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DNiece won't let me look after DNephew because of Dog

(262 Posts)
namechangedaunt Sun 19-Nov-17 09:41:23

Name changed as this is outing.

My niece is due to go back to work in 4 weeks after 8 months mat leave. I offered to look after her DS 3 days a week and she is paying me (not a massive amount- £450 a month so cheaper than a nursery).

A friend of a friend has recently been made homeless and needed their dog looking after for around 6 months (until they are housed). I offered and the dog has been with us for a week now. Dniece has met the dog and hasn’t seemed to have a problem. This morning I received the following email:

“Dear Auntie X,

Sorry to send this by email but I don’t want it to be awkward face to face.

I have found DS a nursery place from mid-December. Please don’t take it personally but we just don’t feel comfortable with Dog being around DS on a daily basis and think it would be best.

DS and Dog will have to be kept apart which isn’t fair on either of them- DS is at an age when he needs to be on the floor learning to play and crawl and stand; we would feel uneasy about him being left with Dog and it’s not feasible you can watch a baby every minute you’re looking after them. We’ve seen Dog display domineering behaviour (the mouthing, barking and growling) and think he’s got a way to go with his training yet.

We also feel that Dog’s barking, and you shouting at the barking, will create an atmosphere for DS that we’re not OK with.

I hope we can talk about it soon. Love you.

DNiece”

Dog is still a pup- just over 1- and I plan to train and discipline him while he’s with us. I wouldn’t leave the baby alone with him at all. He is naughty- he’s not had any boundaries and does bark (loudly) if ignored or left alone- but he’s not aggressive.

I think DNiece is being unfair; she also knows I was relying on the money she will pay me. She also has a dog at home.

What do I reply!?

MissionItsPossible Sun 19-Nov-17 09:43:05

No it's not unfair, it's her decision.

flapjackfairy Sun 19-Nov-17 09:43:12

It is entirely her choice as it is her child. Take it on the chin is my advice.

MuggaTea Sun 19-Nov-17 09:43:43

You tell her "no worries, and you respect her decision".

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 19-Nov-17 09:44:07

There’s nothing you can really say except “okay, thanks for letting me know, it’s a shame as I was looking forward to looking after DNephew”.

FedUpWithBriiiiiick Sun 19-Nov-17 09:45:19

You reply:

Dear DNeice

That is absolutely fine, your choice entirely.

Love you too.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 19-Nov-17 09:45:57

You reply 'ok, no worries, I understand. When thE dog goes back, would you consider letting me look after her again as I enjoy it? X'

gingergenius Sun 19-Nov-17 09:47:04

Presumably you’re a registered childminder who has been visited by ofsted who will also have conceived me about your care of a dog and a baby. If you can satisfy ofsted and show your niece this, that may allay her fears. If you are not registered, you have no business charging for childcare as it is illegal to do so, in which case YABU.

Tiptoethr0ughthetulips Sun 19-Nov-17 09:47:21

I think your DN is being very sensible but a little cowardly to tell you via email. I like dogs I have one, I also have a baby and a toddler but I would be uncomfortable with that situation.
I always put my dog in another room when people with children visit and I expect people to do the same for us.

gingergenius Sun 19-Nov-17 09:47:40

Concerns re not conceived me!

Callamia Sun 19-Nov-17 09:47:47

I think she’s made a reasonable choice. It sounds like she’s really thought about it, and isn’t meaning this as a personal slight. Let’s face it, she’s putting herself out to use a nursery rather than family care.

jellypi3 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:48:03

I don't think she's being unfair at all.

TheQueenOfWands Sun 19-Nov-17 09:48:14

Sensible.

I'd do exactly the same as her. Too big a risk to take.

Elllicam Sun 19-Nov-17 09:48:16

Is the dog mouthing, barking and growling? Are you shouting at him? I would not be comfortable either I’m afraid.

HRTpatch Sun 19-Nov-17 09:48:42

Shes making the right decision.

DeepPileTinsel Sun 19-Nov-17 09:49:25

You reply saying

“Dear DN,

Thank you for explaining your reasons, and for letting me know so promptly. I’m sure DN will have a lovely time at his new nursery.

Love,
Auntie”

It’s her choice entirely, and based on what she’s written in the email I don’t blame her at all. I wouldn’t be happy with that situation either.

MummaDeeDee Sun 19-Nov-17 09:51:54

I wouldn’t be offended, I think she’s being totally reasonable. Maybe tell her there are no hard feelings and you’d be happy to discuss again once the dog isn’t in your home.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 19-Nov-17 09:52:01

I’d tell the friend you can no longer look after their dog.

Xeneth88 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:53:00

I think YABU. She's worded her email in a honest and nice way. Her concerns are valid and she has every right to feel how she does.

Whocansay Sun 19-Nov-17 09:53:04

You reply 'no problem, thanks for letting me know'.

It may not be the dog at all, but used it as an excuse. Whatever the reason, it no longer works for her and she is entitled to change her mind. She sent an email to avoid an argument.

You are not a family member doing her a favour. You are charging her. Are you a registered childminder?

Belleoftheball8 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:53:31

I 100% agree with her when the agreement was originally made there as no dog now you’ve accepted a dog you don’t really know from a friend of a friend. I wouldn’t take the risk either her dog is familiar with her ds so the two Re not comparable at all. I think ofsted would have concerns to if you were an childminder.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 19-Nov-17 09:54:27

I don’t blame her at all. I would do exactly the same as her.

WunWun Sun 19-Nov-17 09:58:27

I would do exactly the same in her position. You made the decision to take on the dog.

justilou1 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:58:55

I think she's been really sensible, to be honest. It also saves you from being put in a position to rehome or surrender the dog. You should appreciate that she thought about your position when she made her choice.

Crunchymum Sun 19-Nov-17 09:59:33

Completely, 100% agree with your niece.

No way would I want my baby around an unknown and unsettled dog.

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