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

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

    I've posted a lot lately about my 9 1/2 YO lab who has been having issues. The primary issue at this point is that he can't go more than a few hours without having explosive liquid stools and that has me essentially housebound AND still cleaning carpet. A lot.

    We did more bloodwork last Thurs and apparently the results are in, but I am waiting on a call from the vet about next steps.

    Suffice it to say that I'm pretty much at the end of my rope after dealing with this for the last 3 mos now and am ready to try anything but I'm a sucker for a diagnosis and am crossing fingers we'll get one today. Or at least have a new plan. or SOMETHING.

    Anyway....problem is this. My dog is like my kid as I have no kids. He's sick. So in my (whacko?) mind, my responsibility is to take care of him. Part of this means being around or making arrangements such that he can get out and go potty with frequency.

    I interviewed a dog walker today just so I can entertain my brother for a day in DC who is in from Germany later this week. I think hubby gets that--he doesn't like seeing poop all over our floors any more than I do.

    But...hubby wants to drive home at Xmas to attend Xmas eve dinner. That's a 26 hour drive round trip plus staying at his folks' place for 4-5 days. And at his folks, the dogs have to stay in the unheated mudroom for the duration.

    I don't want to go. My dogs are HOUSE DOGS. They have never been made to sleep out of doors. And it will be cold in MI at Xmas most likely. Further, if these poop issues aren't resolved by then, there's a high liklihood that I will need to be able to let my dog out frequently which is impossible if I don't have a vehicle to get back there from whatever family thing we're attending. And even further, if he has an accident in the mudroom, he will likely be relegated to the pole barn which beyond being cold and not the house, also has all sorts of poison in it for rats and coons. Not safe.

    Husband gets it to some extent but I know his family will not. They think it's ridiculous that I've even done surgery on this dog. They are the type of pet owners who let their dogs run loose even though they live on a busy highway and every. single. dog. they've owned has died due to being hit by a car. They are humane--i mean, they'll shoot a wounded dog--but they don't believe in "extraordinary vet care" which includes vaccinations.

    So. Is there any way to explain or some how at least minimize the resentment if I choose to stay here with the dogs and send hubby to his folks? I just can't put the dogs outside like that. They will be annoying at best, but more than likely, I'll be dealing with messes, having to apologize for the poodle pawing at the door to be let in, possibly barking from said poodle, and cleaning up after my lab. It just doesn't sound like fun to me at all.

    AND, they make me sing by myself at Xmas dinner. We all have a part singing the 12 days of Christmas. I am not a singer. At. All. So being able to avoid that by using my dogs as an excuse is good for me. LOL
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    Wow. You are so much nicer than I am. It would never occur to me to explain or try to minimize the resentment - I'd just tell 'em flat out I ain't goin' to their house under those circumstances.

    Sure doesn't sound like they care if they offend you.

    I mean really, they expect you to put your sick dog in an unheated room or worse in a barn where they put out poison? See, I already don't like them because I can't stand a poisoner. But still. Their expectations are beyond the pale. This is on top of you spending 26 hours in a car to visit them?

    Pffft. That's what I'd say!
    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm with pAin't!!

      Your poor puppers doesn't need that additional stress now anyway.

      Oh...and I wouldn't go just because of the whole singing thing!!!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        They just don't understand. They didn't really understand when I'd miss their 4pm spur of the moment dinners while working full time an hour away and supporting the whole family and they don't understand this. They are really nice people and I love them dearly, but I just cannot leave my dogs outside--especially when one is sick--and I don't want to deal with them being upset when the sick dog gets sick.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

        Comment


        • #5
          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?

          Comment


          • #6
            I understand. I know people who just don't have any empathy at all for a non-human animal. It's like they're missing a chip or something.

            But, IME the only way to get things across to folks like that is to state your position plainly. E.g. "Sorry. I love you and would love to come see you, but I have a sick dog and he can't travel that far this year. So y'all will just have to have Christmas without me." (Said with a big smile and an attitude of 'of course you'll understand.')

            I've done similar with members of my family. I told all of mine they might not see me this year if my elderly little Abbie dog was still with us at Christmas. (Sadly she passed away last night.)

            They just think I'm eccentric. But I'm a Southerner. We're supposed to be eccentric. If you're not, then you don't have enough first cousins in your family tree.

            Anyway, wendy has a good point. You really don't want to expose your sick dog to a bunch of unvaccinated dogs, or them to him, either. And yikes - 26 hours in a car with a dog with explosive diarrhea?
            Last edited by pAin't_Misbehavin'; Dec. 4, 2012, 03:06 PM. Reason: read wendy's post
            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm with the others, too!!! I'd politely decline on the basis of having responsibilities at home that just can't be helped!!! "Sorry, I'd love to come, but just can't get away this year!!" ....or "I seem to have some deadly, highly contagous disease that I'd hate to spread!" Whatever!! My animals come before "not so nice" relatives!!!
              www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

              Comment


              • #8
                What pAin't (RIP Abbie, huggles pAin't) and vtdobes said.

                Explain very graphically the explosive stool problem, take pictures or video and send to them if needs be - they'll get the idea and may very well prefer that you and the pooches stay away.

                Or else you can just say "not going", and not go. You're under a lot of stress already, give yourself a break and don't add to it.
                where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  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?
                  They don't have dogs anymore. Sorry, I was unclear. They go to FL for the winters now and just come home for Xmas. No other dogs.

                  I am comfortable with NO, but I know that this is terribly disappointing to my husband who has never missed a Christmas in his life. THis is the first time he's not lived near home so I think it's a big deal to him and I know it's a big deal to his family. but I just don't want to go. Le sigh.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks all. I feel like a fruitloop already, but it's nice to know others would do the same. Even if you all are fruitloops too.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I for sure would not go. And how old is your husband? Can he suck it up and not go for one year? Or would he like to go without you?

                      I missed my SISTER's WEDDING because my beloved cat was dying. Everyone understood. Ended up putting him down a day or so after the wedding - I live in Mass., and she lives in North Carolina.

                      I don't think we are all fruit loops, either.
                      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                        Thanks all. I feel like a fruitloop already, but it's nice to know others would do the same. Even if you all are fruitloops too.
                        Thanks.
                        No reason why DH can't go by himself, is there? My DH and I often make trips home without the other one - with three horses, four dogs [now], and two cats (one of whom got bladder stones once so we're scared to leave him alone too long), it's a big deal for both of us to go out of town at the same time.
                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh - and have you tried probiotics? I swear the only way my old lady kitty doesn't have liquid poops every day are the probiotics we have her on. Nothing else wrong with her 'cept arthuritis.
                          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd either not go or find a kennel that can take them. 26 hours at a reputable kennel (w/indoor/outdoor access) should work for your situation. Just realized you have 4 dogs. Could you get a house sitter for the 3 ok ones and bring the one w/issues to a kennel?
                            Last edited by Bells; Dec. 4, 2012, 03:14 PM. Reason: more info

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bells View Post
                              I'd either not go or find a kennel that can take them. 26 hours at a reputable kennel (w/indoor/outdoor access) should work for your situation.
                              I'd be kind of scared to leave a sick dog at a kennel. I'd worry that his resistance is probably low and the stress and exposure might make him worse. Anyway, I doubt a boarding kennel would take a sick dog. Might leave him with the vet, but then you'd have to worry about exposure to other sick critters.
                              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Bells View Post
                                I'd either not go or find a kennel that can take them. 26 hours at a reputable kennel (w/indoor/outdoor access) should work for your situation. Just realized you have 4 dogs. Could you get a house sitter for the 3 ok ones and bring the one w/issues to a kennel?
                                No, the drive itself is 26 hours round trip plus we have 4-5 days to be there. I won't do a kennel, just my thing. Only have 2 dogs, but not going to kennel them, especially with the sick dog.
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                                  Oh - and have you tried probiotics? I swear the only way my old lady kitty doesn't have liquid poops every day are the probiotics we have her on. Nothing else wrong with her 'cept arthuritis.
                                  yep, probios,yogurt, pumpkin, metronidazole, 4k surgery...yeah....we've tried all the usual stuff. I think it's going to end up being lymphoma like originally suspected or IBD. Waiting on the test results. Sure wish they'd hurry up and CALL already.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                    Thanks.
                                    No reason why DH can't go by himself, is there? My DH and I often make trips home without the other one - with three horses, four dogs [now], and two cats (one of whom got bladder stones once so we're scared to leave him alone too long), it's a big deal for both of us to go out of town at the same time.
                                    He can (and will) go by himself if it comes down to it. Discussed last night again. But he feels badly to leave me here in a new place over the holidays. I don't mind AT ALL and said so. I'm fine. I've moved around my whole adult life and have not lived close to family in 20 years so I'm totally okay. But it's hard for him to understand having spent 40+ years in the same small town til now. Me? I'm good. I am all good with spending time w/ family when we can and celebrating when we can so a "day" doesn't get me at all.
                                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                                      I for sure would not go. And how old is your husband? Can he suck it up and not go for one year? Or would he like to go without you?

                                      I missed my SISTER's WEDDING because my beloved cat was dying. Everyone understood. Ended up putting him down a day or so after the wedding - I live in Mass., and she lives in North Carolina.

                                      I don't think we are all fruit loops, either.
                                      I think it's good for him to go. Chances are that with his new job, this may be one of the last holidays he actually can go home because we'll be overseas for the next 20. So I get his desire to go. He just doesn't like the idea of me being here alone--which I happen to be fine with.

                                      Oh, and we ARE fruitloops darling. We are. But....we are just as good to our humans as our pets when it comes to emergencies. We're good at caretaking.
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Options

                                        I'm with others who say 1. just say no and 2. DH can still go. Actually, say 'Inlaws, I have so enjoyed your Christmas celebrations. I cannot attend this year but hubby can. Thank you for inviting me. Have fun!' If they ask why, they have crossed a boundary. Repeat that you cannot come. If they keep asking why tell them they have unknowingly, unintentionally, well-meaningly crossed a boundary. Shrink talk

                                        Options:
                                        DH go without you/for less than 5 days.
                                        Hire a live-in sitter so both go for less than 5 days.
                                        Board at vet's -quieter than typical boarding environment plus they can expertly manage his health problems.
                                        Tell inlaws you are happy to come if we can arrange XYZ for sick dog; and understand if that's not possible. (then stay home)
                                        Take dog and leave it in mudroom. Warn inlaws.
                                        Any other options I'm not seeing?

                                        Comment

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