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Have I been mean?

(65 Posts)
Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:18:04

I’m thinking I may have upset my neighbour. We get on well, never any problems and we would probably be classed as friends. I have no children at home now, she has 2 little ones. The youngest (9) likes dogs and likes to come and play with mine. I recently acquired a puppy so obviously he’s wanting to come around even more now. The problem is it got to the point where they were coming around every day. It was too much. I have aspergers and don’t like to socialise and also don’t like people in my house, it stresses me out. Plus the puppy is hard work and even more so when people are here. She’s a biter and they made a lot of comments about this. I’m working on it with her but people constantly going on about it stresses me out.

I know it’s school holidays and he’s bored but the thing is they always seem to ask to come around at the worse time ... normally around 4pm when DH is due home from work - or 6pm when we’re having tea. During the day wouldn’t be so bad but when the puppy is asleep, I don’t want to wake her as she’s hard work enough as it is.

On top of this, friend suggested that her son come to training classes with me - it’s just all too much. I’m not even a child friendly person as it is. I don’t dislike them but I don’t choose to spend my time with them either
Anyway he asked to come around on Monday but pup was just heading out for her injections so I said to come Tuesday instead. Tuesday I took pup for a play date and when we got back she was knackered and asleep - plus he messaged me at 6pm when we were having tea so it didn’t happen. I have messaged friend an apology but she hasn’t replied. I do feel bad for letting him down but I’m not the one setting this scenario up! I just want to be able to go about my business and not worry about if! AIBU?

Btw they are a lovely family and I know I’m an unsociable twat and probably quite self cantered but this is why I keep myself to myself. I don’t want to upset anyone, I just can’t commit to regular visits like this.

Shplot Wed 14-Aug-19 10:19:45

You need to be honest and say it’s too much for you. I don’t think you’re mean I think they’re taking advantage.

PutyourtoponTrevor Wed 14-Aug-19 10:21:13

Jeez, they need to learn some boundaries, you are definitely not being U. Does the mum stay or just drop and run?

PooWillyBumBum Wed 14-Aug-19 10:22:48

You haven’t been mean. If you want to keep your friend happy why not suggest a couple of days and times that are convenient and just be honest about the frequency being too much? I.e. doggy loves little Johnny but he’s quite excitable at his age and when our routine is disrupted it makes things a bit tricky. Could little Johnny come round on Tuesdays or Thursdays before 12pm rather than every evening? Thanks for understanding!’

BloomingHydrangea Wed 14-Aug-19 10:23:32

Not mean but I would court them, our dog is 18 months old and has never been into the kennels as our lovely neighbours have her. They also used to come and play with her a lot as a puppy.

Some puppies like lots of stimulus from different people- ours is a very bright dog and certainly does. She is a persons dog rather than a dogs dog unlike our last 3.

Can the puppy go to their house for a bit to play in their garden?

dollydaydream114 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:24:57

Bloody hell, no, you haven't been mean.

It is absolutely ridiculous of your neighbour to think she can bring her child round every day to play with your puppy. Your house isn't a petting zoo and you have better things to do than entertain your neighbour's child every day. And it's incredibly pushy of her to ask if he can go to training classes with you.

If they want their child to have constant access to a dog, they need to get a dog of their own. It's completely unreasonable and weird of them to expect their son to come in to your house to see your puppy so often.

I think you need to have a word with your neighbour and explain, politely of course, that the visits from the child need to stop because you can't entertain him all the time and the puppy needs stability and calm rather than someone dropping in all the time. And with regards to the puppy classes, explain to her that no, the only person who should be training the puppy is its family, not neighbours or friends. It is beyond pushy of her to ask!

Ponoka7 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:25:52

It isn't appropriate for the child to come to the initial training classes. Different with an older child who lives with the dog, but they'd be told to just watch at first.

They've taken for granted that you want to share the puppy, when this is an important settling in period. As for biting, always have a dog toy to hand and be firm. I used to tell my children that it they went near our puppies (German Shepherd) without a toy, expect to get nipped. You need this training space.

I'd use the nipping as an excuse and make the visits timed to suit you.

Butchyrestingface Wed 14-Aug-19 10:25:59

She’s a biter and they made a lot of comments about this

There’s your answer. Can’t have her around a 9 year old (at present).

dollydaydream114 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:28:15

Could little Johnny come round on Tuesdays or Thursdays before 12pm rather than every evening?

The OP is under no obligation to keep having someone else's kid coming to her house at all, let alone setting up a formal arrangement. Once a week is still too often for something you don't want to happen at all.

dollydaydream114 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:29:25

Can the puppy go to their house for a bit to play in their garden?

It. Is. Not. Their. Dog.

Theonewiththeblonde Wed 14-Aug-19 10:31:34

That would piss me off too

llangennith Wed 14-Aug-19 10:36:30

@Xen20 no you have not been mean but you shouldn't have let this start.
Reply as pp have suggested.

Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:37:03

Argh I feel I’ve painted a crap picture of them. Friend is lovely and she always comes with her son so it’s not like she’s using me as a babysitting service. I don’t know, I’m just feeling so stressed with it all, I know it’s not a big drama to most people but stuff like this really plays on my mind. I even dreamt of them last night - that they’d found out I’ve been going to training alone after telling them the course was fully booked. The kids have used words like “hell hound” to describe my mum and I know it’s harmless and they don’t mean anything by it but my dogs are my life. Literally the only socialising I do revolves around dogs and it gets to me when people say stuff about her like that. I know I’m being a brat. But as I say, I’m so non-people-orientated that I keep myself to myself to avoid upsetting people

Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:37:59

Oh god, my pup, not my mum!! Although that would be more amusing 😂

Cherrysoup Wed 14-Aug-19 10:38:54

Omg, YANBU! This would drive me nuts! The neighbour once brought round her grand daughter because she ‘wanted to see our dogs’. My DH was in bed after night shift, I was really pissed off!

Don’t allow your neighbour to use you as childcare or to be this involved, I am similarly anti-social and it would drive me mad. You have no obligation to entertain her kid with your puppy. It won’t help with training it, especially at training class where all focus should be on the puppy.

Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:39:26

Also! Neighbour seems to quite like me ... but that’s because she hasn’t spent much time with me. I feel she’s starting to realise that I’m not that nice after all (I did try telling her this months ago!)

messolini9 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:40:02

I have messaged friend an apology but she hasn’t replied. I do feel bad for letting him down but I’m not the one setting this scenario up!

There's no NEED to feel bad! The kid's coming round every day anyway, it's simply that on Tuesday the puppy was asleep. Visiting her should be seen as a privilege, not a right - you didn't need to apologise for the puppy being asleep, she isn't a toy for the boy's convenience.

I completely understand your need for privacy. That doesn't make you self-centred or unsociable. Frankly your neighbour is taking the piss a bit - BUT how is she to know that when you have never told her what's acceptable? If it's inconvenient for her son to visit at 4pm or 6pm - SAY SO! All you need do is casually mention that if son wants to come round tomorrow could he make it from X'oclock? You can also then slip in "for 20 minutes" or whatever timeframe suits you. You do NOT have to entertain people coming round at times to suit themselves & staying interminably! You also have the right to say "not tomorrow but I'll see you Thursday" - or whatever.

You haven't let anybody down, you just need to be clear about what suits you. No biggie, just slip it into conversation with neighbour - or direct to the son if he is old enough to process & understand times etc.

Lastly - She’s a biter and they made a lot of comments about this
Have they indeed!
Maybe they don't know dogs very well. ALL puppies bite - or "mouth". Have fun with it - teach neighbour's boy to respond with the high-pitched "ow ow ow" squeaks that teaches pups not to use their teeth. You propably already know the training games that will discourage her teeth, but teach them to the neighbour's boy too.

I hope you are going to be easier on yourself about this @Xen20 - because truly, you are being a darling having this lad visit, & his mum will be nothing but pleased that he can pop next door & out of her hair for a few minutes on most days. Just make sure that his visits are on YOUR terms - by telling him/his mum what time & frequency suits you!

Cherrysoup Wed 14-Aug-19 10:41:06

Oops, cross posted about the child care thing! Still, you aren’t obliged to allow him round, your neighbour is very cheeky to keep asking. If she wants her dc to have contact with a dog, then she needs to get one.

messolini9 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:45:10

Also! Neighbour seems to quite like me ... but that’s because she hasn’t spent much time with me. I feel she’s starting to realise that I’m not that nice after all (I did try telling her this months ago!)

Good grief my dear.
None of us are 100% "nice". Why would you expect that of yourself?

Also ... we all find it easier to be "nice" when we are comfortable within our own boundaries. So that we don't end up feeling over-exposed, over-socialised, over-burdened by company ...

Xen20 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:45:38

This is the problem, I’m absolutely terrible at communicating with people therefore I’ve probably come across like all is fine. I mask very well. So it’s not their fault really, I just need to know I’m not being unnecessarily mean about it all. He hasn’t been for quite a few days now, I think the last time was last Thursday as she’s always asleep or it’s tea time when he asks. When she’s not asleep, I’m training with her.

NailsNeedDoing Wed 14-Aug-19 10:46:06

Think about what you want out of this situation, do you want to be left alone completely, or do you want to maintain the friendship and maybe have someone you can call on for dog sitting occasionally?

If the former, then carry on brushing them off, but if it's the latter then preempt their messages asking to come over and invite them to come or join you on walks at times that are convenient for you. If you don't want the visits to be too long then ask them to come in the morning and let them know you have plans in th afternoon.

VenusTiger Wed 14-Aug-19 10:47:02

I think you need to ignore the door if they turn up and keep saying “I’m busy then/at at that time” keep saying it over and over, the adult should work it out.

Btw, raw carrots are great for puppy to bite on.

StrippingTheVelvet Wed 14-Aug-19 10:49:10

"I really hope you weren't offended yesterday. I'm not sure if you know but I have Asperger's and sometimes find things too much. X is lovely but I would rather when he visited, it is along with you.

Do you fancy a coffee on x?"

rookiemere Wed 14-Aug-19 10:49:54

This is one of the things I hate about dog ownership. Blinking having to interact with people all the time.

I would schedule time in once a week and stick to that. Say you're training puppy into a routine so can't have too much stimulation

Chocmallows Wed 14-Aug-19 10:54:26

Could you start to let them know when you are free, e.g. "hi are you free for cuppa on X at 2pm and son welcome"?
Then when they ask, just say it isn't convenient as you are busy.

This way you change the dynamics so you set the times to suit you and pup.

Although with the "hell-hound" comments I would be busy all the time!

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