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I'm not a dog person, so maybe I just don't get it.....?

Jan 11, 2011 - 9 comments

So Baby G's first birthday is coming up and we've planned a party for him, inviting mostly family.  We're planning a nice lunch at our home, the usual cake thing....just something comfortable with those that we're closest to.

We've included my dad's wife's parents on the guest list - they're awesome people, very kind and thoughtful.  We usually see them when we're at my dad's, they come over for a little visit, often have something small for the boys and are just sweet people all around.

Anyway, so I hadn't heard anything back from them (or through my dad and stepmom) as to whether they were coming to the party or not....so in a thank you note I sent them for gifts they'd sent us and the boys for Christmas, I asked about it.  My stepmom's mom (I guess that would make her my step grandma) emailed me today to tell me that they wouldn't be attending because they will be staying behind to look after their dog (a boxer) as well as my dad and stepmom's (a golden lab).  

Now, I'm not a dog person - we have a cat instead - and so I don't know how, realistically, how long you can even leave a dog during any given day before he/she will need to use the facilities, etc..  I'm not upset at them for declining the invite - I'm just totally in the dark on this subject. so I thought I'd put it out there so that those who are more knowledgeable than me can enlighten me :)

A bit more info.....My dad lives 2.5 hours from where we do - so that's 5 hours of driving....and that's not factoring in any potential winter weather conditions or other delays, either.  So....add lunch and a visit...some cake and a bit of present opening on top of that, and it could be a good 8 hour day away from a dog.  Is that too long?  I mean, can people leave their dogs all day while they work without needing to return home at some point to let them out?  (See, I wasn't kidding: I'm totally clueless about what can and can't be done where dogs are concerned!!)

The thing is....two of my husband's sisters have dogs.  They each live an hour away from us and they're coming to the party.  Perhaps this can vary by dog or by the comfort level of the dog's owner?

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by julianovak, Jan 11, 2011
most likely they think a dog is a baby... :/ i dont like when a dog becomes a "child" i never believed any of that. sorry, yes i do like dogs, but a dog is NOT human, it IS an animal last time i checked.

1194973 tn?1385503904
by Clysta, Jan 11, 2011
I grew up with dogs (my parents breed them) and it really would depend on the animal. Some you can leave home, but this can cause a mountain of problems. If it's caged then it sits there for hours without being able to move, nor go to the bathroom. If it is too long the animal will finally go and then it has to sit in feces and urine as well. If the animal is left out of a cage then you risk damage to the house. (i.e trash gotten into, the animal going to the bathroom all over the house, etc) Depending on weather conditions it's possible to leave the animal outside, but if it's snowy or cold that would be too long outside.

951898 tn?1296134343
by 5n1, Jan 11, 2011
Do they not work during the day? or at some point where the dog has to be alone? I myself have 3 dogs...two of which are outside and one is inside..but, it does not control my life lol...There are times that we are gone for 8-9-10 hours at a time, and the inside dog does just fine..she is kennel trained though, she she usually stays in there if we are only going to be gone shortly..but, if it is a long trip, we put her in the utility room with food, water, toys, bed, and wee-wee pad(she is potty trained to go outside, but if we are not at home, she will use the pad)

I would assume that they treat these dogs as if they were their "kids"  I am not too sure on what their logic is not wanting to leave the dogs alone..I have really never heard of anyone doing that lol



1456473 tn?1365827455
by superchoc, Jan 11, 2011
this is why you put pets in the bathroom and leave the toilet seat down and remove anything the dog can destroy. it seems like an excuse..xo

13167 tn?1327194124
by RockRose, Jan 11, 2011
I have so many different opinions about this.

It really does depend on the dog,  and it depends on the owners.  Some owners do this because they really don't want to travel and come to an event.  It may be the case with your Dad's wife's parents just really don't want to come, although they like you and wish you well,  they may be the kind of people who at their age are more comfortable in their homes and don't want to travel.

