Daughter-in-law problem Most Liked Hot Conversation

I have one daughter in law who hates dogs and doesn’t want them anywhere around.  She says that they make my granddaughter sick, since she is allergic to them.  We have never noticed any allergy symptoms when she has been around them.  The dogs in question belong to my other daughter in law and my son.  They live out of town and have to bring the dogs with them when they come.  They have no other options.  Now my first daughter in law says that she is allergic to them, also, and she and my granddaughter will no longer come to my house when the dogs are present.  This has pitted one daughter-in-law against the other one, catching my husband and I in between.  We have tried to keep the dogs outside but they are inside dogs and they try to get back in the house the entire time.  We have tried to leave them in my neighbors fence and they tore the fence up, getting out.  I hate to ask them to board them because of the expense to them.  They are trying to do what they can but the first daughter-in-law has proven that she will not come to family events as long as the dogs are there.  What can we do?

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73 Responses

  1. Generic Image Possum Jamtart says

    Anonymous at 2:35 PM of yesterday is the comment I would most agree with. Am cherry-picking all the ideas from above to support an opinion. Spouse and I have had in past several dogs. We are retired, and now dogless by choice. Agree that some children, even of the 70′s, are part of an entitled generation. Spouse and I would never have taken advantage of family by taking a dog to family gatherings. Heck, even our daughter and s-i-l frowned at us even taking our dog on a walk to their house and into their yard. Why then, is it okay for them to bring their dog to every occasion, without even asking? That’s rhetorical, because spouse does not want to “hurt their feelings.” But he complains about it just the same. So, I guess we/he ARE part of this entitlement problem. It grosses me out to have this dog scratching, dragging its bottom on the rug. Can’t wait for holidays to be over to clean the rug. For Pete’s sake, they are dogs, not people. Different generations, different values. Now thinking I would like a psychologist to comment why there is currently such a fascination for treating these pets as well as or sometimes, even better than one’s own children.

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  2. Generic Image Jean says

    I don’t see why people are assuming folks are treating their animals better than their children or even choosing them over other family members.  I would not take kindly to someone – child or not – coming into my home and making demands as the dil seems to be doing.
    If the child were showing signs of allergy or discomfort, the situation would be different and I’m sure G’s response would be as well.  But it sounds as though it’s been this way for quite some time with no signs of illness from the child – quite the opposite – with dil’s demands getting more stringent.
    I suspect dil is not close to the other son/dil and that this is the crux of the matter.  She’s fine with having the child with G on schooldays, but has suddenly singled out the other couple’s dogs as the problem and is now making demands that will result in her not being with them.  You can’t fix the relationship between the dil and the other son/dil.  The sons are absent, too, from the discussion as you presented it.  This is really *their* problem.

    It’s your home, you can have whomever you wish in it.  It’s up to the son/dil with the dogs to decide what to do about dogs, and up to son/dil with the dog issue to decide when to visit and under what circumstances.
    Bottom line, while yes, it seems dil is trying to control and start trouble, proving it will only cause her to resent you for exposing her attempt to manipulate.  Believe me, her husband knows the score. Why he does not have equal say in the upbringing of his daughter is puzzling.
    But here’s a thing to consider.  ‘At least two weekends a month’ seems, to me, to be a bit excessive.  If the kids spend 2 weekends at G’s house, do they spend the other two with the dils’ parents?  That would leave them practically no weekends alone at all!  Couples need that.
    Maybe this is an opportunity to change your family tradition so that the sons can start their own.  What about letting dil’s host, as someone suggested?  Or having a guys’ football party while you ladies go out for shopping, a movie, or coffee together?  Or what about your joining a ladies’ club in your town – Red Hat, Beta Sigma Phi, a card or dice game group, whatever – and having a football widow’s gathering instead of the kids over?  Dad can visit a son and watch the game there…
    Maybe this is a wonderful opportunity for you and your husband to broaden your own social circle and let the kids develop theirs?

