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No, in my book, you are completely right. I'm allergic to cats and dogs, and I'm generally okay if I don't touch them, but if I pet a dog or cat, then my allergies go crazy. I never make people put their pet away from me because of my allergies, but I can't bear a dog that jumps all over me. I especially can't stand dogs who can't get their snout of my crotch. It is embarrassing, makes me feel smelly. If a dog is jumping on a guest that dog should be put in another room. Especially when there are kids around. Just plain rude not to do it.

I think you are right. I hate being jumped on by other people's dogs. When my son was small we had friends with a big utterly untrained dog who would regularly knock my son down in her enthusiasm to see him. It took years for him to get over being scared of dogs because of that and it was entirely friendly interest on the dog's part. It was always touchy to ask them to put the dog elsewhere when we were over since they couldn't be bothered to train her. I hadn't thought of this in years but guess I'm still more than a big annoyed!

I always separate my dogs in another room when guests come over. I have four very noisy, bratty dogs that I love dearly. I haven't managed to train them not to bark at every little thing but I can corral them into another room so that they don't jump on people when they visit. If someone chooses to go into the area where the dogs are, then they know the consequences and are doing so to specifically play with the dogs.

Oooh, I hate that! We have dogs too and if someone looks uncomfortable around them, I immediately put them down in the basement (actually very lush area for them). I expect that people do the same when I visit them. Even though it's their house, they are still responsible for their dogs. Obviously your friend isn't taking the hint so can you speak with her upfront about the issue? Ask her if she wouldn't mind putting the dogs in another area because you feel uncomfortable around them.

I would drop the money in the tin with the animal on it. While there are a lot of federal funds going to protect children, there are almost no laws or funds going to protect domestic animals that we have chosen to take care of. However, despite my love of my animals, if someone is uncomfortable with my dogs, I put them away immediately. I always ask every visitor if they would like for me to put them away. I want people to feel comfortable in my home, and putting my dogs in a separate room is sometimes part of that. Honestly, I am always a bit wary of people who don't like dogs, but I still respect their choice.

I think you are absolutely right, and I say this from a dog owner's perspective. I do not put my dogs up when we have guests, but they are leashed to me if they will not be calm and leave people be. Most of the time they are fine. I consider my dogs' behavior to be my responsibility. It's my responsibility to be sure that they are never in a position where they could possibly feel that they need to/should/want to bite anyone. End of story. It's my job to keep them safe and that means making sure they don't hurt anyone else, for whatever reason.

Btw, did you do any specific training with your dogs before Kate and Adam arrived? We just found out that I'm pregnant (clomid iui) and I'm starting to think about what to work on to prepare the dogs.

I agree with you completely - which is why my dog is "handled" (with a firm hand on the collar) when guests come. She's allowed to say hello (tail wagging and tongue hanging out) then is ushered into a seperate room in the house and left there until company leaves. Most of our friends have small children and we have a big dog, so there just isn't enough floor space to make everyone happy. I don't have a problem with other people's dogs roaming the house as long as they are well-behaved.

That's my two cents worth . . .

"It is not like she doesn’t know I don’t like it when the dogs jumps up or licks us."

Maybe YOU are missing the point then? If she knows you don't like the dog, and she doesn't put the dog away, then maybe she's trying to tell you something? Honestly, I do the same thing to my brother-in-law (whom I don't particularly like at times) when I let our dogs remain in the same room with us while we are visiting. But I'm slightly evil like that. :o)

We've had some bad experiences here in Toronto with dogs attacking small children, and some owners getting out of hand. It got to the point where we have banned some breeds (like pitbulls) and enacted some tougher leash laws. The responsible owners don't mind too much, the irresponsible...well. Since we are in a heavily urbanized area, I am always surprised when people get gigantic dogs and expect them to be okay in a teeny tiny yard, or a condo for God's sake. These dogs need exercise, and 15 minutes in and out at a local park won't cut it. I sometimes think that's why some of them get a little jumpy when children or guests come over. (Bad socializing, is the term I guess?)
I like dogs, but not all of the owners, if you know what I mean.

I think you are right, but it wouldn't hurt to simply ASK her to put the dog in another room when you visit. My dogs bark at every little thing, and enthusiastically greet whoever comes in, and if they won't stay down/stop licking/whatever, they get put either outside (fenced in yard) or in the bedroom. Incidentally, I have an overly friendly cat as well, but everyone adores him and he never gets put away.

I personally don't like being licked by dogs, either, and my dogs don't get away with licking others. Luckily mine aren't big on crotch sniffing, cause I hate that, too.

I'm much more a cat person.

Also, my money (whenever I manage to donate) goes in the animal tin.

Have you ever outright asked her to put the dog away? If she already knows you don't like it, then what's the big deal?

I would donate to the animal tin. I've done my fair share of supporting the kid tins.

I adore my dogs. My blog is about my dogs and the conversations we have. The dog talks are my readers favorite posts to read.

I always ask my guests if they would like me to put them away. And if they don't sit politely (the dogs, not the guests), they get put away in the bedroom.

We've had temperatures of 36 degrees below zero here. I can't bear it when I see a dog on a chain in this kind of cold. Is he supposed to run around in circles to stay warm? People who don't treat their animals right are not human in my opinion, and I would never be friendly with them.

I agree, if the dog isn't well behaved, it should be put out/up/away when guests are over. There is a limit to the "my house, my rules", when it comes to being courteous and a good host. I feel that your guest's comfort should be considered, or you shouldn't be having guests over.