Doing the math here,  are they in their late 70's or early 80's?  No reflection on your and your family,  and no reflection on them,  maybe they just don't want to be on the road for a long day.

470885 tn?1326329037
by Limonada, Jan 11, 2011
Thanks to everyone for the comments and input - I really appreciate it :)

All of the dogs in question (including my 2 SIL's dogs - would be crated for the day in this case.

The thought had crossed my mind that maybe this was their "out", to say that they had to miss the party for the dogs....but I honestly can't see them intentially doing this (or maybe I'm just kidding myself here and wanting to see the glass half full rather than half empty).  They're in their early 70's and think nothing of hopping in their RV and going on road trips, so I doubt that a day trip would dissuade them.  So....maybe it IS us!  LOL

I don't really know much about how they treat their dog, but Dad and his wife really seem to believe that theirs is their baby - my dad even called the dog my "sister" one day.....and he wasn't even kidding!

Like I said before, I'm not angry...although I do admit to being baffled as to what would possess someone to choose an animal over a baby :l

973741 tn?1342342773
by specialmom, Jan 11, 2011
I have to say that I would guess what Rockrose says is a big underlying factor.  My father in law is now 84 and for the past few years, he has been reluctant to leave his home and travel the 2 hours to get here or go anywhere else outside of his comfort zone for that matter.  I think as some age they feel vulnerable leaving their zone and if it is the dead of winter, they may fear getting stuck.  In fact, ugh----------  my father in law shouldn't drive anyway because his vision is not that great.  It just gets complicated as they age.  (not looking forward to it.)

I had a dog when I was not specialmom but careerlady and that pooch did alright for big stretches of time without me.  Spent the time wandering and sleeping, I think.  I have a pup now and to be honest, 8 hours would be stretching it for her.  Not to mention by the time we got back home-----------  she'd be a wild maniac and want to play until 3 am (experienced this over Christmas when we were gone longer than usual for a holiday celebration.  ugh).  

I really imagine that these folks would love to come to the party and feel honored that you invited them.  But their comfort zone is just not letting them come.  

Happy birthday to your big boy!

1035252 tn?1427227833
by Ashelen, Jan 11, 2011
I think that their age excuses whatever their motive might be. They may simply be too embarrassed to say that this sort of trip would be difficult for them. My grandparents were too embarrassed to say that they didn't feel like they could make the trip to Christmas, so they made up the most pathetically adorable excuse ever "people get so drunk and they fall all over and they'll be knocking us down so it would be safer if we stay home" mind you...yes people drink a bit in my family, but it's far from a "wild party" and mostly involves sitting on the couch and laughing. So it was cute. lol Of course...they're in their mid 90's so it's a LITTLE different, but same idea.



1330108 tn?1333677304
by SunWorshiper_26, Jan 12, 2011
My grandmother is that age and has come to the point where she wont drive more than 30 min. It's tiring and takes a lot out of her she is afraid she will get lost and frankly I don't and nobody wants her to go far from home by herself or someone who can't care for her who is better minded. Yes she is in good shape for her age however she is still getting older. Additionally my Grandmother doesn't feel comfortable driving in the snow anymore even though she was born raised and still lives in northern WI where is snows nearly 5mths out of the year.

Also it does depend on the dogs. Puppies and older dogs cannot be left alone for that long. Some dogs also suffer from anxiety from seperation and yet others have medical conditions which require more care and supervision. Unfortunately most dogs cant just let themselves out and they are also pack animals unlike cats. Cats are content to be alone. Dogs desire affection attention and interaction as they were bred to live in packs. We have three dogs and we dont leave any of them alone for more than 7 hours if possible bc it isn't fair to them. However they have been left up to 12 hours at a time they are just incredibly attention starved and have to potty really really badly when we return. If we leave town for the day and will be gone 8+ hours we have someone come to our house to let the dogs out to potty and play with them. While they CAN be left for that long it isn't the kind thing to do on a regular basis.

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