as well as 5 human grand children) wink). I find this all very strange but go along with it.... It's her house, her rules. Anyway, the dogs have absolute free reign of the house and are allowed to sleep in bed at night with both herself and her husband. Everyday, the dogs are cooked a fresh roast chicken dinner..No dog food passes their lips), they are allowed on the furniture and often do try sit at the doing table during meals!! She passes food and drink down to them on plates and mugs from the table..... Ewwwww. I've even caught her emptying out my DD left over formula milk into a bowl to give to the dog, as her baby enjoys it too confused I have to watch my 4 month when we visit, has she doesn't discourage the dogs from going over to the baby to lick her face. She simply says the dogs think they are human and want to give my LO kiss.... definitely not!! Anyway, the news was on last night which spoke about the police dog that got blew up in Paris. I said to her that although it was sad, it would have been far worse if it had been another human that had been killed. She disagreed and said to me that to her, dogs are on the same level as humans and in fact better than some hmm I told her that I didn't agree and asked if one of the grandchild was in a house fire along with her dogs or in a situation where a dog had to risk it's life to aid the family, surely the dogs life couldn't be put on the same level as her families? She didn't answer and just went quiet. She went on to say that unless I was a dog owner myself, I wouldn't understand the situation. AIBU to be offended that my kids and my mums dogs are views the same confused

maybebabybee Fri 20-Nov-15 12:42:07

Don't know tbh, I'd save my two cats in a fire over quite a few people I know...

manamana Fri 20-Nov-15 12:48:23

Not unreasonable at all. I have the same issue with my parents. My mum is so indulgent of her dogs that she's not prepared to train them properly to stop the risk of them biting my children - one of them has bitten once, the trainer gave her guidelines to prevent it happening again but she won't tell the dogs off so trainer has recommended that they are either crated or away from the house when children visit. So time with my parents is now limited to when their dog-sitter is available. It makes me very upset that she can't prioritise her grandchildren's safety and quality time with her grandchildren but that's life. Christmas day with her grandchildren is now no longer an option.

KeepOnMoving1 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:01:57

Tbh I don't think you can tell her how she should feel. Seems like the dogs are as valuable to her as humans, well at least you know not to leave your dc solely in her care.

WorraLiberty Fri 20-Nov-15 13:09:49


You can be offended by what you choose really.

violetsarentblue Fri 20-Nov-15 13:23:26

Everyday, the dogs are cooked a fresh roast chicken dinner..No dog food passes their lips), they are allowed on the furniture and often do try sit at the doing table during meals!! She passes food and drink down to them on plates and mugs from the table..... Ewwwww. I've even caught her emptying out my DD left over formula milk into a bowl to give to the dog,

Your mum sounds ever so slightly barking shock

Idefix Fri 20-Nov-15 13:28:00

Not sure what your aibu is op. But Yanbu in wanting to keep your lo safe. You come across a little dismissive about your dm feelings and attitudes towards her dogs. So long as she does not mistreat the dogs your dm can do as she pleases with them, it may not be what you or I would do with a pet but it is not your business.

It may be better not to visit dm at her house and I have done this before with mil, who had a truly disgusting slobbery beast who use to constantly shake drool everywhere all over me and dc

I think the thing about who you would save in a fire is very difficult conversation and it does sound like you backed dm into a corner. I am pretty sure that in a real event most people would save a human over a animal, but for someone who has a deep emotional attachment to an animal that is a difficult concept to explore.

There often stories in the lifeboat magazine about dog owners getting in to trouble trying to rescue their dogs, some people even lose their lives trying to save drowning dogs.

AmarettoSour Fri 20-Nov-15 13:31:20

YABU. If only all animals were valued by humans as much.

RatherBeRiding Fri 20-Nov-15 13:46:13

Well she is maybe a bit OTT but who is to say she is being unreasonable? My dogs are part of my family and would get saved in a fire, no question. People should value their pets. Like Amaretto says, if only all pets were so lucky.

Lucaslovesfelicity Fri 20-Nov-15 13:51:19

Ok, thank you. Some of you have made me look at things from my mums perspective a little more and I need to respect that. However, I still find it a very difficult concept to view a pets life on the same level as a child. I know I would give my own life up for my children before anything in the world, even my own beloved cat... I just couldn't imagine not doing that.
If I saw a person in trouble or an animal for that matter, I would always try to help but I could never pick an animal over a person if a life or death situation was to arise. Apologies if that makes me seem like a horrible and heartless person. I didn't back her into a corner, the discussion was brought up by my mum. We just wanted to explore each other's thoughts on the matter whilst watching the news over a cup of tea. I was just really caught off guard by her response and it did upset me a little. Thanks for all your thoughts on this by the way smile

cranberryx Fri 20-Nov-15 13:52:53

I think your DM is both being unreasonable and reasonable here, as are you.

Your DM can feed her dogs what she likes, that's her choice as long as it doesn't contain too much salt, sugar and anything poisonous to her dogs (raisins, onions etc) BUT allowing her dogs to eat at the table or sit at the table is generally a no to me. Feeding a dog baby formula? Well, I guess it's made from cows milk anyway so to me it might be the same as feeding leftover milk/tea to the dog if you don't want to throw it away.
I would only be worried in relation to the dogs teeth and tummy with regards to this.
I don't think your unreasonable to be bothered by the above. Also you need to nyx that kissing business - dogs mouths are full of bacterias that they create antibodies for, but we don't. Your LO could get sick from this.