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  3. Generic Image Anonymous says

    Truth is no matter what reasons a person give, one never really knows what the “REAL” reason is. Sadly, but true , there is way too much petty jealousy, envy, malice in family relationships and you only discover these hidden feelings at the worst times in the worst way. People who are genuinely good at heart never causes problems for others especially elder members of a family.
    From my own experience, we have live in dogs from early in our marriage [40+years] since my hubby and I are dog lovers, and not ONCE did any of our pets ever jump or run to any one else other than us and the kids, even now. Dogs , especially ones that are like family members are seldom, if ever , hostile to other persons, unless they feel threatened. If the MIL has no problem putting up with the dogs , then that speaks volumes about the behavior of the dogs and their owners.
    Sorry, but, one can’t stop the world from spinning  because some one does or does not like how things move.We just have to learn to “deal with it” and persons whop are compassionate, caring, unselfish , happy and loving never use insignificant excuses to mar an otherwise happy occasion. This DIL seems to be selfish , surely in her neighborhood there are persons with dogs ?
    Everyone here needs to be mindful of each others’ comforts and work toward an amicable solution without putting unnecessary pressure on the MIL. Life is too short to have to put up with foolishness and when it is TOO late we can’t make amends. There is NO simple solution to any problem ..just be mature enough to make intelligent choices and stop being so selfish. Ask not for whom the bell tolls ..it tolls for  THEE..
    Maybe we should all take another long and searching look at THE GOLDEN RULE and follow it sincerely ..

    2 like

    • Generic Image julies16 says

      If this problem would have happened to me I would have told the ones with the dogs to board them while being gone.  When they took on these dogs they knew that there are expenses to having animals.  I don’t understand the mentality of when there is a problem about animals that the animals get first say.  I don’t see where there should be a problem when we put people’s problems (Allergies, don’t like, afraid of dogs, etc.) over dog’s problems.  (they don’t want to be outside so they get to come in and when outside act up.)?  The animal problem should never interfere with families (people) getting together. And if it is the animals, they should get last consideration and if that means boarding them out and a cost to the people, then so be it.  The DIL with children has to be out expense when her children aren’t allowed to come to a function (company dinner etc) and has to get a sitter.  She knew when she had children there is an expense when having them.  And aren’t are grandchildren and seeing them more important than seeing the dogs?

      5 like

    • Generic Image julies16 says

      If mother and father in law have their own pets in the house etc that is a whole different story than having one son and dil bring them over to parents house.  If it is your home you can have all the say as to your own pets and DIL should respect this.  But a brother and his wife bringing pets over when you know the other
      brother’ s family has a problem with it is putting human feelings over animal feelings.  So, the choice is do you take doggies into consideration or your own flesh and blood and his family.

      4 like

  4. Generic Image kanmko says

    When I was a young child, I had an incident with a dog that I had approached without previous incident. This one day, he aggressively jumped up at me, and his tooth scratched me in my eye. After that, I was fearful of most dogs.

    Then I moved and came into contact with more families with dogs, and became fearful when approached by a large german shepherd.

    Finally, when I became a teen, I looked for opportunities to get over the fear, and did. But I also had allergies.

    Now, I love animals, but I must admit that I appreciate that they belong to someone else. (The smell really affects me.)

    After living away for some time, I returned home and began attending family gatherings. My brother has a cat, and he would invite my other brother and I to his house. One nephew had allergies worse than me. He would come, but go to a room with wood, and not so many places for the dander to remain.

    At first, Even with my own allergies, I didn’t appreciate his suffering. Then, after petting the cat, I’d start coughing. Next time, I didn’t pet the cat, but eventually, I would start feeling the onset of an allergic reaction.
    At first, I’d let it happen. But in time, I learned that it was like beating myself up, so I started excusing myself once I got an initial sign that a reaction was about to start. 

    I might add, my brother I had a difference of opinion. Now, going to his house not only represents a possible allergic reaction, but another stressor is added because of our strained relationship as of late. 

    I don’t mind meeting with him on neutral ground, but the idea of meeting him in his home, when my immune system is already being taxed is something that I’m not always looking forward to.

    An allergy is a type of stress, that I can control to a certain extent, but not after my body reaches its saturation point. If a person combines an allergic response with another stressor, it could be creating a situation that your daughter in law would rather flee.