Even watching the kids like a hawk isn't enough sometimes. My grandmother has a chow mix dog, and when Boog tried to pet it's back once, she whirled around and bit him on the head before I could do a thing about it, and I was less than 2 feet away. The same dog was happy as all get out to see us and Boog, but when he touched her back, whammo, she nipped him and broke the skin (thank goodness it was just a warning nip). Now, any time we go over to my grandmother's house, the dog goes out into the yard before I set foot in the house.

That's another reason why we're waiting until Boog gets a little older before we get a pet. He needs to be old enough to understand how to treat an animal (though he is already extremely gentle with them), and old enough to defend himself when/if the unexpected/unpredictable happens.

I hate that undisciplined dog thing, too. My SIL and MIL live together, and their dogs do that. They jump on you, and they don't clip their nails, so they are sharp and long. Yowch. If you are wearing shorts, your legs get scratched, and if you try and sit on the couch, they jump in your lap and lick your face. They (MIL/SIL) think it is cute. They are little dogs, so maybe they think that's okay? I don't. I am allergic, and I hate going to their house. And the barking scares my kids, so usually we are walking through the door after arriving, and my children are clinging to me like little spider monkeys and screaming. Such, such fun. NOT. We have a cat, and when we have company, they don't even necessarily see her. I prefer it that way. Can't speak for anyone else, but I think in my MIL/SIL's case they think their dogs are cute and believe everyone else does too. So I guess they just don't get it.

You are totally right.
I feel like I meet the dog -- or cat -- owners far more than halfway. I make a fuss, I bend over and greet them, and I never get upset when they jump all over my clean clothing. But I don't feel I need to make out with the animal, and I hate being made to feel uptight when I resist!

I donate to the animals tin because here in the US, many of the kid's charities are run by anti-choice organizations and f that. If it's for St. Jude's or the Ronald McDonald House -- something easily idenitifiable, then yeah, but otherwise I won't take the chance. Plus, I tend to like most animals a lot better than I like most people.

People who let their dogs jump are actually doing their dogs a huge disservice. Dogs do that when they think they are higher than you on the chain of command, which is indicative of larger problems. The only time a dog should feel more alpha than a human is if it senses danger.

We always put our dog in the yard or in our basement when we have company over. I know not everyone is a dog person and we're still working on training our dog not to jump up on people. She's two and still has a lot of puppy in her. She doesn't jump on me or Phoebe, but still jumps on DH and guests.

One thing I do hate is when someone will come to visit and if we're in the process of taking the dog out and the dog goes to jump and I stop her from jumping and the other person says "I don't mind!" I always let them know that I mind, as she' being trained not to jump on people.

i'm in the minority here but my dogs are very well behaved so it's never an issue. And if you don't like animals, you are not welcome to our home but I definitely see your point.

your description of the annoyances of pets sounds like my wife's description of husbands. maybe she's due for replacement.

It's her house so she doesn't have to put the dog away. That said, you have every right to say "I won't come over if your dog is around".

I have no problem with animals but I would NEVER have a pet. Too messy, to much responsibility (my kids at least will be potty trained and become independent at a certain age).

I hate when pet owners say "He won't hurt you" as their dog is jumping on you, licking you, and nosing you in the crotch. Ugh!

The last time I encountered a dog it's owner said, "He's so sweet, he just loves kids!" Then the dog jumped on my daughter and scratched her face with his nail. She has been petrified of dogs ever since. Even after this happened the owner insisted the dog was just trying to "give her a kiss". :(

I won't go to someone's home if they have a jumpy untrained animal. They don't have to train their dog, but again, I don't have to go there.

Wow, Catherine I wonder if you're my SIL. Whenever we visit my husband's brother & family they always allow their little dog to jump all over our children. Each of our children runs to us immediately and they hold onto us for dear life. The baby goes on the counter in the carseat because we are afraid nobody will keep the dog off our infant either. He's a small dog but has sharp nails and they hurt! He's ruined one (favorite)sweater and a pair of pantyhose with those claws. As a result of the jumping, my children are terrified of all dogs. I know that my sister in law just does it to piss off my husband. Passive aggressive one she is.

We've asked if it would be possible to move to another room in the house during the visit (the dog is only allowed on the main floor of their LARGE home) and were told that it would upset their dog too much. They have two daughters and told us that the dog is their son, just like I have a son. Um. OKAAY????

Sigh. We don't visit often.

Wow, Catherine I wonder if you're my SIL. Whenever we visit my husband's brother & family they always allow their little dog to jump all over our children. Each of our children runs to us immediately and they hold onto us for dear life. The baby goes on the counter in the carseat because we are afraid nobody will keep the dog off our infant either. He's a small dog but has sharp nails and they hurt! He's ruined one (favorite)sweater and a pair of pantyhose with those claws. As a result of the jumping, my children are terrified of all dogs. I know that my sister in law just does it to piss off my husband. Passive aggressive one she is.

We've asked if it would be possible to move to another room in the house during the visit (the dog is only allowed on the main floor of their LARGE home) and were told that it would upset their dog too much. They have two daughters and told us that the dog is their son, just like I have a son. Um. OKAAY????

Sigh. We don't visit often.

You are totally right about this one. we have a sweet, sweet dog who loves everyone but we put him in a separate area when people visit; if they want to go visit him then they can, but we don't allow him to be underfoot. [And if there are children visiting then we always supervise their 'visits' to the dog...he usually licks their hands and faces, v. cute but gross, so then we have to disinfect them! :)] The main reason I do it is because I respect that not everyone likes to hang out w/ dogs. You are right about supervising the children. I'm an attorney and have been involved in far too many dog-bite cases where the dog has never bitten before, but ends up doing damage [plastic-surgery-requiring damage] to a small child who was left unattended. I am not saying any dog would do this (and I seriously doubt my dog would, as he's a lamb) but 'better safe than sorry' is definitely the best approach.

As for donations, I love love love dogs--mine is a 'rescued' stray someone dumped on the side of the road, ARGH--but I'd probably go w/ the children tin also. That having been said, we do donate to our local no-kill animal shelter also.

I agree, when we have friends over we always put our dog outside especially if I know they have children/babies. Our dog is an overly loving little boy and to others it can be scary or just unwanted so unless they ask to visit and bring him in, he stays in his huge backyard or our bedroom.

I would never be upset if a friend asked me to put my dog away if it scared or bugged them, but again, we put him away usually before they have to ask. I say just ask, let your friend know you aren't trying to be rude but it's hard on your kids or you to be pushing the dog away or down all the time.

I am a double dipper, if they had both I would put some money in both tins.

I don't think you are wrong to feel as you do, but I have a different take on things.

Dogs are social creatures, as are we, and it is cruel to keep them outside in the yard all the time. They need to be inside the house and with the family and generally speaking, as fully integrated in your life as possible. Otherwise they are tortured with boredom and loneliness (here in the U.S., animal shelters won't let you adopt a dog if you plan to leave it outside in the yard all the time because it is viewed as psychological torture for the poor lonely beast.)

But even more important than the animal's mental health is safety. Dogs that are well-socialized, that have plenty of opportunities to interact with new people, learn proper social skills. Such well-socialized dogs are not hazardous.

But dogs that have very few opportunities to develop their social skills and learn how to interact with strange people are MUCH more likely to bite from the fear or stress of contract with unfamiliar people. That dog stuck behind your neighbor's fence all the time? Or the dog chained in someone's yard? THOSE dogs are much more likely to bite, regardless of the breed, because they are afraid of new people.

So, for safety's sake, you *should* introduce your dogs to your guests, including children, because it is actually *safer* to do it this way. Let's face it, you cannot be a perfect policeman and prevent any child from ever touching your dog, so it's better to make sure that the dog can handle the stress of new contacts appropriately (including by not jumping).

In fact, I not only have my dog meet every new person who comes over, including repairmen and children, but also (on my dog trainer's advice) I take him with me into every store that allows it. He goes shopping with me every weekend. He has great social skills and always behaves appropriately. He is also very pretty and sweet and most people seem pretty happy to meet him.

And the face-licking? Well, I have a different take on this, as well. Every time I've seen my dog lick children's faces, the kids squeal with absolute delight and pleasure and the parents laugh to see their kids so happy. I've never seen anyone react negatively to my dog licking their kid's face. But then, people who come to my house know the dog's going to be there; children never approach my dog without their parent's consent and supervision, so I always sort of thought they were consenting to the face licking, since it is such a foreseeable consequence of having contact with a dog. I mean, when you touch a dog, you know you're going to come into contact with fur that may wind up on your clothing, you may come into contact with a friendly wet tongue or a wagging tail. If you object to these things you would just avoid the dog. I really don't worry about it because dog is so easily avoided: he doesn't harrass people who are not interested in interacting with him, and he never jumps. My dog will not come up to you if you don't want it; you have to call him or approach him if you want to have contact with him.

But I suppose if I had a dog that was running around jumping on people and licking people who wnated to avoid him, I would have to rethink it.

Wow, Catherine I wonder if you're my SIL. Whenever we visit my husband's brother & family they always allow their little dog to jump all over our children. Each of our children runs to us immediately and they hold onto us for dear life. The baby goes on the counter in the carseat because we are afraid nobody will keep the dog off our infant either. He's a small dog but has sharp nails and they hurt! He's ruined one (favorite)sweater and a pair of pantyhose with those claws. As a result of the jumping, my children are terrified of all dogs. I know that my sister in law just does it to piss off my husband. Passive aggressive one she is.

We've asked if it would be possible to move to another room in the house during the visit (the dog is only allowed on the main floor of their LARGE home) and were told that it would upset their dog too much. They have two daughters and told us that the dog is their son, just like I have a son. Um. OKAAY????

Sigh. We don't visit often.

You need to ask your neighbor to put the dog away when you are there, or, you won't be able to come over. Blame it on the kids if you have to and say that A & K seem to be developing a fear of all dogs besides their own.
If she won't agree, then be done with her.
I have had people lock up cats, dogs and birds. And I am an animal lover.

You are totally in the right. I'm fanatical about dogs and cats, but I accept that not everyone is.....and even other animal-lovers should not be expected to put up with undiciplined pets when they visit.......it's totally the owner's fault - dogs need discipline, and training.... One of my cats is a "biter" and she is NEVER allowed to mix with visitors, and especially not other peoples kids.

For my children's safety I feel TOTALLY justified in asking people to lock up their pets - and if they won't do that for me, then I just won't be visiting...

(Although on a similar vein I unfortunately have a few friends who I dearly wish would lock up their KIDS when I visit.....undisciplined kids and pets are equally unattractive).....

Re the charity tin - that's a hard one. I have a couple of children's charities who get a monthly debit order payment from me - and that has added up over 10+ years. I also waive my fee and do FREE infant massage training for people who act as caregivers at children's homes, hospitals etc.....BUT I do volunteer for a local animal charity also, and do rescue work..... I guess I'd split my spare change between the two....

I wish my sister would put her dogs away when we come over. They're so excitable, they scare Ben. And I always make the mistake in the summer of wearing a skirt—and then having wet dog nose snorfled up towards my crotch. Ew.

I completely agree with you. Our dog jumps up occasionally at people and gets a sharp smack on the bum from me. If he carries on I shut him in the cloakroom where he has a second bed, and which is his his time-out place.

I would never let my dog (who incidentally is a yellow labrador, and in most respects adorable and sweet-natured) alone with a toddler. I simply do not trust him in every situation, for just the same reasons as you. I do not think the sun shines out of my dog, and nor should any other dog owner. They are after all predators, and have not got rid of their predator instincts, just muffled them somewhat to fit in with us.

Also, I am very disturbed at the thought of your weird African tortoise shedding hair all over your garden. No wonder you got rid of him, the trans-species freak.

I have small dogs and when my guests are adults, I just let them fend for themselves. If they can't keep 12 pounds of lovin' off of them, that's their problem. If we're eating or if there will be kids present, I will generally put the dogs in part of the house where we aren't entertaining (it depends if my guests have been there and if I know they don't mind). One of my dogs has been known to get a little friendly with the dinner plates, some kids are afraid of them and one of my dogs hates nearly everyone, especially kids, so away she goes.

We have two big dogs and one of them thinks he's a lap dog, despite all our efforts to convince him otherwise. We put them in a different room when we have company and always ask our guests prior to letting them back in, with full bad behaviour disclosure. However, telling someone what to do in their own home is another issue altogether. When someone tells me I'll have to put my dog away when they come over, my first thought is "Who the hell are you to tell me what to do in my own home?" Instead, they can just tell me they are afraid, allergic, or otherwise averse to pets, and I will happily assure them the dogs will be locked in a different room. It comes down to manners - do bad manners from a host justify rude behaviour from a guest? Maybe you could have your friend over to your house or meet somewhere instead. Then you can both be comfortable.

No, you're not being unreasonable at all. I think you should just ask her to put the dogs away the next time you come over. They make you uncomfortable and distract you from your visit with your friend. Perhaps she just is a little dense and hasn't put 2 & 2 together to figure out that you shooing the dogs means you want them to go away?

I absolutely LOVE dogs, but when we had a very large (Rottweiller x) totally gorgeous "lap dog" I would put him away while we had guests with kids. With adults he just lay on the ground, but if he went nosing them and begging for pats I'd put him outside or in another room. He didn't mind. If kids came over, I'd always put him out of the way. He was so gentle and loving, but I don't believe you can ever 100% trust a dog with children because children themselves are unpredicatable. They pull, poke, scream. And dogs can act instinctively. Plus dogs do lick, and do knock kids over. Not all kids think that is funny, even though my daughter is fine with that.

Something sad happened here a few winters ago. There was an appeal by a Dog Rescue group for blankets. They got HUNDREDS, far too many. Brand new blankets, for the dogs. Fantastic. Then a people's welfare group came on TV and said they had no blankets, that the dog shelter had enough so maybe people could start giving a few to them so kids could be warm. Hardly any response at all. I am all for animal charities and donate to them, but I'd never put the life of a dog or animal about that of a human life. But the sad fact is that most people around here seem more inclined to give to an animal in need than put money in a tin for kids.

Dude, just say it. Call before going over and say, "Would it be possible for you to put your dogs in the yard during my visit?" Just wait for an answer. Don't say anything else. If your pal asks why, say the dog makes you uncomfortable and that she's such a good friend you feel okay opening up about it. If she says no, ask if you can meet somewhere else.

I used to be terrified of dogs. Once I jumped out of a window without even thinking, because a dog I hadn't seen in the room stood up when I came in. I'm a little better now, but not by much.

I am an animal lover, and I am involved in "animal rescue" here in my city. My own dog is a "rescue dog."

But, but! To your point about donating to an animal charity vs. a children's charity, I hope I will always put humans first!

Did anyone notice the recent New York Times op-ed by Peter Singer? He is a well known advocate of primate rights and animal rights, and I think most would consider his views pretty radical (granting "personhood" to apes for example).

Here is one small excerpt: "We are always ready to find dignity in human beings, including those whose mental age will never exceed that of an infant, but we don’t attribute dignity to dogs or cats, though they clearly operate at a more advanced mental level than human infants. Just making that comparison provokes outrage in some quarters. But why should dignity always go together with species membership, no matter what the characteristics of the individual may be?"


Oh, and to answer your other question, I always put my darling little dog into the guest room when we have company. Even though he is small, he likes to jump!

I love animals and have always had a pet. Our dog sleeps in our room and lives in our house 24/7 and always has. Our pets have always been part of our family. However, I believe that people are more valuable than animals, and that it is a moral imperative to choose human life over animal life. That being said, of course if one chooses to own an animal, one must be prepared to take proper care of them in sickness and in health.

I also believe that if people come to visit, it is good manners to make your guests comfortable. That means making sure your animal is well-behaved and if it is not, then make sure you have a safe place to put your dog while company is over. I do not feel you should choose your own animals over the comfort of your guests. I also feel that there are basic rules for animals and people. Unless someone is very afraid or allergic, an animal should be allowed to be around company if it is properly behaved. No you should not let animals jump up and lick people. That is rude and any animal who does that needs a good animal behaviorist. On the other hand if your friend or relative does not "get" it, maybe it is best if they visit you. Some people are absolutely crazy on the subject of their animals and there is no "talking" to them.

So, Tertia, I take it this would not be your kid?