However, I think your very unreasonable to presume that you can place value on anyone's and any creatures life. Especially a pet. Your mother spends all of her time with these dogs and whilst there IS a line, because they are dogs, they are her family.

In fact, getting my two large dogs encouraged me to become vegan, simply because I couldn't bare the thought or anyone every hurting them and how valuable they are to me, and it started leading me to how horriblely people treat animals and view them as second class citezens. To me someone hurting a dog it akin to hurting a baby.

In a fire, I would save my dogs. However more than likely, they would be the ones to save me.

It was horrible that that dog got killed due to IS, no more and no less horrible than the people that were killed as well. No life is worth more or less than others here, it's not a competition.

And yes, I do have children also. Somedays I prefer my dogs because they don't have tantrums but I love them in different ways obviously.

firesidechat Fri 20-Nov-15 13:54:37

I was very sad about the dog who died (have you noticed how dogs never die in Films?) but it was obviously preferable to a man or woman dying. I'm a dog lover, but people are more important. They have friends and families and others who will grieve for them.

Lucaslovesfelicity Fri 20-Nov-15 13:55:20

I agree Completely Ratherberiding and I would also try and save my family pet too in a heartbeat. She is loved by all of us and is too apart of our family. However, if it was between the cat or my children, I know which ones I would put first.

MascaraAndConverse89 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:55:31

My mum has big dogs too. I never take my children round to hers. She's seen her grandchildren once this year.

She's more than welcome here and she knows she is. But I won't take them to see her at her house.

Lucaslovesfelicity Fri 20-Nov-15 13:58:21

I agree cranberry. Her house... Her rules. My comments were just to provide a picture of how much she loves the dogs. She is not being unreasonable treating the dogs as she does in her own home... They are really lovely dogs too. It was the discussion we had that made me a little hmm

maybebabybee Fri 20-Nov-15 14:01:07

what's wrong with big dogs? confused

MascaraAndConverse89 Fri 20-Nov-15 14:03:08

I just don't like them maybe. Have you got a problem with that?

cranberryx Fri 20-Nov-15 14:04:07

felicity don't worry smile I can understand why you would be frustrated, and it is a bit of an odd discussion to be had to be honest! Although if she brought it up it does say more about her than it does about you.

Unfortunately us dog lovers (and I say lovers rather than owners because there can be a difference) don't really click sometimes that people don't love dogs as much as we do. I have to remind myself that people don't want to listen to me harp on about what kind of dogs we met at the park and who we played with. (At least the DDs love to chat about it, adults not so much)

I would just stay quiet on this one, and just trot out the line "it's just horrible isn't it?" Because it is, truly.

She can't make you change your opinion anymore than you can make her change hers.

Although I think you need to be open and honest with her about the dogs presence around her grand kids. My two dogs are fine around kids, very trained and NO licking or jumping, but my MIL has a little yappy dog that snaps. I have conditions when we visit - he has to go in a seperate room, as he tries to dominate my DDs.

Lucaslovesfelicity Fri 20-Nov-15 14:04:33

Can I just clarify, the AIBU is not about not valuing animals. I love my pets and they get spoilt nearly as much as my mums ;-) The AIBU was focusing on animals/pets being put before people in a life/death situation. I too would never abandon an animal, mistreat an animal (veggie here) but I would never put them before a person, for reasons that firesidechat pointed out.

UmbongoUnchained Fri 20-Nov-15 14:05:44

Yanbu. No animal is more important than your children. I really don't understand people who treat animals like babies. It's so sad.

KissingFish Fri 20-Nov-15 14:21:01

I think it's horrible to be put in the situation where you have to choose who would die, which is pretty much what the question is.

Can you imagine your mother thinking about that question, if she saves her grandchildren her dogs, who she loves just as much, will die. If she saves her dogs then her grandchildren, who she loves just as much, will die. It's a shit position to be put in and since she's very unlikely to be put in that position it seems cruel to be asked the question at all.

Don't assume that because she didn't answer it means she would choose her dogs over her grandchildren. Maybe she just didn't want to dignify the question with an answer.

She is correct, it would not have been worse if a human had died in Paris. It would have been just as bad. It's not a competition to see whos life is worth the most. sad

maybebabybee Fri 20-Nov-15 14:26:31

I just don't like them maybe. Have you got a problem with that?

No, but a bit daft you won't visit your mother because of them, assuming they are not aggressive.

IrianofWay Fri 20-Nov-15 14:29:10

It's not up to you to tell her how she should feel about her pets. I adore mine and we do treat them as members of the family. If push came to shove I know the pecking order but why do people always try to catastrophise these situations? Who would you save from a burning building? FFS why make it so dramatic? In the event of such a dreadful event I would want to save everyone I loved and of course I'd save the people first but I'd still try to save my animals.

If she is putting your children at risk do something about it but if it's just that you are miffed that she loves her animals and you think it takes away from her love for your kids, I think you need to get a hold of yourself a bit. Her attitudes are hers - you don't have to share them.

Why do people have to establish a hierarchy of tragedy. It's terrible that people died, it's also terrible that a police dog died. Why does there have to be a gradation of sadness ?

KissingFish Fri 20-Nov-15 14:29:24

I'm a dog lover, but people are more important. They have friends and families and others who will grieve for them.

That is so sad sad

I am assuming you have never watched a dog grieve before then? Dogs have friends and families too you know. Both human and canine.

IrianofWay Fri 20-Nov-15 14:29:50

Aha kissingfish, you beat me to it!

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