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The holidays...and having a sick dog...and less than understanding relatives.

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  • #21
    It's not that you won't go, it's that you can't go. I like the be nice, but be firm approach. Send the hubby with your blessings and a big box of home baked goodies, if, unlike me, you can cook. If they don't understand, and some people just won't, because they're not wired that way, then that's OK. They sound like nice people who will continue to love you, foreign as your thinking is to them.
    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
    Desmond Tutu


    • #22
      So if you had a working dairy farm, would they understand better? Because this is not all that different. You have an animal that needs care and observation, and it's your responsibility. You can't just leave the dog at home, he's not an outside dog and it's not a matter of just telling him to tough it out, outside. That could (and probably would make his illness worse). If the issue is IBD, you have to minimize stress so he doesn't flare worse, so a boarding kennel is out of the question too. If they aren't going to understand and be accepting that there are responsibilities at home, I would probably not waste my breath.

      I hope you get some positive news quickly, this has to be stressful for you as well.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you again.

        ThreeDog--funny thing, his dad ran a beef cattle operation for years. But then again, Dad isn't the one I have most issues with. I really really like him.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • #24
          Explain and send a picture

          They will be thrilled you stayed home. I mean, if you're that loyal to your dog, then imagine if, heaven forbid, their son became ill, well, they should have no doubt you'd be right at his side, cleaning up his mess and taking good care of him.

          I think that you are probably underestimating his people. Just because they care for their animals differently, doesn't mean they won't understand.

          Especially if you email them a really lovely photo illustrating the problem.

          And really, it's not that hard to sing "Four calling birds".

          Do not ask about the twisted version of the 12 Days of Christmas I came up with that describe your poor dogs condition.

          Does good old fashioned Immodium help him any?


          • Original Poster

            2ndrygal, you about made me shoot wine out my nose. Yes wine. It's 4:15 but it's 5 o'clock somewhere!

            I SHOULD email a horrid picture of what awaits me in the basement right this freaking moment, eh?

            I NEVER get four calling birds. I always get something that I have to SING. Boo hiss!!!

            I really want to hear the twisted version!!!

            Have not tried immodium yet as i was hoping to get vet info today from the tests. Been worried that messing with anything else will set us back on diags. So haven't done it. I really need to get to the bottom of this. And soon.

            I missed the vet call while on with the mortgage company so waiting for another.

            I think we'll do Tylan and something like immodium if needed short term, but I am wanting to hear the results of the malabsorption test from A&M before I do anything else.

            Crossing fingers that they have a real diagnosis for us so we can get better, feel better and live a little better.

            But not in time for Xmas. LOL
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #26
              My DH and I live in SC. My parents are 9+ hours away in Ohio. I have gone home for Christmas many times solo and for a variety of reasons. Works for us...
              Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
              Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
              My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/


              • #27
                Originally posted by Louise View Post
                It's not that you won't go, it's that you can't go. I like the be nice, but be firm approach. Send the hubby with your blessings and a big box of home baked goodies, if, unlike me, you can cook. If they don't understand, and some people just won't, because they're not wired that way, then that's OK. They sound like nice people who will continue to love you, foreign as your thinking is to them.
                I agree. I have had dogs with sensitive stomachs and encountered explosive diarrhea in dogs before. A drive that long with a dog having explosive diarrhea that badly could be a very messy miserable drive. I think it's fair to just say that you are really disappointed that you can't make the drive under the circumstances. They may not understand - I have many family members who don't really understand anyone having an animal in the house, let alone rearranging their schedule on behalf of an animal. You just have to embrace being a little on the eccentric side and everything is ok! While boarding or a petsitter might work under normal circumstances, if I were dealing with a really sick animal I would not consider it. That is a time when you really want to monitor your animal's condition yourself . . . not to mention the cost of care for a dog with that type of thing going on for 5 days.
                I do hope that you get some good news about your boy and his condition. I know how awful it is to have a sick dog that you don't know how to help.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by wendy View Post
                  Just say NO can't come, end of story. No need to explain further. It's such a bad idea on so many levels.
                  why would you want to expose your dog to a bunch of unvaccinated dogs?
                  why would a dog owner allow a dog who has an undiagnosed GI disease visit a household with other dogs? what if it turns out to be infectitious?
                  do you really want to ride in a car for hours with a dog who has explosive diarrhea?
                  if the dog was healthy, you could kennel the dog, or hire a sitter, but that's not really possible, so that leaves no other option.