It's hard for me to choose between the animal tin and the child tin. I love my dog and she is well behaved around children and adults. With that said, if someone (an adult or child) was scared of dogs, or uncomfortable, I would definately put her in another room. People should respect that not everyone feels the same way about animals that they do. My dog does lick us and our son (not a lot), but I would not let her do that to another child or person.

hi tertia - i don't have a real opinion on your friend's dog, although i can certainly understand you not wanting your kids jumped on and licked.

but i wanted to comment on your poll. i'm one of the people who gives my spare change to the dog. i think it should be noted (and i bet many feel this way) that i choose the dog over the kid NOT because i value the dog's life over the kid's, and NOT because i don't like kids, but because i don't think there are as many charities that favor the animals. at the end of the day if a child is suffering and a dog is suffering, my feeling is that the child will be the first to get help. that's why i give my money to the animals. i favor the underdog, no pun intended :)

I think you are right about being careful of your children around animals. You made an excellent point when you mentioned that the kids could behave as kids do and provoke an uncontrolled reaction from an otherwise well-behaved dog. At the end of the day, they are animals. I'd express your discomfort to your friend in a gentle way. If she refuses to do anything about her dog, then don't bring the kids there until she does. Your kids have to come first. It's my sense that since you are friends she will understand and not be put out about it.

As for which tin gets my money, it would be the kids every time. Animal abuse is unconscinable but child abuse is much more so. I feel bad for the animals but children will always come first for me.


Dogs. Away.

I love dogs - SOMETIMES.

I don't love dogs that won't shut up, get off, or stop bugging me.

And, I'm a big kid of 22 years. If you're an itty bitty kid... dogs are scarry.

I'm a HUGE animal lover and am owned by 3 cats. When people come over to my house, I put the cats away. Your friend should take control of her dog and put it outside or in another room if she's not going to train it to stop jumping on people. Like Sassy Belle said, small kid + big dog = scary and probably traumatised for life.

Put the damn dog away or help it learn to behave. Gross. I freely admit that I do NOT like dogs but regardless, don't let them be licking and jumping. Oh, how disgusting and filthy.

Isn't it common courtesy to put the dog in another area when guests are over? My wouldn't-hurt-a-fly Collie was always put in another area when visitors arrived. It was better for her... and any visitors.

I would give my change to the children's charity. Hands down.

I think it's totally reasonable for you to ask to have the dogs put away. But I think you have to ask. To be honest it really really upsets me when people "shoo" my dog. She's a part of my family and I'm more than happy to put her away but she deserves to be treated nicely as well. I used to be terrified of dogs so I understand that feeling well and will always put our dog in another room if someone asks ahead of time or tells me that they're not comfortable.

Another reason that you may have to ask right out is that you have dogs yourself, and I kind of always assume that my friends with dogs themselves are the ones I don't have to worry about with her.

Anyway, just ask nicely. I'm sure it will be fine.

I'm not sure I see the logic in the argument that there are more charities for people than for dogs, so that makes it better to donate to the dog. There is NEVER enough money for starving or abused or sick kids, no matter how many charities are out there collecting for them. So every dollar you choose to give to an animal is a dollar that isn't going to a person in need. I believe animals are worthy of love and protection and as I said, I do donate to animal charities. But my gut and my heart says that the human life is worth more.

I think your friend is thoughtless. Chat to her.

I completely agree with you.

I have a similar problem with my friends' evil cat. Damn cat is a horror show. If either of my kids even enter the same half of the room she's in she feels threatened and has scratched them both on two different occasions - drawing blood both times. She missed my son's eye by about a millimeter, and as a result of the damage she's inflicted both of my children are now scared of all cats. Where are the owners you ask? Right there in the next room. They feel that since the cat lives there she has the right to stay out and refuse to shut her away, despite KNOWING that she attacks small children unprovoked. And declawing? Hah! Not a chance. It isn't "fair" to the animal (who is btw 100% an inside cat). These people are two of our best friends, but this fucking cat has made it so that I won't go visit their house with my children, which is becoming a bit of an issue between us.

I understand that the cat was their surrogate child when they were going through IF. I understand that they believe it was the cat who improved the feng shui of the house so that they could finally get pg. Fine. Good. All of it. But if you KNOW that your cat attacks innocent children, shut the damn thing up in a bedroom for an hour or two when small children come to visit!

I'm curious to hear what others think about this, because to me, your animal's rights end where my children's danger begins. Can't/won't control the animal? Fine. We won't be visiting. Just don't complain afterwards that we're never the ones to come to you.

Climbing down off my soapbox now.

I have a very well-behaved small dog who usually minds his own business, lounging in his laundry-room bed. However, when some of my nieces and nephews come to visit, they pretty much terrorize my dog. (Really, they terrorize all of my house, breaking things, slamming doors, etc.) They pick him up, drop him, chase him, hit him, push him around...My sweet and tolerant dog is very patient with them. And I try to be patient with them too, although it does bother me that their mother doesn't keep a better eye on her kids. One time she had the gall to ask me if I wouldn't mind putting my dog outside so that he would leave her kids alone. I thought it was very audacious of her, since it was my dog, my house, and it was HER KIDS bothering him. I said to her "No, but you are welcome to keep your kids out of the laundry room."

I don't think that it's very polite to go to someone elses home and push their pet around. I think it's very rude. However, I see your point and I think that it is equally rude, if not more so, for her to let her dog do that. I would not tell her "put the dog away or we are not coming back" because I think that would just make the problem much bigger than it needs to be. Next time you are at her house, tell the dog no very firmly, and gently push him away. If your friend is offended, or does not help out, then I simply wouldn't return to her home.

Parents and pet-owners should remember that not everybody will love your kids and not everybody will love your pets.

I wouldn't allow my kids to misbehave with a guest, or make him/her uncomfortable, thus I wouldn't allow the same to my pets (If I had any).

And I would expect the same reasoning from any host.

As an aside, before leting my daugther stroke any stranger dog, I ask the owner. And sometimes the owners are all 'yes, it's a good dog, he loves kids' and then the dog isn't and doesn't. Love blinds pet-owners as well as parents...

When I had a dog, I always tried to keep her under control and to be considerate of guests; the dog was not allowed to jump on people, sniff their crotches, bark at them etc. I think that hosts should always do that.
However, as a guest you also have to look out for yourself and your kids. It always amazes me to see someone obviously appalled when a dog sniffs their crotch but not doing anything about it - just letting the dog sniff their privates and looking angrily at the host. I always push the dog away and say "No" loudly. I also don't hesitate to ask people to restrain their dogs when near my baby or my pet degus (small rodents).

This is a quick comment from a person who has had their own fair share of dog drama recently (read my last few blog entries if you are in any way interested). In short - puppies - arghhhh. I would definitely control the dog(s) around guests - if the guests wanted to pat/play with the dog, by all means, they are welcome. If they want the dog away, it goes away.
As far as the dog tin/child tin issue goes; It was extremely interesting that in the wake of the overwhelming disaster of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that I saw far more advertising for animal charities, than actual REAL on the ground help for the suffering of the people. At this stage there were dead bodies floating in the river etc. THIS WAS COMPLETELY MISGUIDED (in my humble opinion). In this case, I believe the animals come last - sadly.
There are some people who do an enormous amount for dog shelters etc. I found a blog recently (can't bloody find it now though) about people running an animal rescue shelter in Tennessee USA. These people were completely altruistic, and basically were running their own lives to ruin to save dogs from being put down from pounds etc. Very admirable! More power to them. But human life first!

I'm a little worried about the casual "kids will be kids" attitude some people (IRL, not here) have toward animals. It amazes me how many times I see kids hitting, kicking, poking dogs or just sticking their face right up to the dog's mouth while their parents completely ignore the behaviour. I knew a couple who put their dog down after it bit their child. They were devastated and truly didn't see the connection between the kid tormenting the dog for years and the dog finally responding aggressively.

I love my dogs to death, but I don't have them in the room with my toddling twins, let alone other people's kids. They are wonderful with my children, but dogs and cats don't like having their fur pulled or their tails grabbed, either. Most children haven't been taught how to act around animals, and if a child tries to poke a cat in the eye with a stick (my neighbour's son) you can expect to get scratched, even by the most tolerant of animals. My pets would rather be in our bedroom or outside in the fenced in yard when we have company, they aren't being exiled, and it is better for everyone involved.

One of my dogs was a rescued animal. She is an incredibly smart border collie cross. She knows better than to jump and slobber us, and if you tell her to "stop it" no matter what it is, she will (she has a very extensive vocabulary) However, she also knows that visitors don't know our rules, and she will jump up on them and lick them while watching our reaction. My MIL will let her right up into her lap. This pisses me off royally. Chloe knows she isn't allowed, but around people she doesn't know she acts like she just came off the street, which makes me feel like a really bad pet parent.

we have a little poodle we got from a rescue group. he can't jump on people or get on the furniture because one of his back legs is deformed. he doesn't lick anyone ever, it's just not his nature, and he rarely barks. he is not hyper or pesky, but when we have people over, i keep him on my lap or i put him in his crate, for his protection. he is very small and frail, and if someone is rough with him he could be seriously hurt. with my kids, he has run of the house and they know not to play roughly with him or there will be very unpleasant punishment from me. i worry a lot more about the damage someone might do to the dog than the damage he might do to a person.

Wow, I'm definitely in the minority on this one.

I'm a huge pet lover, have a dog I treat as my child. Our dog jumps and is so happy to see you as our guest, and we consider that a greeting in it's own. And quite frankly, if you don't like animals, you really aren't super welcome either. Rocco is our family and it is insulting to have someone be "offended" at our dog.

Now, if a guest has allergies or is afraid/uncomfortable, then I have NO problem putting away the dog in the bedroom before they even come over. And if someone (and this is maybe what you have to do with your friend) plain out asked would you please put your dog away, I am uncomfortable, I would put the dog away. I also would be slightly offended and miffed, but would get over it.

I don't know. It's hard question to answer, because you know, you're the one visiting their house, and what they do with their animals is really their business.

I'd really recommend meeting somewhere other than her home if it makes you that uncomfortable.

I love dogs and always keep my dog (who is a sweetie, and not a jumper) under control when people visit.

I have a friend who has 3 dogs and when I come to the door, she will ask, "Are you wearing anything nice?" and then the dogs come jumping on me. (Her asking that question is just some kind of token question...she always lets them loose no matter what.) Her dogs are friendly, but uncontrolled in their behavior. I get paw prints and dog hair all over me when I go to her house. Needless to say, I don't visit often. And I am a dog person who enjoys being around (well-behaved) dogs.

Sometimes we put our dog outside or on a different floor of the townhouse when we're entertaining. However, we always make sure our dog greets guests appropriately. If she jumps up, she gets an immediate 15-30 second 'timeout' - she is put behind a closed door away from the family. We often hold her by the collar when people come in so she doesn't get too excited. If she stays in the room with us when we have guests over, then we usually pet her (or a dog-loving guest pets her) to keep her happy and occupied.

However, I will say (and I'm SOOOOOO glad you brought this subject off because I have wanted to write about it on my own blog but can't because I would offend some very close friends) that we are three times as likely to invite 'dog people' over as we are to invite 'non-dog people' over. It is so much less stress to have someone who feels comfortable around a dog, knows what is normal behavior and feels comfortable giving our dog commands.

Also, I think that whether or not someone is an animal person, they have a responsbility to their children to ensure them from being terrified of animals. I don't mean children should run up to any old animal and try to touch it willynilly, but they should not be afraid of the very sight of them. Some of our very best friends have a son who is PETRIFIED of dogs, animals at the petting zoo, ponies that give rides at fairs, etc. It's awful to watch. And when they all stayed with us in December, it was so stressful, and my poor dog was treated like a criminal or a pariah all weekend. Everytime my dog would walk in the room, this kid would freak out and start crying and yelling for the dog to leave him alone. His mother (my good friend)? If our dog walked up and sniffed her (not her crotch) while she was sitting down and looking the other way, she would flinch and recoil. I think my friend is doing a horrible disservice to her son, teaching him (albeit possibly inadvertently) to be afraid of animals.

