• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Massachusetts-Boston

FMIL vs Dog Help

So my FMIL is petrified of dogs.  Like panic attack scared.  They live in FL right now and are looking to buy a house up here again.  FI and I recently bought a house in August and would love nothing more than for his family to be able to come up for a few weeks and stay with us rather than a hotel.

Problem is I have a dog.  A pit-bull.

This is creating a huge problem because she will not come here unless i put the dog in my bedroom.  I am completely fine with doing that for a few hours at a time.  But every time I talk to her about it, or about what we can do to resolve this, its always the same "I am never going to get over it".  I would love for her to be able to stay here when she comes, instead of paying for hotels and only staying a few days.

It just makes me sad that she is not comfortable in my house and I hate to see FI fight with her about it.  My dog is very sweet and friendly.  She is also almost 9 years old and has never bit or even growled at anyone in her life.

So here is my question.  Any ideas on how I can fix this?  I am to the point where I am considering calling Ceaser Milan, lol.  She wont even try to meet the dog.  I have told her I will muzzle her if it makes her comfortable (even though it breaks my heart to do it) and we can take things slow.  I will keep her on a leash etc.

Would it be rude if I suggested a phobia therapist for her? Lol.
045_45-1 photo 045_45-1.jpg
BabyFruit Ticker
DX: PCOS/Recurrent losses/MTHFR mutation (compound hetero)
5 hysteroscopies/2 surgical
3 Inject IUIs = 2 m/c's and 1 BFN
IVF #1= BFP. m/c at 7w6d. Needed 2 D&C's and scar tissue removal. Mild OHSS
IVF #2 = BFP. Severe OHSS. 4 Drainings. TWINS!

Re: FMIL vs Dog Help

  • noodle_oonoodle_oo member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hmmm.. I'm not sure you can fix this.  I'm not really comfortable around dogs and I have to say, dog owner's are not really able to understand this.  To them, their dog is lovable and would never hurt a fly.  But if you are really afraid of dogs, it is a hard thign to get over.  And also, you can't force her to deal with it.  If she does'nt want help (like therapy) for it, then your suggesting it is definitely rude.  Sometimes dog lovers treat non-dog lovers like the dog is more important than the human, and I would be worried that you might offend your MIL (not that I have any basis for this, just suggesting it as a worst case scenario for you to consider).

    Anyway, if they can afford a hotel, let them do it.  Yes, it woudl be nice for them to stay with you, but if it isn't absolutely necessary, don't force her to try to get over her fear.  You might just make it worse.  Did she have a traumatic experience as a child? 

    If they can't afford a hotel, I implore you to put your MIL's feelings first.  Send your dog to a friends house or figure out a way to keep him away from MIL.  Over time, your MIL may get used to your dog.  But for the short term, try not to force the dog on your MIL or it may end badly.

    Good luck!
  • Blueyed228Blueyed228 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I agree that I want to put her feelings first and feel like I have.  It has been 3 years and I am just concerned because now it is causing arguments with FI and her.  He is not sensitive to her fears at all and takes the "get over it" approach.  I keep asking her what I can do to make her comfortable.  I understand she is afraid and would never force it on her.  I just hate to see them argue and I hate that she is uncomfortable.

    I guess the optimist in me hopes there is a resolution, lol

    Its also hard for me to find someone to take the dog while she is here because most of my friends have children and/or other pets and my dog requires alot of walks and attention.  I also brought her to a doggy day care for a week when we went on vacation and she came home with a broken foot.

    p.s. The therapy was a joke :)
    045_45-1 photo 045_45-1.jpg
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DX: PCOS/Recurrent losses/MTHFR mutation (compound hetero)
    5 hysteroscopies/2 surgical
    3 Inject IUIs = 2 m/c's and 1 BFN
    IVF #1= BFP. m/c at 7w6d. Needed 2 D&C's and scar tissue removal. Mild OHSS
    IVF #2 = BFP. Severe OHSS. 4 Drainings. TWINS!
  • edited December 2011
    It sounds like she doesn't really want to be helped. I think you have been gracious with trying to find solutions, so if she truly feels she will 'never get over it' then that's too bad. Noodle probably does have a point, in that dog lovers really will understand the other side (I am a dog lover and can't fathom not liker dogs, it's true). But she is the one who has to deal with the consequences. It's a different situation, but FI is allergic to dogs, and my parents' dog sheds a ton and the often have other siblings dogs at the house, so we can never stay there. It sucks, because we do have to limit how long we stay since we stay at a nearby hotel, but it is what it is. I can see keeping the dog in the bedroom for a few hours but not for days at a time. And the doggie daycare can get just as expensive as a hotel anyway!

    How is this causing problems with FI and his mother though? Does she expect you to do something with the dog?
  • noodle_oonoodle_oo member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Awww!  That sucks that your dog got injured at daycare!  How sad!

    Do you have any idea why she is so afraid?  I've just never been a pet person, and big dogs scare me (they jump up and stuff).  And I always feel like they know I"m afraid and come towards me anyway.  However, I'm fine visiting my friends with dogs, your MIL must be much more afraid that me.

    Has she ever spent time around your dog?  Maybe if she comes up, stays in a hotel but visits you guys, she might slowly get used to your dog.  Once she sees that he's gentle.  Of course, that really depends on why she's so afraid.  If it was a traumatic experience, I doubt she'll get over it on her own.

    Why are FI and MIL fighting?  Is it because they all want to stay with you but feel they can't?  I really think that just finding a nice hotel or B&B near you guys might be the solution.  It does sound like you are trying to help everyone out, which I'm sure MIL appreciates.  Maybe you should just tell your FI to let it go and let them stay in a hotel. 
  • edited December 2011
    Could you keep the dog on the leash and show her that the dogs knows how to do sit, stay, lay etc. and have him just relax in a room next to her? It might show her the dog isn't this crazy animal that just wants to jump and run wild on her?
    Also, when I was little, I was TERRIFIED of dogs. My dad took me to my neighbors and had me give him a bone, the god took the bone sniffed me and walked away. I realized the dog didn't want to harm me at all.
    August 2011: E-Pic! Photobucket
    229 image Invited to celebrate!
    191 image Remembered to RSVP!
    26 image Can't make it
    7 image Got lost on the way to the mailbox

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • baystateapplebaystateapple member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    She just might NOT be able to get over it.  I have a terrible phobia of crowds and enclosed spaces, to the point where, if FI is going somewhere where there are going to be a lot of people, I have to stay home.  I can't do it.

    Maybe let your MIL come once, see how it goes, and go from there.  Maybe she'll get over it, and maybe she won't.  Just be gracious and sensitive to her, and don't try to push the dog on her.  Hopefully everything will work out.  Good luck!
    image

    Books read in 2012: 21/50

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Karen's. It sounds like you are trying really hard to offer solutions and I think you are doing everything right. But, like pps said, there is a point when there is really nothing you can do and it becomes her issue.

    Maybe you can encourage FI to take your approach and suggest the same things you have. If you appear reasonable and united it may help the situation.
  • megandjaymegandjay member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Exposure is the only proven successful treatment for specific phobias.

    However, I am deathly afraid of spiders, even typing the word gives me the shivers, ugh. And no way in hell am I going to "expose" myself to a whole bunch of them. So, although I love dogs I can relate to your FMIL's phobia. If she just wants to avoid it, then there is really not much you can do.

    On the other hand, my FI was very afraid of flying (avoided it as much as possible, taking pills to calm his anxiety, etc), but he faced his fear over the last couple of years and has been doing much better with.

    So it really is about whether or not she wants to face her fear and get over it or not and continue to let it interfere with her living her life. Just continue to offer to work with her, if she wants your help with the dog- otherwise, let her avoid it.


  • edited December 2011
    i agree with what everyone else has said, you sound like you are trying to help the situation but there doesn't seem to be a lot that you can do by yourself.

    Instead of keeping the dog in your bedroom, is there a section of the house you could keep her out of/keep her contained to? That way she won't be trapped in a bedroom but your FMIL will still feel comfortable. Maybe you could use baby gates (even a couple, stacked, if FMIL's really afraid). It still stinks because your dog is going to want to be where the people are, but it seems like a comprimise if you can give each of the two of them half the space!
  • Blueyed228Blueyed228 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Sorry to answer so late!  Just got home from work.

