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Stepfather always guilt tripping about the family dog

(201 Posts)
FlowersAndShit Fri 26-Feb-16 10:13:51

I moved out of the family home almost a year ago. The family dog spent all of his time with me and I adore him. Stepdad started a new job after 20 years of being unemployed and is now constantly nagging and guilt tripping me about the dog since I moved out.

The dog is 7 and spends 8-9 hours a day alone. I live a 20 minute walk away and a few times I've gone to dogsit as I don't work due to anxiety/depression. I don't want to do it anymore because it's no longer my home, and I don't want to sit there for 3 plus hours.

Stepdad is now always guilt tripping me saying that he will have to put the dog to sleep or re-home him because he's on his own all the time. Stepdad owns the dog but loves to blackmail me emotionally, even when I got a cat which meant I couldn't look after the dog for 2 weeks whilst he and my mum go on holiday.

He's ringing me a few times a week now, nagging me and when I say no he starts getting aggressive and swearing which pisses me off. He brings up the fact that he takes me to appointments, but I can't be expected to dogsit throughout the week, I want my own life.

I struggle with depression and the guilt is making me feel worse. AIBU?

FlowersAndShit Fri 26-Feb-16 10:17:13

And he tried to stop me having a cat by telling the landlord (his mate) to not let me have a cat.

bumbleymummy Fri 26-Feb-16 10:18:05

If you don't work and are at home during the day can he not just come and live with you?

Birdsgottafly Fri 26-Feb-16 10:18:42

Couldn't you just walk the dog, have him at yours for a bit and walk him back?

That's all he needs.

Is the dog ok on his own?, not ideal, but some breeds are, as long as they get the exercise.

Although, people on here are a bit hysterical about leaving dogs.

Birdsgottafly Fri 26-Feb-16 10:20:33

Just to add, you shouldn't have to take any abuse from him, the dog, is essentially his problem.

I'm having to rehome my dog, because of illness, I wouldn't dream of guilt tripping my adult children, into walking her for me.

Arfarfanarf Fri 26-Feb-16 10:20:49

Where's your mum in all this? Is she not telling him to back off?

In your shoes, I would find a different way to get to appointments and tell him to hire a dog sitter.

You can't expect unreasonable, unpleasant people to behave reasonably and nicely. If they could do that - they wouldn't be unreasonable, unpleasant people! You can only change how you do things so that they don't have any control over you.

I think I remember some things you've said before - apols if I am confusing you with another poster - and I think it is really important that you break away from these people. They are not helping your mental health - in fact, you may find things go very well for you once they are not a factor.

MajesticWhine Fri 26-Feb-16 10:20:56

This is a tricky one. 8-9 hours a day alone for the dog is too much, and not fair on the dog, you must know that. He should really organise a dog-walker to come in every day to take the dog out. But I can see why your stepfather wants your help with this given that you have always cared for the dog, and you live 20 minutes away and are not working. Instead of dog sitting, couldn't you agree to go and walk the dog once a day for 30 minutes, at a time of your choosing?

FlowersAndShit Fri 26-Feb-16 10:21:13

bumble, he wouldn't allow it, and I have a cat which the dog would probably hate.

Fabellini Fri 26-Feb-16 10:23:23

I'm afraid I think yabu. It sounds as though the "family" dog was really your dog even though you don't actually own it - you said it spent all its time with you and you adore it.
Your stepfather is to be commended for getting a job after such a long period of unemployment and he's right about it not being fair on the dog to be left alone. Maybe it should be rehomed.
I don't understand why you having a cat means you can't look after the dog - many cats and dogs share homes perfectly happily, although admittedly it might take a wee while for them to get used to each other.

Quietwhenreading Fri 26-Feb-16 10:28:47

The key question is whose dog is it?

If it's your dog it should come to live at your house.

If it's not your dog it's not your responsibility and you can say yes or no to requests as you choose. However if you say 'no' and your SD re-homes the dog then you don't get to comment on that.