                  Remember: NO is a complete sentence. The more words you add, the more you try to explain- that just gives them ammunition to argue with you. They sound like losers so who cares if they understand or not?
                  This is it. And honestly... Your husband should be running interference for you.
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                  • #29
                    Thinking of you. Did they biopsy at latest surgery? Have you tried a course of z/d ---should help if IBD. Or course of steroids, which might improve quality of life if it is lymphoma.

                    Good luck. I too would send DH on alone and have a delicious meal on my own. We have skipped holidays or had folks come here instead either for the dogs or because I was on call when I still did that.


                    • #30
                      I wanna hear the full version too!

                      And who's signature line is, "No is a complete sentence?" Honey, I'd do exactly what 2ndyrgal suggested. She's a smart one. If they equate it to the care you'd give hubby, then all of a sudden, you're the golden daughter-in-law!

                      And llllloooootttttsssssss of ((((((((((hugs))))))))) and JINGLES!!!!
                      Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                      You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                      • #31
                        Gah, family and pets and holidays. I agree that the more confidently and pleasantly you can pronounce the word "No," the better. Easier said than done, but ultimately, all the explanations and "I'm sososososososo sorry but..." apologies that we tend to feel obligated to make do nothing but confuse matters and encourage people to think this is negotiable. And that encourages them to think that perhaps this is a power play instead of a crisis. So try to avoid it.


                        • #32
                          oops sorry - around here the kennel = Vet. Or an in house sitter.


                          • #33
                            My dogs are my children too and I owe them a lot. I do not believe you would ever forgive yourself if you did not stay with your old one and care for him during this difficult time he is having. Actually, I wouldn't even be able to put a poodle in an unheated mudroom since most of them do not handle the cold as well as some other breeds. And all of yours are used to indoors living so it would be cruel to put any of them in an unheated area in the north during winter.

                            You know, when the brilliant trainer Bobby Frankel had a dying Australian Shepherd, he opted to miss the Breeders Cup races where he had horses running in order to be with his best friend. Didn't care what the owners said or thought. That is my kind of person, loyal to the end.

                            Although this is a difficult family matter, you will not be able to change their attitudes, so you should try not to worry about their opinions. It is good that your husband is willing to go alone and have time with his family and you will have precious time with your old guy and all the others. You will never forget spending Christmas with him, trust me. Blessings and prayers that he is diagnosed and has some options for quality time with you.


                            • #34
                              I wouldn't go either. If it were REALLY, REALLY important to DH that I go, I'd say that I could go only if: dogs could sleep in the same room as I in the house, Lab might make a mess, but I'll do my best to clean it up and, if any day trips are planned, I'd be staying home with the dogs. In laws can either accomodate you or not...if they won't, well they don't want you there that badly.


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                Thank you again.

                                ThreeDog--funny thing, his dad ran a beef cattle operation for years. But then again, Dad isn't the one I have most issues with. I really really like him.
                                the whole family had to be aware that animals need care, and sick ones need special care, often 24 hour care.

                                if they can't see this, they are being deliberately obtuse or ignorant. You can't fix that.

                                Good luck BuddyRoo.


