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family dog dispute

(8 Posts)
dipitydoyou Tue 05-Jul-11 16:14:35

We have recently been on holiday for 2 weeks. We have a yellow Lab and usually our friends (who we got her from) look after her if we're away. However this year our holidays overlapped so my Aunt who lives a few streets away offered to take her for us.

Now my Aunt is a massive animal lover, and even runs a small dog sitting service so we were really pleased with the arrangements (and if i'm being honest v happy to avoid huge kennel costs). Now we offered to pay my Aunt obviously and she said she would just like a little something. We provided the food food and treats.

For the past couple of months my Aunt has had a key so she can let herself in on the two days I work a week, so she could see if she could handle her on walks etc.
Everything seemed fine, we went on holiday and when we returned we picked up the dog and thought things would return to normal. Not so.

The day after we returned we recieved a phonecall from my Aunt asking what we were doing that day, we explained we needed to go to the supermarket and she said she wasn't happy with the dog being left for that long so she would take her. Was a bit {hmm} as we would literally be 2 hours max, but was honestly too tired to argue and figured she was probably missiing the dog so dropped her off.

Monday I went out and got a phonecall from my Husband to say she had let herself in with her key and wanted to see the dog. He said he made her a cup of tea and she stayed for over an hour. I rang her and said how nice it was that she came to see the dog but if she wanted to come over ring first. So she did. All morning Tues ( I was screening i'm a wimp) until I finally picked up and she asked if she could take her out. I explained that I would be doing it but she made such a fuss of it being no bother , so I said yes (like I said i'm a wimp)
Weds the same thing, but this time I explained firmly that I had done it and the same happened again on Thurs.

We didn't hear anything then until Saturday when she rang to say she had heard we would both be out for most of the day Sunday, and she didn't want the dog alone as she is not used to it now (which I suppose is a fair point) so she would take her if that was ok.
We said that would be fine but there there was no need as she'd be out all morning before we left and walked as usual later in the evening BUT if she wanted to, or just wanted to pop in and see her to give her a fuss that was fine, just please could she make sure the dog was brought back so she'd be there for when we were got in.

Now when we arrived home the dog greeted us and the phone was ringing, it was my Grandmother and literally all hell broke loose! apparently my Aunt was livid that I had 'dictated' to her what time I wanted her to return the dog, that we were ungrateful (we paid her £150) and that she was v upset with us.

Now I tried rininging yesterday to smooth things over but got no answer and today had a message on the answer machine to say she'd like to walk the dog this week.
Now i'm sure I sound like an ungrateful cow and I promise i'm not, I really appreciate that she took such good care of her and loves her so much and I do love my Aunt to bits BUT she is our dog, and I don't want to share her with someone else as pathetic as that may sound. I'm getting a bit fed up with daily phone calls and visits, plus the dog looks plain depressed when she'd here now! i'm sure she's been feeding her prime steak to make us look bad {grin}

So how on earth do I deal with this without it causing a family row? or shall I leave it and hope it dies down? or buy her a puppy and say I found it to re-direct her attention ( i'm only half serious)
thoughts please!

DooinMeCleanin Tue 05-Jul-11 17:01:40

It sounds like your Aunt does not think you look after your dog properly? I'm sure you do, I'm just thinking if I thought a family dog was not getting walked properly or being left alone too long I'd probably offer to walk it myself.

Can you just keep dropping hints about how knackered you are after walking 6 million miles with the dog and stick silly posts on FB like "Been out with Lab, he loved the Bull dog we met" etc. to put her mind at rest?

You could also contact local rescues on her behalf and ask if they need walkers, most rescues will bite your hand off at this offer. You could tell your Aunt you know someone who does this and thought of her when they were telling you about it?

ExitPursuedByAKitten Tue 05-Jul-11 17:05:09

Eek - that would drive me mad. My dog is my dog so Hands Off! Great suggestion to put her in touch with a rescue centre.

clam Tue 05-Jul-11 17:06:37

Or how about, "apprecite the thought, but we've got it covered, thanks."
Repeat 'til message gets through.

Sarsaparilllla Tue 05-Jul-11 17:11:23

Agree with Clam, she's being really over the top and pushy and I'd find it hard to remain polite, even though she's obviously trying to 'help'! It's totoally find ot leave a dog for a few hours while you go shopping ffs, course it is!!

Put her in touch with the Cinnamon Trust, they look for volunteer dog walkers for elderly/disabled people who can't walk their dogs themselves - unlike you who is perfectly capable smile

Sarsaparilllla Tue 05-Jul-11 17:16:36

totally fine to even, god I can't type today!

dipitydoyou Tue 05-Jul-11 18:04:06

DooInMeCleanin I see what you mean but I just can't think why there is any reason for her to think that? We have had our dog for three years now and our routine has always be the same. My husband walks her at night, I do mornings. we only live a couple of roads away so we've passed her numerous times. I love the facebook idea, but she doesn't have it sadly.
I will most definitly look into the dog walking idea thats a great way of puttting it to her too so thankyou!

ExitPursuedByKitten yes, driving me mad indeed!

clam Love it, it will be my new mantra wink

Sarsaparilla Yes I do think she thinks she is 'helping' but yes its definitly getting OTT and pushy!

To be honest after two weeks I can see why she'd fall in love with her, she's a lovely dog but I think I need to establish some 'ground rules' (which I should have done when we got back so my fault there) I don't want to upset her though she's a lovely lady. But if she lets herself in again or phones to say 'ooooh food shopping for 2 hours is far too long' i'm going to snap!

buggerlugs82 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:14:52

Something called broken record - keep repeating the same thing until she gets the message. Also ask for your key back, its your bloody house. If she falls out with you for wanting YOUR key back.

Maybe pop and see her, minus dog to explain that you understand her wanting to walk her but she doesnt have a 'right' to it, so can't get upset with you for not allowing her. Suggest she gets her own dog maybe?

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