It sounds like your SD feels like he does things to help you (lifts to appointments) and feels the dog walking is reciprocal. If you don't agree then be prepared to make alternative arrangements for your appointment.

Seriouslyffs Fri 26-Feb-16 10:30:25

If you live 20 minutes away, adore the dog and don't work due to anxiety/ depression then walk the dog.
If it feels overwhelming set it for yourself as a goal towards getting better. flowers

honeyroar Fri 26-Feb-16 10:30:41

I think you're coming across rather selfishly. Can you not nip over a half way through the day and take the dog round the block for even a half hour walk??

If my stepson was sitting at home and a long standing, much loved family pet was on the verge of having to be rehomed because my dss wouldn't even help a bit I'd be pretty disgusted at him. I hope that your mum and stepdad can afford a dog sitter or walker to help the dog (who is probably stressed and anxious himself all alone).

sonjadog Fri 26-Feb-16 10:31:08

I think that yabu. Sorry. The dog is very attached to you and it sounds like you were its primary carer before. I don't think you can just walk away from an animal like that when you have been so important before. This is one of responsibilities of having a pet - it is really for the life of the pet, not until you find something else to do.

But I don't see why you have to go and sit there for hours at a time. Stop by and take the dog for a walk and then leave it off again. Half an hour's walk in the middle of the day is enough. Or bring him over to your place if the dog really needs human company - your cat will deal with it. Cats and dogs can get on together just fine. Just make sure the cat has a place to go where it is quiet.

FlowersAndShit Fri 26-Feb-16 10:31:28

It's his dog. I don't mind doing it ocassionally but I don't like to be pressured and made to feel guilty all the time.

MrsJayy Fri 26-Feb-16 10:32:47

This dog was essentially yours i know your stepdad has been a bit of an arse but they are left with the responsibility of the dog you could go and walk it imo

LaLaLaaaa Fri 26-Feb-16 10:34:16

8-9 hours is far too long to leave a dog alone. They need company and basic needs such as to be able to pee!

Whether dog is technically yours or not, the welfare of an animal is the business of everyone involved and if you can improve his welfare by either helping with him, or assisting to find him a new home, then you should.

LaLaLaaaa Fri 26-Feb-16 10:34:50

Poor dog deserves better

Fabellini Fri 26-Feb-16 10:36:42

Ok so it's his dog. But his dog is used to spending all its time with you. You say you adore the dog so I don't see that walking it and spending time with it should be such a hardship.

BarbarianMum Fri 26-Feb-16 10:37:03

<<I don't mind doing it ocassionally but I don't like to be pressured and made to feel guilty all the time.>>

I don't blame you, he sounds like a dick. I don't think you should feel obliged to look after a dog that's not yours just because you used to give it lots of love and attenrion when you lived at home. I also wonder if your mental health might improve if you have less to do with this bullying, horrble man. If you could get to your appointments in a different way, you could block him on your phone.

Razorlightnight Fri 26-Feb-16 10:37:30

Why don't you want to look after a dog that you adore? Don't get it.

ProfGrammaticus Fri 26-Feb-16 10:37:37

Make clear what you can offer - a walk and returning the dog home - and what you can't - sitting in someone else's house all day. Then this difficult man can make his decision.

MrsJayy Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:19

Yeah what Lala said 9 hours without even a pee isnt great for the dog can you compromise say 2 days you walk it 3 days a dog walker walks it

BarbarianMum Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:29

<<Poor dog deserves better>>

Poor OP deserves better. It is NOT her fault or her responsibility. Why the hell should she be bullied and guilted into looking after it?

Monica101 Fri 26-Feb-16 10:38:56

I think you need to put the dog first and put aside your difficult relationship with your stepfather.

Go once a day and give the poor dog a walk.

MissBeaHaving Fri 26-Feb-16 10:39:33

Poor dog being left alone all that time,I couldn't sit at home knowing & leave him for that length of time.
As pp have said if no one is willing to take responsibility for him then rehome the poor thing!

I've 2 dogs & a cat,the cat gets in the dog bed with the littlest one.
They can get used to each other with a little effort.

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