    It is great that your son’s family loves to visit. It wouldn’t hurt to believe for the best in everyone concerned. 

    Sometimes families can use a break from one another, so that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Hope it works out.

    1 like

  5. judekazooty judekazooty says

    Communication is absolutely one of the most important things in any relationship..if you worry about hurting someones feelings or offending them so hedge on telling the Exactly what you are thinking or feeling about a  matter it will carry on forever. Clear the air…

    0 like

  6. Generic Image LIJ says

    I still do not feel the DIL is the evil one, with more then 1 dog there is an increase in the dander and shedding, also there is no info on the breed of dogs. There seems to be more to the issue. It seems that mother in law prefers the dil with the dogs and dislikes the other dil by presenting her here to strangers as trying to be controlling shame on you and not a word about the dil with the dogs other then they  “need” to bring them, I still say crate the dogs.As I said earlier I do not bring my dog to families home and I also have 1 son in law with dogs and the other without a dog and they do not bring their dogs to my home.   I f you were my mother in law my husband can go  to see you because you are his mom  but myself and daughter would not be there, I would  wonder what is being sid around my daughter and make other after school care.

    2 like

  7. AGooseDiva AGooseDiva says

    my mother-in-law [mom] has 4 children.  one son lives out of state.  the rest of us live here in the same state.  none of us live in the city that mom lives in.  when we – meaning the 3 sets of children – go to visit mom it seems that we all go at different dates.  

    for example — my husband and i are going to see her on saturday; my sister-in-law will be going on sunday; and none of us know when the other brother will be visiting — he lives the farthest away and has to take the train to the town that mom lives in.

    the bottom line is — we all make time to visit her but we all do it at different times.

    perhaps — to relieve the stress for the child who is allergic to dogs, this could also happen — alternate weekends or months to visit.  that way each adult child would have quality time with the parents yet also have time to visit the parents of the other spouse.  and have time for themselves [my husband and i try to go visit mom one saturday a month, but sometimes, because of the weather or my husband's work schedule we cannot do that.  but we do call all the time and stay in touch with her].

    the brother-in-law who lives out of state skypes with mom every week at the same time for over an hour.

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  8. Generic Image damselfly09 says

    I must STRONGLY disagree with the comment made by Anonymous yesterday at 12:26 pm when she said, ” Dogs , especially ones that are like family members are seldom, if ever, hostile to other persons, unless they feel threatened.”  If that were true, my baby would not have ended up in the hospital getting 9 stitches to close wounds after my MIL’s beloved pet German Shepard lunged through a screen door and engulfed his head with those fangs. His intention was to kill my child in the manner that dogs do by shaking him wildly with my baby’s head in his mouth. You will never convince me that dogs must be provoked to attack. That dog just turned on my innocent child who was not even near him and if we hadn’t been there I dare say I would have lost a child that day. I thank God every day that my MIL wasn’t babysitting that day because it took three grown men to subdue that dog and he wasn’t even rabid. This subject, in my opinion, is like Politics, Religion and Gun Control. Unless you have been touched by the reality of what CAN happen, you might want to refrain from making such remarks. As for gwhattey’s problem with her DIL, I think that’s a no-brainer! Choose between the dogs or your DIL and Grandchild–it’s just that simple. It really doesn’t matter why she doesn’t want to be around the dogs.

    3 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      I am truly sorry to hear of your unpleasant experience…but I can speak only of my experiences with MY dogs . We have had as many as eight Mastiffs at one time and they move freely in and out of my home.. some sleep  at the foot of my bed .. My home is always full of my children. my grand children and  numerous visitors bot old and young and not once have we ever had any of our dogs behave in any hostile manner toward any visitor . There have been persons visiting who do not like dogs or who prefer not to have the dogs around and I simply send them to my bedroom and close the door until the visitors have left.  My mastiffs even listen to my two year old grandson .
      When we have  visitors we do not have the dogs around ..they are trained to stay in their space, so to speak.
      I  have read of many instances where dogs have mauled children and grownups  and I have no explanation for their behavior .I can speak ONLY of MY experience with MY dogs and never once in 40+ years have we ever had any problem with any of our mastiffs which are huge animals. I do own small toys breeds as well, the Yorkie and Pekingnese who are not at all friendly to strangers .The Peke sits on her cushion and does not respond to  anyone but the family members and the Yorkie is always too busy to bother with any one.
      Just thought I might add my Mastiffs have won several Obedience trophies at the dog shows. I have never owned a German Shepherd so I can say absolutely nothing for or against the breed. And O do stress I speak ONLY from MY 40+ years of experience as a  dog owner ..but as my husband  remarked .. there are Good wives and then there are wives …