I think it's just fine for you to expect your friend to put away an annoying pet (and this is coming from a "dog can" person!). What is *not* ok is your expectation that she should read your mind on this matter. Instead, try using words to convey your desires directly to her -- despite what you feel is your obvious dislike of her dog's behavior, it's quite likely she has no idea. I mean, if she thought the behavior was unacceptable, presumably she'd do something about it, right?

I love my dog to a ridiculous degree, but I would be mortified if he jumped all over people, especially children. Whenever he's gotten a little too excitable, I have immediately removed him from the room. He's a medium-sized dog and could easily harm someone without meaning to at all.

I love having guests over and would be sad if my house became a place where someone was uncomfortable. I truly adore all dogs, but I have known plenty who could not be cool during social situations and it's a real shame for everyone involved when a dog's behavior becomes the focus of an entire visit. If you're constantly worried about what the dog's going to do next, you're not having a good time.

Everyone knows we have Neurotic Dog. He's a sweetie and a giant mushpot. He's a medium size dog who thinks he's a 10-pound lap warmer. He jumps for people he knows, happily gives kisses to kids (because of a friend's kid who "taught" our pup to "give kisses", so he thinks all kids want kisses). However, we never let him give kisses to strangers, we always ask if it's okay first.

If strangers come over, we ask if they're okay with the dog, and if not, he goes into his playroom. (actually, our office. He just thinks it's his.) All our friends know to expect cuddles from the pup, and still, we make sure they're okay with whatever Neurotic Dog is doing. He is the best dog ever around kids - unbelievably gentle, and so patient. But we would never leave our dog unsupervised around any kids.

That said, I want to address the "dangerous breed" thing and the ban on certain breeds in various areas. Breed bans are ineffective. The majority of "dangerous breeds" are sweet, sensitive dogs. Their weakness is their size or strength. Big dogs do more damage if they are mistreated or trained to be attack dogs. But "dangerous breeds" are the least likely to attack. As we say, "Blame the DEED, not the BREED." Breed bans have been proven ineffective over and over again. People just go out and find another breed to start misusing and abusing.

Tertia, I think you should come out and ask this person to put their dog away when you come over. I certainly wouldn't be offended. Although Neurotic Dog might personally ;)

Tertia, you need to tell your friend to put the dog away. You don't mention how Kate and Adam respond to the licks, but if they're squealing and laughing, your friend may think they're having fun. Which they may well be.

But you can't expect her to read your mind.

I put my dogs away when people I don't know well come over (my dogs are big and people who don't have dogs are scared of them). When I'm visiting family and my nieces are running around, I put my dogs away because it's not my house and I don't want to cause problem. However, if people are my friends they need to get used to my dogs. Same for when my nieces come to visit. Asking me to put my dogs somewhere in my own house would be asking you to please put your kids away. If someone did that, I would suggest we just do things somewhere else. This dog issue contributed (a bit) to me dumping my last boyfriend.

My dogs are very good, though. They are excited when people come in, but basically just lay around after that. Still, they are social creatures and sometimes want to interact. I'm fine with people ignoring them, but it upsets me when they don't want my dogs interacting with anyone.

If you were talking about me here, I'd prefer it if you just stopped visiting. If you're worried about the dogs doing something to Kate or Adam, why would you bring them over anyway?

I agree with the others that if you're not comfortable with your friend's dog behaviour by all means you should let her know and be very honest to tell her why you wouldn't be going to her house next time. Is your right to deslike her dog's behaviour as is her right to not to put her dog away in her own house. We can't expect that everyone in this world applies the same rules as we do (i'd also put the dog away) or we'd like them to do. Everyone is different, every household has it's own way. But communication is still the best way (not always the easiest) to solve those kind of problems.

On other note, I think the discussion about which tin would you donate is a bit too strict. Things do not need to be this black and white. We can donate to both in real life. Thank goodness there are people who donate to one cause as well as people who donate to other causes, no matter the reason. That's how things work, that's how many victims of cruelty can get help. And people who donate to animals are much more likely to donate to other charities as well. No need to make anyone feel guilty for helping one charity of their choice because "oh the other one is so much more noble". That's not right. All charities need help and it's a good thing that some people embrace one cause over other.

Maybe i'm oversensitive with this particular post because I'm a bit tired of some smug parents (not your case, Tertia, of course, i trully admire you) who are not able to understand or respect the fact that, for some of us, our pets are our sweethearts. Yes I do agree that pet owners must keep the guest's safety and health on mind. Specially with kids around. But how many times bad behaved kids kicked, shouted, slappped our pets, poked their eyes, pulled their tails and the parents did absolutely nothing?? And do try to ask the smug parents to stop their kids and you get a number of creative excuses. The respect should go both ways. As an IF myself and having two of my beloved dogs passed away in two years, this post hit me hard. Sorry for my long first comment.

I'm kind of half with you on this one. Your friends should probably put effort into gaining control over her dogs and allowing them to jump all over you seems rude to me. But it is her house. It is not like they are jumping all over you in a shop or a restaurant. It is her house and her rules. I don't put my dogs away when people come to visit even if I know they don't like dogs. And if someone asked me to do that I would be offended. One of my two dogs does not like kids however so I always put him on leash or in the back yard when friends bring toddlers over. It is safest for everyone that way. Kids stress him out so he is happier not to be around them and I know the kids are safe so everyone wins. But my dogs are part of my family. If someone has a problem with them, they have a problem with me. My house, my dogs, my rules I guess.