                                • #36
                                  It would be a cold day in hell when I put my indoor animal in an unheated mudroom where I live, let alone where the in-laws live. They weren't good pet owners, so don't expect them to understand why you feel that way. And I know you feel badly about not going, but you'll feel a damn sight worse if you dog gets pneumonia and dies, or gets into the poison. The in-laws can either get over it, or stick it, and hubby can either go with or without you, but you made a choice when you got the dog to do the right thing by him.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                  • #37
                                    I would send the hubby alone and stay home with the dog. That is really the only choice. You will have a miserable time if you leave the dogs anyway and an even worse time if you take them. Just the singing thing would make me avoid going in any case. Not going does not mean you don't love your husband's family. If they can't understand that, it is their problem. You need to be true to yourself, and you are a WONDERFUL person to care so much about your pet. I hope things can be worked out for you without more drama. You have enough on your plate, as it is obvious you are very worried for the dog.


                                    • #38
                                      Was just about to suggest the "baked goods" idea before Louise beat me to it. Whip up a batch of your favorite holiday cookies, pies, or bread, with a note that you'll miss them all, but this will be easiest for everyone.

                                      I'm staying home instead of the 4 hour trip to Boston for niece's dinner. Been asked/invited, and turned it down now 3 times, having been given the guilty look or sigh on the phone each time. But she and my sister/her mom, think dogs belong in kennels at any given holiday. Good for them. When I flew back home from the Middle East after 9/11 with my son and our 3 labbies in tow, a grand niece's Christening was iminent. Put doggies in kennel for 2 nights, and had a month of rotating diarrhea afterwards. Current doggie is an Irish Wolfhound who is NEVER kenneled, and who is fine and quiet, but not welcome if I stay over - house loaded with antiques and lots of people.

                                      So sorry you haven't found the cause yet, and that it isn't something as simple as giardia (whose diagnosis often erroneously tests negative - the ultimate solution to a long bout with my IW). I know what those weeks and weeks of short naps and cases of paper towels are like.

                                      Give them your love, share a lovely meal with hubby just before his trip (make him a couple of sandwiches with notes tucked in for the trip), and you've done the best you can.

                                      PS And tell them how Bobby Frankel missed the Breeders Cup to stay home with his sick dog!
                                      But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                                      • #39
                                        You shouldn't have to explain yourself or feel guilty. You have a responsibility towards the dog in your care, he's sick, and you're unable to attend the gathering this year. It's nothing personal. End of story Send them a fruit basket or something.

                                        DH is a grown man and if he really wants to attend his family event, let him know that you have no issues with staying behind and that you want him to go.

                                        I am the crazy dog and horse lady in my family and I'm sorry but my pets come first. They are part of my family and I'm not going to inconvenience them just because someone else in my family wants everything their way
                                        "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                                        Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


                                        • #40
                                          SKYPE. ..SKYPE....SKYPE

                                          just went thru this at thanksgiving..........i have been caring for my ailing,aged mother for several years.......holidays were always close by or right here..........my mother died in sept, and now everyone feels i am "freeeeeeee" to go/do whatever.......my dd wanted me to go along to nc (from pa) to a dear niece's home.......well, to get in-house sitters, and in home sitter at someone else;s home(i have 5 dogs, and it's a tough routine if not familiar with who goes where,does what, etc, so figured i owould split them up) PLUS someone to take care of the equines,which includes a fussy,finicky mule who doesn't accept change very well and is suspicious of strangers............add to that mix my dear,faithful 9 yr oldkitty who had some dire illness and needed extra special care (he did survive, but just barely).....it was going to cost me about 1500.00 dollars to go away for 5 days, and still have the worry about my dear kitty.......
                                          i get it that my kids are "worried" about me having a holiday alone, but i was fine about that..........dd got really ticked and said i was choosing animals over family....................well, the animals ARE mt family (she got over it)...
                                          SOLUTION...?????? SKYPE TO THE RESCUE!!!.......
                                          i ws "there " for the meal, got to participate in the chatter and chaos, it was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than a looooong car ride with toddlers who don't always travel well.......
                                          i saved 1500 bucks, had TOTAL peace of mind, and i was very content to just be on my own...........

                                          so, skype or speaker phone can solve the whole thing