Wedding Woes

Short term: Get a crate and bring dog inside, long term: find a new roommate (and friend?)

Dear Prudence,

My best friend of 14 years and I recently moved in together after the purchase of my new home. One of his three dogs is 16 years old and has troubles with incontinence, using the steps to get into/out of the yard, and movement in general. The incontinence is no issue, as my friend is very tidy and regularly cleans up; however, recently as the dog has gotten worse, he has taken to leaving her outside most of the day and night. This was a questionable approach in the summer but as winter nears and temps are getting below freezing, I have been uncomfortable with this set up. I brought this up to my friend, and he said I need to mind my own business when it comes to his dog. I don’t want to lose a friendship over this, but I can’t sleep knowing she is outside when it’s 30 degrees with no shelter. Is there something else I can say to him?

— Dog Woes

Re: Short term: Get a crate and bring dog inside, long term: find a new roommate (and friend?)

  • Can you point out the research to your "friend" about why this is a bad idea AND since you are the homeowner you can and will say what the terms are of this arrangement? 

    It may not be an easy conversation but it's one you need to have rather than be walked over in your own place. 
  • It sounds like friend is really in denial about the dog's health and is reacting out of anger.
    I don't think LW will have an easy time talking about the dog, but it might be worth bringing up to the friend about visiting the vet as it sounds like the dog isn't in great health :( 
    MesmrEwe
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I’m in the minority in this, but with my past experiences with dogs this is why I just don’t have them in my house.  I tried to be nice and exH brought his into mine, plus when I was dating M, he’d bring his dog over - both cases where not so good.

    So, it’s to late now for LW, but no dogs from the getgo would be my rule.

    i know.  I’m a heartless ogre. 

    mrsconn23MesmrEwe
  • I’m in the minority in this, but with my past experiences with dogs this is why I just don’t have them in my house.  I tried to be nice and exH brought his into mine, plus when I was dating M, he’d bring his dog over - both cases where not so good.

    So, it’s to late now for LW, but no dogs from the getgo would be my rule.

    i know.  I’m a heartless ogre. 
    I understand your point but it sounds like LW knew about the dog from the beginning and maybe didn't realize how much of an issue it'd be?

    Some people are not dog people. Also animals as they age can be more issued than anticipated too
  • I’m in the minority in this, but with my past experiences with dogs this is why I just don’t have them in my house.  I tried to be nice and exH brought his into mine, plus when I was dating M, he’d bring his dog over - both cases where not so good.

    So, it’s to late now for LW, but no dogs from the getgo would be my rule.

    i know.  I’m a heartless ogre. 
    Agreed - we are a no pet house.  

    That said, this homeowner made the agreement.  So now homeowner needs to set the parameters. 
    mrsconn23
  • Get a weatherized dog house. 
    missJeanLouisekerbohlMesmrEwe
  • banana468 said:
    I’m in the minority in this, but with my past experiences with dogs this is why I just don’t have them in my house.  I tried to be nice and exH brought his into mine, plus when I was dating M, he’d bring his dog over - both cases where not so good.

    So, it’s to late now for LW, but no dogs from the getgo would be my rule.

    i know.  I’m a heartless ogre. 
    Agreed - we are a no pet house.  

    That said, this homeowner made the agreement.  So now homeowner needs to set the parameters. 
    This.  We're no pets as well.  But at this point, LW needs to take charge of the situation since it's concerning them and happening in their home.  Their friend's response of it not being LW's problem is BS and LW can call it that. 
    VarunaTTbanana468
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    I’m in the minority in this, but with my past experiences with dogs this is why I just don’t have them in my house.  I tried to be nice and exH brought his into mine, plus when I was dating M, he’d bring his dog over - both cases where not so good.

    So, it’s to late now for LW, but no dogs from the getgo would be my rule.

    i know.  I’m a heartless ogre. 
    Agreed - we are a no pet house.  

    That said, this homeowner made the agreement.  So now homeowner needs to set the parameters. 
    This.  We're no pets as well.  But at this point, LW needs to take charge of the situation since it's concerning them and happening in their home.  Their friend's response of it not being LW's problem is BS and LW can call it that. 
    Exactly.  It became LW's problem because it's LW's home.   
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • Get a weatherized dog house. 
    This would be a good solution also but, like anything else for the dog, it would be the friend's responsibility to buy it.  Which they might not be willing to do.

    BFF/roommate or not, I'd be willing to throw away this friendship over animal cruelty.  

    Like, "No friend.  It IS my business when I see an animal suffering.  It is already cruel to leave your elderly dog outside most of the time, by herself and with no shelter.  But it is abusive to leave her out in too hot or too cold temperatures and I won't tolerate that."