If it really bothers you I would ask your friend to visit at your house instead of going to her home. If it matters to her that much to have you over she will make adjustments to make you comfortable.

I paid $400 to have a dog trainer come around and show us how to train my two 'girls' to not jump on people. It works very well and was very easy to do also. I love my dogs more than most people and would never want to put them in a position where they may inadvertently try to protect themselves and end up being put down because of it.

I always keep the girls in a separate room or part of the garden when friends come around regardless of whether there are kids or not. If my friends say it is ok then the girls come out; if they are not overly keen on the idea the girls stay put! They have plenty of nice places to lie around in and they are not put out by this at all.

People who don't discipline their dogs really give me the absolute shits. The poor dogs get a bad name or end up attacking someone and being killed. I honestly don't believe there is such a thing as a bad dog; only stupid arse useless owners that don't deserve a beautiful loyal pet.

I also think it is totally rational and normal not to want dogs jumping on and licking you. (I've seen way too much of my dog licking every crevice of her ass. The last thing I want is intimate contact with that. Ugh!) We have some friends whose large bumbling dog often shoves his nose in your crotch, or puts his head in your lap while you eat, and used to jump up all the time (until his hips got bad). His owners scold him, but in a loving tone of voice that probably encourages him more than anything. It bugs my husband and I, but we haven't said anything because we're adults and can cope with it--he doesn't ruin clothing. (Also that poor dog is not well and probably isn't long for this world.)

However I certainly would say something if I had a child with me. My little brother developed a fear of dogs because of a large friendly dog (owned by parents' friends) that always jumped up on him. When you're a little kid, that animal is a lot bigger and scarier. Plus, children don't understand animals and the child certainly could easily provoke even a well-behaved dog.

I try to play it by ear with guests and our dog. She is clingy, but not active at all. It drives me nuts when she stands too close and I have a command I use with her for that, but guests tend to tell me it's fine and spend a lot of time petting her.

That said, yeah, you do have to say something if you want her to put the dog away. It doesn't have to be a big deal. You can frame it as concern for the dog as well as your kids.

Um... I'm sorry but 90% of the times I've seen kids being bit - including myself as a child - the kid had it coming due to the kid's behavior.

Children are not nice. I'm sorry, I've said it. I want children, but, by nature, they are mean, self-centered, and brats until taught to be otherwise. That's why parents need to train their children. It's called parenting. Unfortunately, too many parents present horrible examples. I've worked in child abuse prevention - it is really bad.

Now, the same thing is true of dogs and cats. Puppies and kittens are not nice. They do things that make them ill-advised as companions unless you train them. It's called good pet ownership. And, animal abuse is just as bad.

The problem is when one,the other, or both have not been properly brought up. It becomes combustible.

If your friend's dogs are ill-behaved, the owner should be made aware of that. Dogs should NEVER be jumping on someone unless actively instructed to do so. It is vital that such behavior be curbed.

Dogs are social animals - cats not so much - but if you are honestly uncomfortable with being around the dogs, don't go to her house - or casually mention that their jumping or rambunctiousness makes you nervous. If she is smart, she will realize that she hasn't been controlling her pets very well and should remedy it.

Now to those who say "I'm allergic." I'm severely allergic to cats, I don't go to the homes of people with cats because the dander is going to be everywhere anyway. Your allergies are going to be bothered so it is just stupid to go to a cat's home! Trust me, I know from experience.

If you are afraid, tell the owner. Perhaps it would be better to meet in a neutral place. Or, if it is possible to leave the dog or cat in a place they can't escape, the owner will do that.

Now, I own a pekinese. The world's laziest pekinese unless there is another dog. I would not trust him off leash around an infant under any circumstances. I do trust him on leash because we socialize him. He has his own fan club in the neighborhood of all the neighborhood kids. But, adults should realize that he is going to be allowed to lay on his rug in the middle of the floor. He may give you a dirty look if you lay down on his rug - or sit in the chair he thinks he owns, but he isn't going to do anything. Well, he might knock your leg with his paw if he thinks you don't notice him when you are eating.

Of course, I don't tend to like people who don't like animals. I have always thought there was something wrong with people who don't like animals. They tend to also not like children. At least in my experience. Or, they tend to be really obsessive compulsive cleaners.

As to which tin? Well, the Humane Society was originally designed to help orphans and abandoned animals. They found they got greater gifts from the upper crust of society when they presented cute puppies and kittens rather than scraggily orphans who could be used in the poor houses as workers. Remember, our idea of childhood was not very popular among the haves of the 19th and early 20th century industrial barons.

Children were perceived until recently as being able to earn their keep. And in many countries this is still so. Young girls were - and are - used in mills to help set the looms due to their tiny stature.

Young boys were sent ahead with a canary to check new mine shafts before they were expanded.

Honestly, I won't give to either. I don't give money to tins. I only give money to known charities - or for medical research. So, St. Jude's gets money. The Salvation Army gets money because they help everyone they can. But not the general tin charities. I just don't trust their accounting.



Every time I've gone to visit someone with psychotic, hyper dogs, I never stayed long. I don't feel comfortable being molested by a mutt while I'm trying to visit my relative or friend. I also don't like getting dirty looks when I justifiably object to the dog's behavior! Also, why are dog people so needy about other people's feelings toward their dog? It doesn't bother me when people don't like my cats. Of course, my cats don't jump, lick, or crotch-sniff, either! I've never felt uncomfortable at someone's house because their CAT was trying to hump my leg or lick my face!

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