My mom hates that I have dogs. Just looking for thoughts on this.

@vokey9472 (1488)
United States
February 15, 2007 10:32am CST
My mom and I have been at war over my dogs since the day I got them. I moved out of my mother's house and into my own apartment BEFORE I even thought about getting a dog. After my boyfriend (now husband) and I got settled into the apartment, we bought 2 chihuahuas. My mother was almost ok with them since she does have a fondness for little animals. Then we got 2 kittens. She liked the cats, but hated that they were indoor animals. Complained that we would have to have a litter box and have to clean it all the time. Then she started complaining about the dogs being indoors and having to make time to walk them. Now, remember, she does not have to do any of those things as they are not her pets and she doesn't live there. Fast forward, I get married and then we get pregnant. The moment my mother found out we were having a baby, she started in on us about getting rid of our pets. We moved out of the apartment and into a house. We got a third cat and my sister gave us two little Zebra Finches. My mom almost lost her mind. "You are having a baby and have no business getting a third cat when you know you have to get rid of those animals when the baby comes". Baby is born. While I am in the hospital for over a week (the baby was 6 weeks early). My mother gives away my cats and my birds. She would have probably given away my dogs too if I hadn't come home when I did. We fight. I accept that she gave them away to good homes and that they are happy. Fast Forward, it is almost 5 years later and we are still fighting over my dogs. We lost one chihuahua to a car accident. We adopted a border collie/husky mix and she is beautiful and sweet and loves our little boy. My mother HATES that dog. She never has anything nice to say about my poor Althea (the dog). Then we found a mutt starving to death one day when we went out and we couldn't just leave the poor thing out there in the cold to die. So we brought him home with the intentions of getting him better and then adopting him out. Well, our son fell in love and named him Lazlo and well....he is our third dog. My mother HATES him too. Mother has actually tried to say that by keeping the dogs when I know how she feels about them is just proof that I do not respect her or love her. How do you respond to that? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I just want to know what other people would do or say in this type of situation.
7 people like this
30 responses
• Australia
15 Feb 07
Tell your mum to butt out and get a life!!!!!!!! I feel so sorry for you i know exactly how you feel. My mother comes into my house and tells me how to look after my kids and that my partner is no good, when i am happier and doing better than i have ever been(ive had 2 realy bad relationships before). It is none of her business and i would be pissed at the fact that she gave your animals away, which by the way she had no right to do and i feel realy angry at her for you. She disrespected you and your hubby by doing so and the fact that she is still going on at you is also disrespecting you . What you do in your own house is your business and mum needs to butt out. I would tell her that "i am an adult living my own life in my own house, i understand that she's not impressed about my animals but they are not her concern". I dosnt mean that you dont love and respect her it just means that you are old enough to make your own decisions and you are doing what you want to do. How would she feel if you came to her house and did this to her over her curtains or lounge suite. Imagine giving away her lounge suite and then giving her a guilt trip of "you dont love and respect me by having what i dont like". Tell her that "if she loved and cared about you she would respect yours and your hubby's decision to have your pets in your own home" to mind her own business and if she cant accept your decision to not come to your house. I hope you can soet something out for you own sanity. goodluck,
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh, you should have seen her when I pointed out that she would never treat someone else the way she treats me in regards to my dogs or housekeeping skills. I told her that she would never go into the home of one of her friends and say the same things she feels the right to say to me in my home. I pointed out to her that she feels like it is ok to do that to me because I am her daughter. She didn't like that one bit. She told me that if was her job as my mother to guide me and direct me in the right ways of doing things. We argued some more and I did give her the "my house, my rules" talk. It just goes in one ear and out the other.
1 person likes this
• Australia
16 Feb 07
Well obviously she did guide you into being the beautiful kind natured, caring person that you are but you are an adult now and she needs to back off. When she starts about your pets i would say "im not talking about this with you as it is none of your business and weve been through this before" and if she continues i would ask her to "leave your house " or the other extreme is to visit her at her house and dont have her at yours. Maybe your hubby needs to say something to her. What about your dad, or is he not able to get through to her either.
2 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
My father isn't much better. He doesn't care that I have dogs, but he refuses to refer to them by name. They are all just called DOG to him. As for my mom, he will not get involved. He says that it isn't worth the fall out of crossing her. My husband refuses to get involved. He has stated his position on the matter and he refuses to continue to argue with her.
• United States
15 Feb 07
If she doesn't live with you how is it her business? She sounds like a busybody. I would use a stronger B-word, but don't want to get in trouble. My inlaws are the same about the pets my husband and I have. I grew up with pets, dogs and cats and various pocket pets, so when I called my parents to tell them about adopting our dog they were excited and wanted to know all about him. My inlaws on the other hand never had pets. My husband wasn't even allowed to have even so much as a GOLDFISH as a child!!! When we told them about the dog, their words were "Well what about when we come and visit and your mother (my mother in law) is allergic to the dog?" Keep in mind they don't even stay with us when they come to visit. So i figure maybe it will keep them from coming so often? I don't plan my life around what other people think is convenient for them. I live my life for MYSELF, and you should too. BTW, giving away my pets would be very close to unforgivable for me. I am surprised you tolerated your mother doing that. I think you need to step up and stand up for yourself and don't let her run your life anymore.
• Australia
15 Feb 07
OHHHH, what a blessing that your monster-in-law is allergic to your dog, i would get another just to make sure she stays away....
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
It really isn't any of her business and I have told her that too. She claims that she is only butting in, in the best interest of my son. As for standing up for myself...trust me, I do. Giving the pets away was a moot point and not worth fighting over just coming out of the hospital from giving birth. The animals had already adjusted to their new homes and I was not about to cause them any more stress by taking them back. Also, if she was running my life, I wouldn't even be asking for anyone's thoughts regarding the dog issue as I wouldn't have the dogs. I appreciate your passion regarding this topic.
1 person likes this
• India
15 Feb 07
Tell her that she deprived you of the joy of a dog while you were growing up, the least she can do is not crib now that you're on your own. Ok, maybe that's a little harsh; but it is true. She didn't love you enough to get you a dog when you were growing up but you have to give up your dogs to prove your love?! To me asking me to give up a dog would be like asking me to give up a child, i think that you should definitely have a chat with your mother and explain to her that your dogs are not 'just animals' but part of your 'family'.
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
We had the "they are a part of my family" conversation. I was informed that I was putting my dogs above my child and that she couldn't believe that she had raised someone who would do that. She didn't talk to me for a week. It was the quietest and most peaceful week! :) The dogs aren't going anywhere she is going to have to just accept them eventually.
1 person likes this
@BlackBay (584)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I would let your mom know that you do love her and repsect her opinion but this is your home, your life, your children and if you want them to have pets to grow up with because they do help teach patience, responsiblity ,love to children and they give us comfort that it is your choice and decision to do so. If she loved and respected you, she would let you live your life how you like it and keep her opinions to herself.
4 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Exactly. I have actually had that conversation with her and she didn't talk to me for about 2 weeks. That is about the longest she can go with out seeing her grandson. We have finally agreed to just not talk about the dogs. The problem is still there and her feelings are still irritated, but we just pretend that the problem is not there. I just wonder why some mothers will not stop trying to tell their grown children what to do and how to live. I just hope that when my son is all grown up, I can let him live his life. I did tell my mother that if she really believed that she raised me to make good decisions for myself and my family that she needed to just trust me. I also told her that SHE was responsible for my strong will and my desire to make my own choices based on what was right for me. I even thanked her for raising me to stand up for what I believe in. She was actually silent for 5 minutes and then got upset with me. LOL. Sometimes you just can't win. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
2 people like this
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
16 Feb 07
I would freak out if my mother had that attitude. I'm sure her nosiness and bosiness is not limited to her dislike of your animals. Tell her to butt out. My mother is not keen on my 3 dogs and 2 cats, but, I couldn't care less how she feels about it, and you shouldn't either. It doesn't show any disrespect on your part, it shows you're a grown woman, and you can do whatever you like. Enjoy your animals, and tell your mom to relax.
3 people like this
• Australia
16 Feb 07
Im sorry... but if i had to look after your mum in old age i would gag her and gaffa tape her to a chair outback either that or i would have to shoot myself haha sorry i hope you dont take offence to that
2 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
LOL. No offense taken. I have imagined where she is forced to live with me and the dogs fall in love with her and insist on sleeping in the bed wtih her. It would drive her nuts.
