Let me start off by saying I love animals. I have two dogs at the moment, but have had dogs, cats, and horses in my life. While I love animals, I love my children more. I have three children: two older teens and a newborn. My sister has three as well:two grown and one in middle school.
Our mom is local and lives on a large property with a pond. Every holiday and get-together, my sister has taken to bringing her dog, who has plenty of other opportunities to run around at parks and lakes (and does!). My mom also has a dog, a shelter mix, who bit my eldest son once for being loud. Both of them treat their dogs like their children. Neither has been around a baby.
Over Thanksgiving, we brought our newborn to my mom’s place for the first time. My sister brought her dog, and my mom’s dog was there. Both dogs were eyeing my son in a way that made us nervous. When he cried, the dogs seemed agitated and at one point I felt my mom’s dog was acting aggressive (but I did not allow her near him). My mom said the dogs were not used to a baby and that his cry bothered them. As my eldest was bitten for making a loud noise, this is an obvious concern.
My sister agreed, just for Christmas, to leave her dog at home. My stepdad put their dog in his truck, as she would have “destroyed the house” if they tried to leave her in a bedroom. So, the situation was resolved for one event, but I am concerned as to what I should do going forward. My sister wants to bring her dog to future events, and my mom’s dog still lives there. As my son starts getting more mobile, I don’t know what to do. Am I being unreasonable to ask them to leave their dogs at home/put away during events? How do I approach this in a way that doesn’t make everyone mad at me, while keeping my son safe?
— Kids Before Canines