Need Pet ADVICE!!!

  1. My sister and her family are coming next week for a 3 day visit. She has never been here before. She lives a kinda "Martha Stewart Life" I definately don't. My husband and I are animal people. We have 4 large very spolied dogs, 10 cats, 3 goats and 1 sheep. My sister has no pets and doesn't really like animals at all. My dilema is what do I do about the dogs??? They are very loveable, but if someone never is around them, could be very overwhelming. They sleep with us, lie on the sofa in AC of course when we're at work. Are very spolied and like to be with us always. We have a pet door so they are able to go into an enclosed pen whenever they wish, the cats can too but can also go out into the yard and woods. My question is should my sister and family just accapt this is the way we live and deal with it, or should we try to keep them out of the house?? and hear them cry!!! They are kinda jumpy too and crotch sniffers. I know, I know, I'm a bad mother.....But they're our babies, we don't have kids, just lots of animals that think they're human. So the question is should I cave or do they deal??? Any pet owners out there please help!!
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   tiger
    i would never put my pets out. your sister is coming to stay with you. she has to accept EVERYONE in the house. my two cents
  4. by   JennieBSN
    Okay, well, here's my opinion. We have a rat a jack russell, only taller legs. ANYWAY, she's VERY hyper around guests, and we don't like our guests to be annoyed. So we always lock her in her kennel and put her in another room when we have company over, at least until she calms down. Then once we let her out, if she acts up, it's back into the kennel. The cat hates everyone but me and my husband, so she just hides under our bed the whole time and is never a problem.

    If I were you, I'd take a similar approach. Keep the dogs kinda reigned in until they get used to the guests' presence, then let them loose, but keep a close watch. Yes, your sister sounds like a royal priss, did (I assume) invite her to your house, so you have an obligation as hostess to be slightly accommodating to her needs, even if she IS just family.

    My sister has 4 cats and 2 very large and out of control dogs. My husband and I don't like to visit her for this very reason. She doesn't control her animals, the house is literally FILTHY, and we end up getting jumped on, scratched, licked, barked at, and coated in hair and dirt. Yuck! We just kind of stopped visiting. Now when we go to her house, it's just for 30 minutes or so. Can't STAND all that mess!!

    In a note, yes, they are your babies, BUT...would you let your children jump all over your company and be rude and out of control? Probably not. Pets are the same concept. Only enjoyed by others if they're disciplined and IN CONTROL by their 'parents.'

  5. by   prmenrs
    Doesn't your sister KNOW what your house is like? I'd offer her the choice: stay with us, and enjoy it, don't bring any clothes you don't mind being trashed, or stay at the nearest motel.

    Actually, it sounds like a neat place to me. If she doesn't want to stay there, can I come?
  6. by   BrandyBSN
    wow, that is a LOT of cats! Im allergic to cats, but i love dogs....

    I personally would not worry too muck about it. That is your home, and your pet's home. Your sister is just a visitor. I would try to keep the animals off of them as much as possible, but dont stress yourself out. They should be coming to spend time with you, and see you, not critique your living environment.

    Make sure the sheets and towels are clean and animal hair free, and just enjoy the company

  7. by   hoolahan
    I agre your home is your home, if your sister doesn't like it or can't cope, suggest a nice hotel. Everyone will be happier. If she is truly upset by this, no one will have a nice visit.

    If she does come after all, I suggest as Brandu did to keep her area as hair and animal free as possible. Perhaps have one area where you can put a baby gate, like a living room or family room area that can be neutral territory.

    kday makes a good point too. MY dogs lived like yours until I had children. Then when I picked up the baby after he crawled on the floor and had dog hair on his lips, I was grossed out. I hired a fantastic company called Analytic Dog Trainers. The man who started it was a Kanine Major in the army, and he not only trained us to train our dogs in obedience, but also "house civilization." I have to admit, it was much more pleasant not having the dogs jump on me, since they would damn near knock me off balance with the babe in my arms. They never went after the garbage anymore, and it was a pleasure to walk them. I didn't love them one bit less. And believe me, your pets love you and want your praise, they respond so well to the positive reinforcement, and I don't think my dogs thought I loved them any less nor did they seem to act differently toward me. I miss them so much.

    I am hapy to report that my search for a dog will begin this week. I am going to hit all the shelters first, w/o the kids, then if I find who I want, and I don't know how I will resist not bringing just one home, then I will bring the kids to see the interaction. Hubby has no say. He has voiced his opposition, but if I have to choose between a dog and him.....uh, start packing hon!
  8. by   aimeee
    I like the idea of using a baby gate if possible to make some dog free areas. We have just one labrador and he is pretty overwhelming to people who are not used to large boisterous animals. We use a baby gate to confine him to the kitchen when we have kids over who aren't used to large animals.

    Why not level with her and let her know that you are concerned about how she will feel in your living arrangement. You could tell her that you don't want friction over this to spoil your relationship so you want her to know that you wouldn't be in any way offended if she would feel more comfortable in a motel. You might even offer to split the cost of the room if that is an issue.
    Last edit by aimeee on Aug 12, '01
  9. by   duckie
    I have always taken the stand that my dogs live here, this is their house and you are coming into their world. My family knows I have 3 very spoiled and pampered critters and if this bothers them, I provide them with the name and number of a nice hotel near us. My oldest terrier turned 16 just a few days ago. If she cannot see me at all times, or should I say "sniff" me, cause she's blind, she panics. I have had these little darlins' thru all of lifes ups and downs, I refuse to make them second rate citizens for fussy people that don't like dogs. My mother doesn't like dogs at all, so when they come to visit they stay at a hotel that is a suite and we go there to see them. I know Mom doesn't like it but try explaining to a deaf and blind 16 year old critter why she suddenly is locked in a room....ain't gonna do it. I say, give them the details and let them make the choice. Martha Stewart would never come to my house but that's okay, cause I have so much lovin' from my girls, I'll never miss her!
  10. by   Zee_RN
    I'm kinda siding with the "love 'em or leave 'em" folks here. I live with a white german shepherd and a domestic tabby. I love 'em to death. My hubby was deadset against getting any animals but I managed to sneak these two in (try sneaking in a german shepherd!). My house has white dog hair in every corner, no matter how much I try to contain it. Oh, well. The dog stays off the furniture; she has her own bed but hair tends to migrate (the kids toss the throw pillows on the floor, the pillow picks up the dog hair and then someone 'cleans up' and tosses the pillow back on the couch).

    If I offerred a specific invitation to someone who hates or doesn't tolerate animals to stay at my house, I might have to make exception and kennel the animals. IF it was at my specific invitation. Otherwise, they'd just have to deal with it. Of course, I can't imagine extending that kind of invitation to someone who doesn't tolerate animals. My hubby tells me regularly he hates my dog but then comes home from work and asks the dogs for kisses. And brags about how smart the dog is.
  11. by   BugRN
    Thanks all for the advice. I wanted to clarify a bit. I do have a nice pet free guest room. We keep it closed and it is kept only for company. They will have the ability to close the door anytime they're there. She has a 7 yr. old son who loves dogs and in fact wants one of his own. The cats are usually out and my husband and I are vacuum fanatics. We do a great job of keeping the hair under control. We keep the house very clean, and by the way it's a brand new house, only 3 mo. old. They will have their own bathroom and the only problems come with sitting around the living room when Barney will want to "cuddle". He doesn't realize he's 100 lbs and not a lap dog. Then the otheres will want to show off and play tug of war or just roll around looking for attention. I will do what you suggested and try to keep them out or "gated" during these times. I know it won't be fun to have wet dog kisses if it's not your thing. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can spend lots of time outside. I do appreciate the advice and will let you know how it goes. Thanks!!
  12. by   NursePooh
    Originally posted by BugRN
    Thanks all for the advice. I wanted to clarify a bit. I do have a nice pet free guest room. We keep it closed and it is kept only for company. They will have the ability to close the door anytime they're there. <snip> I know it won't be fun to have wet dog kisses if it's not your thing. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can spend lots of time outside. I do appreciate the advice and will let you know how it goes. Thanks!!
    I'm definitely in the "Love 'Em or Leave" crowd. I was VERY nervous when my in-laws came for a visit this spring. My husband grew up in a family where animals lived outside (in Wisconsin! even in the dead of winter!). Our current zoo consists of 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 6 parrots. Even with daily vaccuuming, there is hair and feathers everywhere. I tell prospective visitors to wear dark knits at their own risk, and to keep their bedroom door closed if they don't like waking up to cats on their heads. Dogs at least have the good manners to leave people who don't like animals alone (most of the time). Cats draw a bead on the cat haters and jump right on ''s a psychic feline gift.