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh my gosh, she gave away your pets while you were in the hospital?? I'm sorry but it really doesn't sound like your mom respects you or your ability to make your own decisions. It's your house, you pay for it, you feed the animals, you take care of your children - your mom needs to back off. You don't tell her how to live, you shouldn't feel bad that she doesn't approve of your animals. I would be livid if my mother pulled those stunts. That's not being a mother - that's being a dictator. What does your husband say about this? I can only imagine that this would cause a big strain.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh..and tell her that having pets lowers blood pressure and also would be a good life lesson for your children. They are taking care of animals - learning responsibility.
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh, she has absolutely no respect for me. I actually spent several years in therapy over it before I realized that my mother is never going to change and that no matter how much I change there will always be something that she will find to gripe about. I have told my mother that I don't need her permission or approval to do anything in my life. I used to have serious acceptance issues where she was concerned but I got over those. She hates that I no longer feel a need to please her and that I really don't care if she approves of me or not. Maybe that is one reason that she fights so hard about the dogs. Maybe in some wierd way, she sees it as a way for us to connect. I have heard about stuff like that. Who knows. As for hubby, he stays out of it as much as possible. He gave in where the pets who were given away were concerned since he wasn't really able to be at home to care for all them during that time. As for the dogs, he will not budge one bit. They are part of the family and they are staying put. We adopted a saying from the Lilo and Stitch movie regarding our dogs: Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. It drives my mother nuts that we consider our dogs family, but hey, they are our dogs and not hers.
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12834)
• Australia
16 Feb 07
well, i would tell her that this is my life and she has no business of interfering into it... she has her life on her own and i will tell her that my dogs don't even bother her... she does not stay with them anyway... and she does not do anything to them... she doesn't have to feed them, play with them or walk them... so, what is the matter??? loving and respecting her does not have anything to do at all with the dogs... you can even turn it back to her by saying if she loves you, she should let you have your own life and not restricting what you and your family want...
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
3 Apr 07
The issue is that she feels I am putting my son's health at risk by having dogs. He has asthma and she thinks that the dog hair will make it worse. It doesn't matter that the doctor already said that as lomg we keep them clean, brushed and clipped there shouldn't be a problem.
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh man. That's a tough situation, but there is a solution. Your mother will always be just that, your mother. However, being that you are grown and married AND living under your own roof, she has absolutely no say in the matter. It is going to be tough, but... you need to make a point of sitting down with your Mother and asking her to just listen to what you have to say. Tell her that you love her and that you love having her in your life. Then tell her that you're an adult and that YOU make the choices and decisions in your life. Tell her that you love your dogs and whatever other pets that you may choose to adopt in the future and inform her that she is simply going to have to respect that you love your animals or she's not going to be welcome in your home. Giving away someone else's beloved pets is INEXCUSEABLE. Given that you have already forgiven her for it, I would tell her that you will let things that happened in the past remain in the past, but that in the future your animals are OFF LIMITS for her. I know that this sounds harsh, but given your mother's manic behaviour regarding the animals I would advice that you set very strict boundaries where they're concerned. I would also make a point to let her know that scientific studies have shown that children who grown up in homes with pets are generally far more emotionally healthy. Children need pets. They're more than just poop factories! They love us, they protect us and they deserve as much from us.
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
3 Apr 07
I agree, kids need pets. My son loves his dogs. My mom will one day accept that I have dogs. If she doesn't well, that is her choice, but she is the one who will be missing out, not me.
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
Your mother must have had a bad experience with pets, much more with dogs, during her younger years. Just explain to her that pets make you happy and your kids specially. She'll have to understand that if kids are trained from childhood to take care of some animals and plants they'll grow up to be animal and plant lovers which is really a healthy attitude for people to have. Show her that pets, in general, do not harm people. Then maybe you can ask her why she hate pets and then you'll take on from there to drive your point of the necessity for having pets around. You'll understand her better and will she understand you, too. A good compromise.
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
In a perfect world my mother would actually listen when I talk to her. She will never give in on the subject of the dogs and neither will I. Maybe it's her generation. I find that a lot of women her age (from church, social groups and such) that I know all feel the same way. When you have a baby, you get rid of the pets for the sake of the baby's health. When the baby is older (12+) then you can think about getting something small, like a hamster or goldfish. When the child moves out (college, gets married, whatever) then and only then can you really consider having a cat or dog for yourself, since it will no longer impact the health of the baby, who is now an adult and no longer living with you. Where did these women grow up? Under a rock? They also refuse to accept anything that doctors tell them if that doctor is younger than they are.