      0 like

  9. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    To damselfly09: I am very sorry to hear about the attack on your baby. I have to stress that this event occurred due to human error. A child should never be left unattended with a dog. The dig hym

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  10. Generic Image Jean says

    What a terrifying experience, damselfly, and I hope your child recovered well.  Obviously, such attacks are not usual and seldom take place, as Anonymous noted.  That said, dogs are animals with individual temperaments and personalities.  For every dog that breaks its training (if it was trained, which is an *obligation* of dog owners, imho), there are others that behave in ways we would consider heroic.  Supervision is critical, regardless of the age of the child or its relationship with the dog.
    GooseDiva raises a good point.  Visiting on opposite weekends means the mom gets a lot of company.  That may be the best solution of all.  That way the two sons/wives can figure out when/if they will see each other and gwatley can enjoy both her sons and their families on ‘their’ weekends. 

    0 like

  11. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    My reply was interrupted unexpectedly. As I was saying…dogs do give warnings but the vast majority of our population is not educated/skilled/experienced at reading the dog’s behavior. I’m sure everyone realizes that a screen is not a sufficient barrier. As a dog trainer for many years, I hear people often claim their dogs are terrific with their newborns. To this, my warning is vocal and loud: watch out! Be vigilant! The more mobile your baby becomes, the more likely your dog is to begin correcting him/her as it would an errant pup. The stories are many about dogs that protect children and never harm them, I’m not saying to stop trusting or expecting the beat from your dog. But neither should we cast caution to the wind. A dog is an animal and its behavior is based on instinct. As humans, it is our responsibility to prevent these types if events. I would encourage you to introduce your child to friendly dogs. This will benefit both you and your child to heal from this terrifying experience. Dogs are an ever present reality if our society and it would be a shame for either nod you to suffer from such a fear/phobia. All the best to you

    1 like

  12. Generic Image damselfly09 says

    Twilla Boyce-My child was NOT unattended. The entirety of my husband’s family was present and we were seated in a semi-circle around my playing child who was seated on a carpeted porch. The family consisted of my MIL, two brother-in-laws and their spouses and two sister-in-laws and their spouses. All their children were playing baseball at the field on top the hill behind the house, completely out of site. I don’t understand what you mean when you say, ” dogs do give warnings but the vast majority of our population is not educated/skilled/experienced at reading the dog’s behavior.” Are you saying that everyone who owns a seamingly loving dog should be trained in dog behavior and those of us who are not dog owners should be able to recognize if a dog is going to attack our children? I’m sorry but that whole comment escapes me. It is spoken by a true dog lover. Just as I said before, “gwattey’s DIL has every right to decide not to bring her child around 3 dogs twice a month and should not have to give a reason”!

    1 like

  13. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    Wow!! Apparently, my message was not received in the spirit in which it was offered. I was not suggesting anything of the sort on any level. I don’t think I will accomplish anything by explaining further. Suffice it to say, it was certainly not my intention to offend or place blame but rather to educate others who might read this feed and be able to heed the warning. I wish you and your family all the best with all sincerity.

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  14. Generic Image Jean says

    Damselfly, I don’t think anyone was suggesting that you were negligent or unwatchful of your child.  I imagine that you all thought the dog would willingly stay outside and that the child was quite safe.
    Twyla is right that animals give signals that we pet owners may or may not recognize and understand.  Animal trainers use that kind of information to teach even wild animals to do tricks and so on, and even they can miss a cue, hence the need for vigilant supervision. That’s not about you; that’s just true generally.
    I can see that your experience has scarred you, and I can understand how utterly terrifying it must have been.  However, the topic here is not situations such as you experienced.  The dog in question has not behaved violently and its trustworthiness around children is not in question.  It should go without saying that both children and pets must be supervised diligently, particularly when they are together.