    ------------------------------------

    Not with a roommate, but I've twice had to have a talk with tenants who were treated their dogs cruelly in similar ways.  Granted, it also didn't help that these people were not allowed to have dogs.  But, in the immediate, I was more concerned about the welfare of the animal.

    One guy had two dogs, in a cage, in the backyard.  The cage was barely bigger than the dogs.  They had no shelter.  No water.  And this was in the middle of summer when the heat index can get above 100.  I almost called animal control first, I was so horrified.  But gave the tenant the opportunity to get rid of the dogs first and he did.  Hopefully wherever they ended up was better than that.

    Another tenant had a couple small dogs, which she was allowed to have.  But then we went to her house one day and found a pit bull tied to a stake in the side yard.  That poor dog's rope was only about 2' long (shudder).  We told her our insurance does not allow pit bulls to be on the property, including outside, and she has one week to take it to the pound or find a new home for it.  We told her, in the meantime, it was probably better if she brought the dog inside and we would be okay with that while she found other arrangements.  Apparently it was her adult son's dog, he had passed away, so she was really emotional about getting rid of the dog but understood.  Another family member took it.  Oh!  But she didn't want to bring it inside because it was aggressive to her two little dogs.  Gggrrreeaaattt (eyeroll).  Because that's my other rule for tenants who have dogs.  The dogs need to be friendly with people and other animals.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    banana468VarunaTTMesmrEwe
  • I would make a weatherized shelter for the dog if there was no place inside to make a nice place for the dog. I can't imagine someone having a dog long enough for it to grow old and then treating it so poorly, like what if it were your grandma? It is just crazy to me.
    I know!  I can't understand any of that.

    We adopted our cat Nip when she was just a kitten.  She was a wonderful and loving companion to us her whole life (15 years) and primarily an indoor cat.  In her last year of life, her health started failing and she rarely used the litter box anymore.  She at least usually kept her pee/poop to the same few tiled places.  But we were cleaning up after her on the daily.  

    It was unpleasant and a hassle.  But never in a million years would we have left her outside the majority of the time.  Her elderly years is when it was the most important that she be as comfortable and happy, as possible.  Every animal deserves that.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    VarunaTT said:
    Honestly, I'd be so mean in this situation, I'd probably end up destroying my friendship.  It is absolute BS to leave a domesticated animal outside in such weather and especially an elderly one.  The dog would be let inside and given a comfortable appropriate place to sleep and I really wouldn't give a damn what roommate/BFF said, b/c really my opinion of my BFF would be irrevocably changed.
    Ditto this exactly. Thinking of this poor dog banished to the outside is breaking my heart. 
    levioosaMesmrEwe
  • I would make a weatherized shelter for the dog if there was no place inside to make a nice place for the dog. I can't imagine someone having a dog long enough for it to grow old and then treating it so poorly, like what if it were your grandma? It is just crazy to me.
    As someone who has outdoor pets, yes to the weatherized shelter.  There are so many wonderful options to make outdoor pets comfortable - heated pads, heated water bowls, heated lamps, the igloo dog house that holds heat ... that being said, I had an elderly rabbit, and even with all the wonderful technology out there, they can't be outside once the temperature gets below a certain level.  

    But keeping a dog that is used to be indoors suddenly outdoors ... that is a horse of a different colour.  My rabbits have been outdoor all their lives, they are used to it. This dog isn't.  Outdoors, all night in the dark alone?  Even when my dog was sick last year and had to pee every hour, there was no way I was keeping her alone outside all night when she is used to sleeping inside with people.  Did that mean waking up several times a night to let her out for a couple months?  Did that mean, when I was worried about her, I would wake up randomly in the night just to listen to make sure she was still breathing?  Oh yeah.  If my animal was this elderly and nearing death's door, I'm keeping her by my side as much as possible.  Hell, if the situation involved the dog having to be outside, I'm pitching the tent and sleeping outside with her.  This sudden callous decision to leave the dog outside seems like abandonment.   

    charlotte989875levioosaVarunaTT
  • It's time for that dog owner to have "The hard conversation" about when it's time to let the animal go.  IMO it's BEYOND inhumane to take an "Indoor dog" and banish it to the outside because it's reached the age that it cannot control its bodily functions - An "Outdoor Dog" that has lived its entire life outdoors (Thinking animals like farm dogs) with responsible owners still is required 24-hour access to shelter, water, and food.  Doggie Diapers also exist even for big dogs if the owner isn't ready to let them pass over the rainbow bridge yet, but leaving an indoor animal outdoors in the cold without shelter is well within the property owner's right to say "NOT ON MY WATCH!" even if it means losing the roommate and the friendship...  
    kerbohl
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