Advanced search

Family want a dog, I don't

(149 Posts)
Home77 Thu 14-Mar-19 09:57:32

I feel really mean to have said no. But I know the responsibility will fall on me as they are out most of the time and have busy lives- after school club and the like. DH also works long hours.

We live in a flat which is the first problem. We aren't allowed dogs, so this is a good excuse. However now DH is talking about moving so we can have a dog and garden (argh). Dc are young teens and happily settled in school etc.

I have suggested Walk my Doggy for eldest DC or the Cinnamon trust- where you help someone ill or elderly with dog walking. They don't want to as it would be their own dog.

We already have a Cockatiel which I feel needs enough attention, I end up feeding and looking after that sometimes, (and reminding them to do it)

They all including DH seem to want this dog but not taking on the reality of it, but making me feel like the mean one and being unkind my saying no. I feel like it would be another child / baby to look after.

It is also made worse as have relatives who dote on their dogs and feel like they are their world, they have got the dogs as the children grew up - it seems to me they like feeling if looking after them and being needed, but we aren't all the same and I'm somewhat relived by the Dcs becoming more independant.

They tell me it might be good for me as have MH to look after this dog and take it out etc, I prefer going out myself though to the shops or gym and don't like the park as other cross dogs there and chatty dog owner 'cliques'- remind me of the school run!

Shoxfordian Thu 14-Mar-19 09:59:56

Yanbu at all especially as you'll be the one walking the dog and looking after it all day

Theknacktoflying Thu 14-Mar-19 10:00:44

Every reason not to get one .... stick to your guns

SpogTheDog Thu 14-Mar-19 10:00:46

If they can't be bothered to look after the cockatiel they don't deserve a dog, and you don't want one. It'd be a definite no from me and I'm an animal lover who can't imagine not having a pet but it wouldn't be fair on you, the dog or the cockatiel who is already overlooked.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 14-Mar-19 10:02:35

What about a guide dog puppy? Or a dog in training? - Friends used to take care of one overnight (and, presumably, at the weekends), and then he'd go to the centre for training during the day. It might show your family the reality of what having a dog entails whilst you know it's not going to be with you forever.

I'd also put my foot down, if I were you, and say that you will have nothing to do with it, so they have to come up with a plan of action for looking after it, which includes what happens when the children go to university.

teyem Thu 14-Mar-19 10:03:31

Wait, so they think you should get a dog even though you will be lumped with all the responsibility and they are trying to make out that it will be good for you?

I wouldn't be afraid of holding firm. And if they call you mean I'd say "So?" ... I wouldn't entertain this for a minute.

ADHMeeee Thu 14-Mar-19 10:04:43


It's seriously unfair on you as you'd be expected to look after it.

With us it's the other way round, I brought home a very old, expensive vet bill-needing dog on Monday. I'm home most the time, kids are in school, OH works, and my MH has been at an all time low. OH wasn't sold on having a dog but knew what it meant for me, but he wanted a bigger one. We are allowed a dog in our ground floor flat, but rescue professionals said we could only have a small one. So I brought him home Monday and I feed him, I walk him, I'm the one learning his toilet cues and it's me who stays with him at the vets. But this was very much my venture. I know what I'm taking on.

If I'd gotten a dog but expected my OH to do all the work because I was going to go out all the time or had to work, then it would have been a solid no.

So, YANBU. This is not up for discussion I feel. But I would be concerned they'll go over your head.

Home77 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:04:44

Thanks I thought so too, I need to be firm here as really don't want to move due to the dog when I'm not going to be responsible for it.

I feel eldest DC who really wants a dog could try the helping with dogs first - it's not all about owning one, you can still be close to a dog and share the care / help others, so not giving in to the guilty feeling.

other friend with health / disability also going on about their 'therapy' dog and how it has helped them, and saying could get one. they seemed upset at my reaction. (kind of visibly shuddered)

Home77 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:06:16

I can imagine with puppy training they would get attached and be sad when it left, good idea though. also not in the flat. (thank God for the flat lease - says nothing with four legs!)

teyem Thu 14-Mar-19 10:07:27

I can't get over that they are telling you that the dog will be good for your mental health on the one hand and telling you that you are being mean if you don't get a dog on the other.

Is it for your own good or not? Do ylthry think it's good for your health to be labelled mean for not complying with their demands? Are they always this manipulative?

TheTurnOfTheScrew Thu 14-Mar-19 10:08:33

never mind where the buck stops re walking/grooming/feeding, I think this is one of those things where if anyone disagrees, they should have the absolute right of veto.

After our last cat died, DC2 and I were really keen to get a dog. DH and DC1 not so much. Even though it would be me doing all the walking/crap cleaning etc, I still felt it unfair to introduce a dog into their home if they weren't totally on board.

So we have two new cats instead. And DC2 and I in the process of becoming volunteer dog walkers for the local rescue centre.

adaline Thu 14-Mar-19 10:10:07

YANBU at all.

We have a dog and he's a big tie. All the adults in the house need to be 100% committed - it's a lot of work. Toilet training, walks, training classes, crate-training, supervising the dog to stop it chewing everything, getting up early to get it to the toilet - it's hard work even if's 100% what you want.

I love my dog and I'm so glad we got him - he's rewarding and has changed our lives for better, but he is hard work. The last three days it's been blowing a gale and pissing it down, and he's needed to go out for walks regardless. He's had four baths in three days due to muddy walks and crawling under the shed instead of going to the toilet hmm

Only do it if you're 100% committed. It's not fair on the dog otherwise.

BlueMerchant Thu 14-Mar-19 10:10:45

I gave in to demands for a dog. We got a puppy. I live with MH issues and in all honesty our puppy hasn't helped one jot!

Waspnest Thu 14-Mar-19 10:13:36

Don't feel you're being mean, you're being absolutely fair. My DD sometimes says she'd love a dog and I just say when you've got your own place you can have whatever pets you like. With your DH I'd ask him if his employers would be fine with him taking it to work every day. We've only got a cat and I get pissed off with being the only one who feeds it/clears the litter tray/clears up the scattered litter/cleans the muddy footprints off the floor/spends ages removing cat hair from cushions - I get told I'm mean when I say I'd never get another cat (tbf this one was a stray so nobody chose to get it).

HelloYouTwo Thu 14-Mar-19 10:14:05

Do. Not. Get. A. Dog!

You don’t want a dog, you’d have to move house to have a dog, no one else has the time to look after a dog! Dogs are lovely but they tie you down, they require daily input, you can’t leave them alone for ages etc etc. You know all this. Don’t even get into the debate with them. You don’t want a dog and that’s the end of the debate surely.

Your family are being very mean to try and pressure you into all this. Tell them they are being mean and unfair and the pressure is actually jeopardising your MH.

Even teens who you’d think would be more understanding about looking after a pet will tend to forget about its needs when they’ve got their own stuff going on. And if they are what 13, 14, might they be heading off to university in 4 years? Dogs live 10-14 years in general. They can do the maths on that.

Home77 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:14:22

I'm more of a cat person - they are more independent. would find that less stressful.

I can make the point about the Cockatiel being more time consuming than they thought and me doing that, to start with and have told them if they want a dog I won't be involved in it, so they need to make arrangement for it, without me. Also, I can remind them DH has an allergy. he forgets that. Maybe there are types which can be non allergic though.

I can't say any of this to family as they are all dog lovers and treat them like babies.

thenightsky Thu 14-Mar-19 10:14:52

You are right to stick to your guns over this one. A dog is like having another child, expect its a child who doesn't ever grow up and move out. I loved our old lab, but after I'd got over her death I felt so free! I could go out for hours and even whole weekends spontaneously.

thenightsky Thu 14-Mar-19 10:15:22

*except (not expect)

justforareply Thu 14-Mar-19 10:17:23

Stick to your guns from me too
My dog was the best money I ever spent but a real restriction to lifestyle as they cannot be left for hours on their own it's not fair at all.
I work 2.5 days a week and on my days off, I no longer go to town for a leisurely mooch or local shopping centre - maybe a whizz there, hour in shops and whizz back and this only occasionally. Also days out planned around dog - places she can go and join in. That's fine with me at the ages children are now.
I'd like to go back to gym to do weights and even tho a gym literally 200 yards away, I feel like I need to be with her on my days off not leaving her alone like on work mornings.

rainingonmyfireworks Thu 14-Mar-19 10:17:51

NO WAY ARE WE GETTING A DOG ! if dh wants one that badly let him move out, it sounds like he likes the being the 'good guy' in the eyes of the dc and mum is the mean one. jog on dh it ain't happening.

Home77 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:19:36

Glad for these replies!

Yes the time we helped with a neighbours was not good either. First it escaped and tried to run back to her, she was very upset, and it nearly got run over. Then, we got some horrible pit bull type dog and owner barking at it, (scary) owner wouldn't put it on a lead...but we had to walk it anyway as they need walked.

Not sure why people think they will help MH, the cuddles maybe? I just find it stressful jumping around and barking etc. Would be a nightmare in the flat.

teyem Thu 14-Mar-19 10:19:43

I can make the point about the Cockatiel being more time consuming than they thought and me doing that, to start with and have told them if they want a dog I won't be involved in it

You don't have to play this game you know, you have a veto. I'd just say no and close every conversation on it down thereafter. Maybe you should be a little meaner, it might do you good? flowers

Furrydogmum Thu 14-Mar-19 10:23:50

My kids were desperate for guinea pigs and a rabbit - all became mine and dh responsibility very quickly - rabbit now almost 10 and going strong!! I love animals but you need to be realistic about the responsibility, which you are so stick to your guns. I was the one desperate for a dog - now have 3 and dh happy to walk them etc but they are my responsibilty at bottom, which is fine cos I wanted them!

Happynow001 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:26:37

Your husband needs to support you in this. He is, after all, supposed to the other adult on the family. Putting you in the "bad guy" role is unfair.

Also how does moving house help YOU? You'd still be the person stuck with the responsibility of looking after the dog once the initial excitement of having a new dog has worn off - you have the cockatiel as a current example. Then there's all the upheaval and expense in moving..

Stand your ground OP!

Boysey45 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:30:01

Keep repeating no continually and they will get the message. It will all fall on you and you know that. If relatives have dogs, could you family take them out etc?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »