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I am crying as I write this, I am so upset. As some of you may know or remember, last April (2006) I moved in to a house with my mother because of various issues, including health, loss of work, an abusive partner, etc.

With me are my three kids (ages 9, 12, 14) and two hounds (Mocha, female and Beldin, male) and they're just 2 years old. -- We live upstairs, and my mother and step-dad live downstairs with their dog, Bella, a 6 year old female chow/lab cross. -- All three dogs have been "fixed". -- All three dogs get along great in the yard, there have never been any issues with the dogs fighting or anything of that sort.

My mother's dog is allowed to have full run of the whole house. She gets to come upstairs and wander around and any area of the yard, etc. Mom has made it clear that in her oppinion and as far as the dogs go, the house belongs to Bella. Mean time my hounds are not allowed downstairs. (I don't have a problem with that).

What the issue has been is for the last year mom has done nothing but complain about Mocha and Beldin. Now there's a bit of a history with this ... mom has never ever EVER approved of any pet I have ever owned (just to make a long story short).

Mocha and Beldin are actually very well behaved hounds (especially considering some of the things I have read on this board over the last couple of years). I admit they could do with some more training in a few areas (ie they still try to jump on visitors when they first come over). But all in all, they haven't destroyed any property, they don't eat the walls or flooring or table legs, they have not had any major health issues, and they don't make a lot of noise.

Mom is the type of person that believes dogs need to be trained like in a wolf pack and she'll grab her dog and shove her down and growl in her face, etc. -- I don't ... I don't growl at my dogs or "bark" at them or shove them to the ground or any of that.

Bella has chewed through a door to get upstairs ... she has broken through two baby gates (that we replaced the door with) ... Bella BIT my arm hard enough to break the skin when I tried to get her collar to take her back down stairs because mom decided after letting Bella having the run of the house she didn't want her upstairs anymore (Bella decided she liked it better up here I guess and spent more and more time up here and mom didn't like that).

Our neighbours have complained about "the big black dog" (Bella) barking in the yard but were surprised to find out we had bassets here as well because they hadn't heard them.

My step-dad has told me that yes, Bella is more "polite" with people (she doesn't jump on them or get as excited as the bassets do when company comes over) and she's better trained as far as sitting nice for treats, etc ... but he also says that Bella didn't really start to settle down until she was 5 years old. The hounds are only 2 so dad says "just give them some time" but mom won't stop finding reasons to complain.

For the last year all we've heard every day is how stupid Mocha and Beldin are ... how ugly they are ... how much she dislikes them ... mom even told my daughter "Make sure you latch the gate because as much as I'd like to see YOUR dogs run away I don't want Bella to get out and besides I'm scared the neighbours would just bring them back".

There's nothing wrong with the dogs ... like I said, mom has had issues with any animal I have ever owned. I honestly don't know why.

The thing is, when I first moved in here mom told me "this way you can stay home and be here for the kids, and you don't have to worry about finding a place that will let you keep the dogs".

But NOW (well for the last couple months) she's done nothing but threaten to get rid of the hounds, or tell me to get rid of the hounds and her complaints are getting louder and more frequent.

And she's been undermining ever effort I've been making to find a job or work that I can do from home so I can make more money and still be here to take care of the dogs and the kids.

Lately she's been telling me to go out and find a job (I have NO problem with working) but any time I'm gone longer than two hours she complains long and loud about having to "take care of my smelly beasts".

She doesn't work so she's home all day but even though I make sure the dogs are fed before I go anywhere she complains about having to let them outside to pee or let them in when they scratch at the door.

Even though she took off to Germany for 10 days straight and just assumed I'd be willing to take care of her dog feeding, walking, etc for that time (I didn't have a problem with taking care of her dog, or her fish, or anything ... I did it gladly, but just to show the difference).

So anyway it all came to a head yesterday and now she is basically demanding I find a different home for my hounds. (That is putting it a lot nicer than she did.)

She says she won't tolerate them any more. She wants me to get a full time job, but refuses to help by letting the dogs in and out during the day, she puts them in the kennel and then complains that they whine to get out.

And any time I try find something to do from home like child care or something, she refuses to "allow" me to have "strange children" in "her house". Etc.

She knows damn well that we got Mocha and Beldin for my son in the first place (he's autistic and his psychologist is the one that highly reccomended we get a dog in the first place). And Joseph has been doing a LOT better since we have gotten Mocha and Beldin. I hate to think what would happen if we DID find them another home.

And while I know taking on pets is not a light responsibility and that they are NOT "disposable" and I have been trying to do everything I can to make sure we can keep them things with my mother have been getting worse and worse.

And yes, to me it would be just like her telling me to get rid of the kids ... but you know what? She HAS done that too! When I was sick with cancer and in the hospital she decided she didn't want to help take care of the kids any longer because she wasn't able to get paid by the government for "babysitting" her own grandkids so she called me in the hospital and told me I needed to find a temp foster home for the kids and then fight to get them back when I was healthy. -- Luckily I was able to find someone else willing to help watch the kids for me til I got out of the hospital.

I have been trying to find some type of doggy daycare for the hounds while I am not home, but anything around here sdo far is HUGELY expensive and I haven't gotten another job yet. I simply can't afford it.

I don't have any friends in a position to be able to take care of the dogs for me during the day.

If it was up to me, I would tell my mom if she didn't like it she could leave, but I'm not in a position to be able to do that at the moment. She ownes most of this place.

And I can't just move. Housing here is not good at the moment ... too many people needing places and not enough places available. Rent has gone way high and even if I could afford to just move... trying to find a place that would be willing to allow two dogs is nearly impossible ...

My children are very upset at hearing the constant negativity and I feel sick to my stomache ... I just don't know what to do.

Dad tends to be more reasonable than my mother but he won't say anything cause he's learned long ago to just "keep the peace" he keeps his oppinions to himself when it's not something he feels he can really do anything about.

I do not want to have to give up Mocha and Beldin... as far as I am concerned they are as much a part of my family as anyone else in this house. AND they were gotten in the first place for the mental and emotional health of my son. So there's a lot to consider here other than just my mother's complaints (if it wasn't the hounds it would be something else).

I just don't know what to do.

If I could afford to I would put them in doggy daycare while I'm out at work or looking for a job or whatever so mom wouldn't even have to worry about letting them out to pee ... If I could afford to I would put both dogs in obediance classes til they were so well mannered and polite that even SHE couldn't find anything to comaplain about their behaviour ... If I could afford to I would just move - or buy out her half of the house and tell HER to move!

But I can't afford any of that right now.

I feel so stuck.

If anyone has any advice, or suggestions ... I'm all ears.
 

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I hope you already know this, but your mother has serious emotional problems. Anyone who would turn their back on their grandchildren when their mother has cancer is far from normal. I can't offer you any advice--if you lived near me I'd take the dogs during the day to help alleviate the problem, but what to do with the dogs is the LEAST of your problems. Unless your mother agrees to go to family therapy, it sounds like the only option you have is getting out of there. Your dad sounds sympathetic. Can he not help financially until you are on your feet? Otherwise, I'd threaten your mother that if she doesn't shut up, you'll report her dog for biting you. And I'd slip a little prozac in her morning coffee every day.
 

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It's not easy to find a good solution in this case,
but I can offer some sympathy from me and
comforting drool from the girls!


--------------------
<span style="color:#009900">The one that drools rules, :p
Steinar - daddy and foodslave to Emma and Doris!

http://www.basset-hound.net.tf</span>
 

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What a really difficult situation! I'm so sorry you're going through it, and completely understand why it has you so upset. I really don't have any words of wisdom for you, unfortunately, and all I can really offer up are some good thoughts and drool in the hopes you can come up with a solution that is agreeable (and possible) for all involved. I really wish there was something I could do to help. If I remember correctly, you're on Vancouver Island, right? If you were here on the mainland I'd offer to doggie-sit your houndies during the day. (You're so right about housing and doggie daycare being crazy expensive around here!!)
 

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Hi Christina- it's good to see a post from you again,I wondered how things were going. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a rough patch right now. I don't have any advice, just wanted to send you and your little family some good energy. Hang in there.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your difficulties. As hard as it is to hear this, you must face that your mother will probably never be satisfied no matter what you do. PLEASE try to make an appointment with an agency in your area that specializes in family assistance and emotional support for those who are having problems like yours. Workplace development agencies can be helpful as well. It sounds like a control issue to me, and you may find yourself in the position of having to "be the parent" instead of her. The dogs arent the problem here, they are just pawns in an unfortunate game. Please get yourself some counseling; it will help you immensly. Above all, don't stoop to the level that she has. Take the high road and stay reasonable.

Good luck to you and your dogs. Hope things improve soon.
 

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I'm afraid I haven't got any advice but just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you and hope your situation gets better soon
 

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From what you're writing in you post it's very unlikely that you, your mother and your hounds will get ever
get along as long as you live in the same house. Trying to make her go to therapy, as someone suggested
might just make things worse. You know your mother best, so you know if therapy will have a good effect
on her.

Taking the dogs to obedience class is always a good ide, but will that really help?
From what I understand the dogs are not the problem - your mother is.

The only solution I see is that you move out of there as soon as you can, your problem is what to do
with your hounds until you are able to do that. Perhaps it could be possible to find someone in the
area that can take care of your dogs for a small fee. Perhaps a youth that don't get to have a dog of his
own yet? And I would advice you to contact dog associations and such like in you community, they might
have some ideas or be able to help in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for your replies and thoughts and advice and suggestions.

There's definately some issues here, Mom's been through counselling before, we've gone to family counselling and she's gone to counselling, the only problem is that you can't help someone who won't admit to having a problem.

And you're right, it's not going to matter what I do in this case, there will probably be something else she could find to complain about.

Dad's hoping I can stick things out here for a few more years til he retires. They are supposed to go travelling then and the house is supposed to be mine. I've been paying half the mortgage and stuff out of what I do make.

I haven't even bothered to try find a place for the hounds (other than right here with me)... They are mine and a part of my family if she likes it or not. It's really hard but there comes a point where I have to stop letting that woman intimidate me. I'm doing everything I possibly can to make things go smoother around here without actually giving in.

She knew I had the dogs before I moved in.

So wish me luck! I'm still trying to figure some things out but if there's a way I'll find it!

Thank you guys so much for your moral support and encouragement.

**huggles**
 

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This may be a little late but I thought I'd add a little. As a side note to your problem I think it's important to keep in mind that in most places if an animal, especially a dog, breaks the skin it needs to be properly documented. When I was 6 my uncle's dog attempted to bite my neck, fortunately she got my jaw instead. At the hospital the doctors had to fill out incident reports and my uncle ended up having to get rid of the dog. Maybe what your mom's dog did was an accident but at the same time if you have young children in the house it is something to be concerned about. The doctors and animal control officers told us when I was bitten that once a dog starts biting to break the skin it is almost impossible to stop. Your mother seems unlikely to listen to reason but what about your father? Surely he can see that your mother's dog is not the perfect pet she believes it to be?
 
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