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  15. Generic Image LIJ says

    Has anyone notice the woman who started this topic has only been back once?

    1 like

  16. AGooseDiva AGooseDiva says

    that DOES tend to happen in these discussions LU.

    blessings to all

    1 like

  17. Generic Image Jean says

    I guess she got what she needed or figured out her best course of action. Hope so! :)

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  18. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    I hope so, too. That, or she go tired of people insulting her for stuff she didn’t even do.

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  19. Generic Image Jean says

    OMG, Twila, I apologize for misspelling your name.  I hate when folks misspell mine….sorry!

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  20. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    Lol. No problem!! It’s all good. It’s unusual so it’s a challenge. Merry Christmas!!

    0 like

  21. AGooseDiva AGooseDiva says

    merry christmas to all.  hope ya’ll have GREAt times with your family.

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  22. Generic Image damselfly09 says

    Twilla, I’m sorry if I got a little testy and misread what you meant to say. I guess it’s just the time of year and the incident in Newtown in which so many “Angel babies” died this close to Christmas has made me edgy. Makes me even more grateful to have raised my two unscathed. May you all have a Blessed Christmas and may all of your Prayers be answered.

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  23. Twilla Boyce Twilla Boyce says

    Damselfly09: not to worry. I have been attacked on a few occasions due to working with agressive dogs and I know how terrifying it can be. It’s normal for the mama bear to rise up in us. That’s our job. I just hate to see these things happen and then people often live in fear of dogs and miss out on the vibrant enrichment they can bring to our lives. Merry Christmas to u!!

    0 like

  24. Generic Image Jean says

    Oh, Newtown….Lord I’m tired of crying, aren’t you?  It just doesn’t bear thinking about, and yet it’s hard to think of anything else.  Hugs all ’round.  *sigh*
    My family had a chat about how to handle this.  We’d thought of sending money but the kids (well, they’re in their twenties but kids at Christmas!) suggested buying a couple of toys for 6-yr-olds and send them to the local toy collection in memory of those little hearts, so that’s what we’re doing.

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  25. Generic Image Jean says

    I hope Christmas went smoothly for you, gwhatley!

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  26. Generic Image Tropicgran says

    I think MIL needs to insist that her sons straighten this out and stand up to their  wives.  What we have are two manipulative DILs who are in a power struggle over this.   This has the potential to tear the family apart.  Although DIL is phony and lying by saying DD is allergic, especially if MIL has dogs in the house aleady that she’s not insisting be removed, the other DIL is very selfish and incosiderate by playing the “we have no options” game and bringing, not one, but two dogs.  Personally, I’d ban the dogs on celebration days and limit them to every other weekend gathering.  Other DIL can visit when the dogs are not there.  Let the chips fall where they may.

    1 like

  27. Generic Image Anikay says

    I myself am highly allergic to cats. In laws are cat people. When DH and I first married,  MIL would put the cats away when I visited. She stopped doing so. So I stopped going to her home as well as BIL home where he and wife have three cats.

    I see it as their right to enjoy their pets vs me guarding my health. I have to go w the latter. The only option for me is to see them in a atmosphere w/o cats or not at all..

    I can’t be angry w them. Nor should they demand I just “get over it” or tolerate  their cats.

    1 like

    • Generic Image Tropicgran says

      I sympathize with both sides of the animal issues.  I love dogs and cats, and got a kitten for my birthday one year.  Several months later, a few weeks before my young stepson was coming to visit for the summer, his mom let us know that cats were one of the things he was allergic to and that could possibly trigger an asthma attack.  Sadly, I gave up my kitten.  I was not happy, but not enough to keep my DH and his son from seeing each other.  never even crossed my mind.  We also have two cousins that are not allergic, but are afraid of cats.  Even though we would put the cat in the laundry room when they came, they were highly uncomfortable.  I love animals, but I place human relationships before them.  No animals, for now.

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