Boxing Day with dog(16 Posts)
I have a DD of 18 months and a month old. We are supposed to be going to OH's aunties for a Boxing Day party. We went there on Halloween too and his other auntie brought her dog, which jumped up at me and my DD all night. I don't mind it too much, although I have been bitten by dogs in the past, but I can't let it keep jumping up at my toddler.
There were fireworks going off and the dog was barking and acting, to my mind, in an excitable/nervous way. His owners were frankly getting too pissed to worry what their dog was doing, and I was left to push their dog down and keep DD from touching him ( because she'd probably pull his tail or something.)
An hour into the party I had a little freak out and had to go calm down in the bathroom for a while. My partner completely didn't understand and told me I was overreacting and that it was because 'I'm not a dog person.' The whole family in general looked at me like an overprotective dog hater rather than someone who was genuinely afraid of something happening.
A little about me, I'm very calm and chose to let my children learn through experiences. They climb things and fall off, they eat things off the floor and we walk about at night. I'm not a control freak or a worrier. However if that dog decides to bite my child, she will be dead. You read about it nearly every month and they always say 'they never showed any sign they were like that, they've always been so docile.' Also I'm not reassured that the dog lives in a home with a child because they are pack animals and always love their own family. My DD is a stranger and probably smells and acts differently to their 8 yo.
To summarise, I've told OH's parents that I don't feel comfortable going if the dog is there and tried to explain why. They looked at me like I was mad (even though MIL was so scared of something happening to her sons that she wouldn't take them to a park for fear of a car coming off the road and hitting them on the pavement!) I told them I'm going to message the auntie and ask if the dog has to go. OH thinks this is a bad idea as she'll get offended that I don't trust dog.
Am I paranoid? Why does a dog need to come to a party? I'm especially interested to hear from dog owners.
I would never leave my dog alone over the festive period as she's terrified of fireworks and it wouldn't be fair, so if you insisted the dog not be there, in my case it would mean I didn't come either. So you have to decide if it's important enough to you that DH's auntie might miss the party altogether.
I think it's unfair to leave a dog alone for such a long time.
However I would never let a dog jump uo at a toddler (I saw that as a massive dog lover who had never been attacked by a dog or witnessed a dog attack).
Where was your DH when this was happening? Sounds like you were having a mild panic attack. I'd be tempted to stay at home or leave if dog got too excited as you can't relax and have fun if you're getting stressed.
Got to disagree with Fenella slightly.
If dog owners can't be bothered to control their dogs in this kind of situation then of course they shouldn't take them! I always have a very close eye on my boys around little ones, because I know that they're dogs and just because they're perfectly happy around children, I do always think "what if". dogs (and little ones for that matter) are unpredictable.
I do also see Auntie's reasoning for taking dog as I'm not keen leaving my dogs on their own for more than 4 hours, and some dogs do get freaked out by fireworks, mine don't as they are gun dogs but SIL's dog is petrified of them.
Maybe the dog could stay in a different room, with a bed and a chew or something and Auntie could check on it every so often.
I don't blame you for feeling uncomfortable around this dog, and your OH's family's reaction imo is totally bizzaro!
*apologies for grammar mistakes. Blame pregnancy insomnia
I didn't feel nervous before the Halloween party, because I'd been to the dogs 'house' before and he was just chilled in his bed or in the garden. This time was different because lots of people, fireworks and maybe being in a different house. He was very excitable and barking/jumping up more. That's what made me so nervous. My OH isn't very perceptive as to when I'm worried or upset, and he is a complete dog lover so he never worries about dogs sniffing babies faces. He laughed last year because the dog was licking her face when she was asleep (when I found out I went mental!)
AIBU to think that if you get a dog you can't expect to be able to stay out all night or at a party for longer than 5 hours? MIL said that the reason they want to bring the dog is that they don't have to drive back and can stay the night. I'd love to do that but I decided to have children so I can't drink too much or stay over either, but it was my choice so I live with it.
Am a huge dog lover but I do not think you are being unreasonable at all. I adore my own (big) dog, I would do anything for him, and he is fantastic with my daughter, but I still would not 100% trust him- he is a dog at the end of the day. Like someone suggested above, can't the dog be put into a room with some treats and a comfy bed, he'd probably be less stressed and his owner could check on him as often as she wanted. Trust your instincts OP- it doesn't make you a dog hater or OTT, just a responsible parent.
If nobody will back you up I honestly wouldn't go.
AIBU to think that if you get a dog you can't expect to be able to stay out all night or at a party for longer than 5 hours?
Well, yes, YABU because the dog owner and host have come to an arrangement that they are happy with.
If you don't like it don't go, especially if you are going to be uncomfortable.
Reading between the lines you do seem to be very Dog Anxious and unfortunately people are going to think you might be overreacting. That might be unfair, but that's how it is coming across.
Are you otherwise looking forward to the party?
crazy how is that disagreeing with me - nowhere did I say I would allow my dog to jump on a toddler?
I just said I wouldn't leave my dog alone at a time of year when fireworks were going off.
There shouldn't be a big issue with fireworks on Boxing Day, surely? Around Halloween / Bonfire Night there will have been. So the dog could potentially be left at home on that score. However, it sounds as if the rest of them are dog folk and, crucially, that your OH is not taking your side on this. I think you may have to do as Daisy says and just say you and the kids will not be going.
It's really a question of you staying home, not the dog. It's not your home that the event is taking place at, so you can't dictate who attends.
The dog isn't the problem it's the consideration of its owners that you have the issue with.
You are entitled to decline the invitation for the reasons given but you don't get to decide if another invitee should decline their invitation. Wether you like it or not, the host gets to issue and/or recind invitations.
Rather than making demands just decline the invitation and if asked, give your reasons.
Even the friendliest dogs could get anxious in the chaotic scene you've described. Quite frankly it sounds like it would be kinder for the dog to leave it at home with the tv on to block out any firework noise and a large chew toy to occupy it.
It is an owners responsibility to make sure a dog doesn't jump up at a child, just as it is a parents responsibility a child doesn't bother a dog. Whoever isn't doing this is where the problem lies (from what you've said OP that would be OH's Auntie).
However, you're not the host so it's not up to you to call Auntie/univite her dog. I would speak with the hosts (or better yet get OH to) and explain calmly but firmly that based on last year you and dd won't be attending if the dog is (unless dog is kept in another room etc). Then it's up to the host to decide what to do.
Good luck OP. YANBU.
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