1 person likes this
@ogtuwan (312)
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
Did your mom have any past bad experience with a dog or with any animal perhaps? Did you ask her on why she doesn't want dogs? communicating to your mom heart-to-heart is the best way to understand why... or do you always notice your mom.. maybe she thought you are giving more attention to your pets than her... sometimes, our moms are just jealous because we are not giving them attention that they needed... especially when getting older... they wanted attention especially from people she truly love...
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
My mom has never really liked dogs. She is more of a cat person, but I think a lot of it is jealousy over that fact that I had a baby and got to keep my pets. See, when I was born I was allergic to everything under the sun. I was a totally sickly baby, so my mother was FORCED (her words) to give away her beloved kitty and great dane. She will never admit it, but she blamed me and she never had another pet again. Also, the fact that I know how sickly a baby I was and that she was "forced" to give her pets away, lets you know that I have heard about this my entire life. I am 34 years old and the earliest memory I have regardign her pets is when I was 6. So.....in my opinion, she is jealous that I even have pets. Also, while she would LOVE to have a cat right now, HER mother will not allow it.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 07
It's obvious that you and your husband and children love animals--that's awesome! I can somewhat sympathize with you on mom not liking pets: After I moved out, my boyfriend got me a ferret (I fell in love with his two and just had to have my own little fuzzy!) which lived with him while I was at school in an apartment that did not allow pets. When I moved back 5 months later, I moved in with him. My mom is a nurse and found every opportunity possible to comment on how nasty ferrets are, how many diseases they carry, how much they smell, etc. When I moved out of his apartment I had already added a second fuzzy to my family and of course my two little guys came with me to my new home. Every time my mom came over she turned up her nose and used any possible opening to make a nasty comment (things like, letting them accidently run away so they would die--NOT nice things). These little guys are like my children, so I would stick up for them and pretty much ignore her. A couple months later my boyfriend moved his two fuzzies in with mine (they all became depressed when we separated them), and mom about had a fit. Since then I just point out how cute they are and make a point of telling her something funny about them every time I talk to her (as if I were telling her that her grandchild had said his first word or something.) She's backed off now, but I feel your pain. The way I dealt with it was just to ignore her nastiness and implement little anechdotes about my ferrets. Your mother sounds like she's much more hell-bent on you getting rid of your animals, so you may want to try to sit down and ask her why she really wants the animals gone. It seems to me that she may be jealous of the nice home that you and your husband have made, complete with children and family pets. Perhaps there is a deeper issue here? --Good luck!
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Oh, I am sure there are deeper issues here. Sometimes, I think she just misses having the control over me that she had when I lived under her roof. Sometimes, I think it is just so she will have something to fight about. I tell her funny stuff that the dogs do and she just grunts. Now, I did actually catch her one time defending the dog she claims to hate the most to my grandmother. But I am not sure if she secretly likes the dog or she was just happy that the dog growled at my father. Anyhow, my granny was talking smack about my dogs and my mother told her that Althea (the one she claims to hate the most) was really a good dog and had gotten between my son and my father and gave my father warning growls every time he got close to my little boy. I am sure that is a whole another therapy session in that statement alone. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Feb 07
What an incredibly odd situation. I can't even imagine what I would do if my mom was like this. We almost have the opposite problem my mom is always trying to give us dogs or convince us to take in this animal or that. The worst part she lives in Florida and we are in Colorado. I guess I would just tell your mom that the talk regarding the pets is is off limits, you can talk about anything else in the world but not this.
3 people like this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Well you already did what I would have told you to do in your conversations with Mom. Mom and my parents must be cut from the same mold, I live 350 miles away and my parents still try to tell me what to do, from what color to paint the kitchen to my letting my 18 year old son join the Navy. From now on, when the word dog comes up, just ignore it and go on to another topic. I have walked out of my parent's house and I have gone a month without my father talking to me when I have told him to stop. That was a very nice month. You are an adult, ask Mom if she would rag on a friend if her friend had dogs. IF she says no, ask her why she would show more respoect to her friend then she would to her adult daughter.
3 people like this
@lisado (1228)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Sounds like she wants to control your life. You don't even live together, so what's it to her? She is taking exception to the fact that you still have them and feels like you are snubbing your nose at her and doing what you want. If she doesn't like them, leave the outside or in another room while she is there. She needs to understand that it's YOUR house and if you elect to have pets that is your choice and none of her business. Good luck!
3 people like this
• United States
16 Feb 07
If I were you, I would just ignore her rants about you having dogs. Your mother has no business telling you what to do with your animals, as well as having no business giving any of your animals away. She should have known better. To me, she sounds like she needs to find something or someone to order around. Maybe you should ask your mother why she behaves this way, or maybe you should ask her what her problems are. I apologize, but I do not let anyone (especially my mother) boss me around. I have issues with people telling me what to do no matter who it is, and I won't tolerate it either. I have several cats, and everyone told me that I had to get rid of my cats when I got pregnant as well. I still have those cats plus some more. I do think that I have way too many now, but I love them all and won't give them to just anyone. They have to love and take pride in them, as they are very loving, caring and friendly cats. My mother, my boyfriend's sister and mother, and some other people have all told me that I need to get rid of my animals. What I usually do is just ignore them and go on with my business. They eventually just shut their mouths and don't talk about it anymore until next time around.
@smartpk (193)
• Pakistan
15 Feb 07
she actually loves you so much and very caring to you so you should also take care of her likenesses and disklinesses. discusss with her and again if she say to leave the cat so do it without any hesiattion, no comparison between mom n cat!!!!
2 people like this
• United States
16 Feb 07
I'm sorry I respectfully disagree. Why should this woman have to choose between her animal and her mom? That's childish.
3 people like this
@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
16 Feb 07
You don't know my mom, so ....just kidding. I love my mom, but really, it's my life, my house, my pet. She doesn't like my dogs and that is fine. We have been having this fight for 5 years, so obviously the dogs aren't going anywhere and she knows it. There is obviously more to this than just her hating my dogs. I have my ideas on the subject, but it is because I love my mother that I wanted some thought on this from other people on how to handle the situation. There may be no comparison between my mom and a pet, but she doesn't get to make my choices for me anymore. She only got a say so in what I was allowed to have or not have when I lived under her roof. I don't live there anymore so she no longer has a say in what I can and cannot do.
1 person likes this
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
16 Feb 07
My mom is the exact same way! She hates my animals and she hates coming up to see me because of it. It drives me crazy. We live 1000 miles apart so she rarely actually sees my dogs or my cat but she complains about them anytime I say anything about them on the phone. The other day I was talking to her and my 1 year old son was laughing. She asked what he was laughing about and I told her that he was playing with Trixie (My small dog) and she said "Ewww! Trixie needs to be outside she doesn't need to be around the baby!" It was 14 below zero that day with a windchill of 20 something below. And my mom wanted me to throw my 18 lb dog out to freeze just because she doesn't like her. It drives me crazy. Trixie is so loving too. I don't know how anyone could meet her and not like her. So I basically just ignore her about it now. The last time she was up here (last February) she was mad because the dogs and the cat were allowed to sleep in the house and she didn't like it. She thought we should have gotten rid of them while I was pregnant also. She made it a point to complain about them everyday while she was here, and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't make them sleep outside in sub zero weather. I just told her to close them out of her room and they would leave her alone. That was all I could do about it. Now anytime she brings it up I just change the subject. She knows that I'm going to keep them and I know that she is going to hate it. IT works best if we just don't talk about it.
2 people like this
• Nigeria
13 Aug 13
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• China
16 Feb 07
Basically it comes down to this, if you live outside of your mother's house you can have whatever pets you want. Your mother should respect your wishes, if she doesn't then agree not to talk about it and move on with your life. Your relationship shouldn't have to suffer over something like this.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Feb 07
Just say that it is your decision, so you get to make it. If you want to have dogs, do it. Tell her to just drop the subject, because you know what she thinks.
2 people like this
@abby_abz (155)
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
My mom also hates dogs. She doesn't want to get near it. She don't like dog poos. and she doesn't like it when she sees dog hairs. she said dog hairs are bad for my baby. I thought cat hair was bad for babies. I like dogs because they're cute and sweet. i can't see why my mom doesn't like them. .
2 people like this