    FI is fighting with her because he takes the "just get over it" approach and does not understand why she is afraid.  He tells her that the dog is not aggressive and they get into the "well I guess you will just have to miss out on all of the family stuff etc".  I hate when he does that and I feel like I am mediating all the time.

    Her phobia came from when she was a kid and there was a nasty dog in the neighborhood.  When her dad got a dog she never set foot in his house again.

    What gets me is that FI had a dog growing up and she was fine with it.  The had a golden retriever.  I think thats what bothers me the most.  Is she claiming a fear of all dogs, or just my dog because of the breed. 

    She got really upset when I told her that when my dog gets older (they live to about 12-14) that I am going to get another Pitbull puppy to keep her company.  She wanted to know why that breed.  I try to explain that I am a huge advocate for the breed and feel like they should be in responsible homes and have owners that are experienced with the breed.  I feel like it is causing stress but I cant see myself not having a dog, and I cant see myself not owning this breed.

    What also gets me is that his brother thinks he is some kind of "Ceaser Milan Dog Whisperer" and tells her how dogs smell fear and will bite you if you are afraid of them and I am always having to refute his input.  

    I just feel like they make it a bigger deal than it needs to be,  When you walk in my house my dog gets super excited, licks you till your wet, and lays on your lap.  She could care less if you are afraid of her.  After ten min, she goes and sleeps on her doggy bed and forgets you are there.  I understand her fear, Im just tired of justifying and defending my dog......lol  
    045_45-1 photo 045_45-1.jpg
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DX: PCOS/Recurrent losses/MTHFR mutation (compound hetero)
    5 hysteroscopies/2 surgical
    3 Inject IUIs = 2 m/c's and 1 BFN
    IVF #1= BFP. m/c at 7w6d. Needed 2 D&C's and scar tissue removal. Mild OHSS
    IVF #2 = BFP. Severe OHSS. 4 Drainings. TWINS!
  • baystateapplebaystateapple member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_massachusetts-boston_fmil-vs-dog?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:89Discussion:0c17f3db-2a68-419f-b28e-029ffc6e1605Post:8535b622-4948-4f5c-80ab-7546aea81a62">Re: FMIL vs Dog Help</a>:
    [QUOTE] What also gets me is that his brother thinks he is some kind of "Ceaser Milan Dog Whisperer" and tells her how dogs smell fear and will bite you if you are afraid of them and I am always having to refute his input.
    Posted by Blueyed228[/QUOTE]

    I'm sorry, but that's really cruel and idiotic of your FBIL.  That's not going to help your FMIL, it's only going to make things worse.

    To be honest, I have a minor fear of pit bulls because I got attacked by one a few months ago.  She was an untrained puppy whose owner didn't take care of her, but it was a really scary experience, so I can understand where your FMIL is coming from with that fear.  My other advice would be to maybe educate her about pit bulls -- get her books, ask her to read up on them, understand that not all of them just lie in wait to attack.  GL.
    image

    Books read in 2012: 21/50

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

  • lny675lny675 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    As a fellow dog lover and pit bull owner, I sympathize with you. 

    You seem like you have tried to come up with many different types of solutions....but a hotel may be the best/only option.  If you try and "force" the situation it will probably end badly.   When I have tried to isolate my dog and put her in another room, she gets anxious and scared.  To a person who is fearful of dogs, an anxious/scared dog might come off as mean/aggressive.  

    I have had dogs my whole life (many different breeds) and my Sasha girl (my pit) is by far the most gentle/docile dog I've ever had.  It makes complete sense though for a person who is afraid of dogs to be extremely fearful of this breed (which has gotten such a bad wrap).  I personally was bit twice in my life, one time was from a lab and the other was from a poodle.  My Sasha has never growled or showed her teeth to another living thing, but that doesn't matter to some people who are dog fearful (and as a dog owner, I totally understand that and do not try to force the situation).  I hear you about wanting to have your fiance's family stay with you in your home..........but it just may not be possible.

    Good Luck with everything.

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards