Posted by: Cruella | 2008/02/04


We got engaged in September 2007 and everything has been fine and dandy, except for the odd difference in opinion. We have now started planning our steps to starting our new life together like paying off all debt, buying all the necessary furniture etc (we don’t live together), saving up money for the wedding etc. I have decided not to move in with him until we are married and feel that this has everything to do with the fact that I’m avoiding moving into a home which I will share with him and his dogs. I don’t have a problem with him, but I have my doubts that I will cope with his dogs. I know this sounds rude and immature, but I do have my facts as him, me and a friend were house mates a year or two ago and these dogs are not well trained. They eat and then come into the house and smear everything with stinky dog food, lift their legs and pee on towels etc. hanging low enough, want to be in the bedroom and on the bed all the time. They are quite smelly as he refuses to take them to the doggie parlour. He bought him a parlour dog shaver, which was very expensive. So they are usually neatly trimmed but he hardly ever baths them (their skins are “too sensitive” to be bathed often..?) and not to talk about the dog breath smell all over the place he stays at now.

I love him dearly for having such a soft and caring heart when it comes to animals, but I feel that he has to compromise if he want both them and me to be comfortable in our new home. I will after all be the woman of the house and will be responsible to keep everything clean, neat and tidy. What will I become if I have to scrub away every day of my life. He will certainly have a very unhappy and unstable wife. I want to avoid the fights, which we have had in the past. I feel it’s very unfair for me, the person he chose to spend the rest of his life with, to compromise my quality of life in order for two dogs to live like royalty. We have come to some conclusions that would work for both me and him (them), but there are still some aspects, especially the sleeping arrangements that he just does not want to talk about. I’ve got a very sensitive nose and I have sinus problems, one of the big reasons why I need them to sleep in the living room (in baskets with soft cushioning!), and also so I won’t want to vomit when I pull the covers to my face! What will happen if we decide to have babies?

My parents also have two dogs (where I stay now) and I never let even them, who are always clean, sleep or lie around in my room.

How can I make him understand that I’m not expecting him to drop them at the SPCA, but that I just really need to feel like it’s my house and my pride too? I feel like cruella deville!

At the moment it feels as though he’s choosing sides (which is not my intention) and I’m not the winner. Should I move in or not? Should I get married or not? Should I have babies or not? Will it pass?

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Our expert says:
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It is of course essential to settle these issues before contemplating mariage or moving in together. These sound like very badly brought up dogs, and their bad behaviour is of course not designed to annoy you, but is testimony to a lazy and over-indulgent owner. Sounds like you should consider both some relationship counselling together, and ask a good local vet for a pet psychologist who could help you plan a system for re-training the dogs into well-behaving pets rrather than unruly and inconsiderate lodgers.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2008/02/04

I agree with Sg - you need to sort this out before taking your relationship to a next level. Successful marriage involves a lot of compromise, give and take. And people get a bit silly about their pets, and also use them as an excuse. I remember projecting a lot of my fears about getting married onto my cat... how would he cope, would I have to find him another home? That way I didn't have to deal with my own underlying anxiety. Maybe you and your bf should go for some premarital counselling, to help you sort out this problem and learn constructive methods to handle conflict.

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Posted by: Cruella | 2008/02/04

I just also have to add that they sit and beg when we eat as his mother taught them that way - she feeds them from her plate while we eat and once I also saw her putting down a bowl which she dishes out of for them to lick out. What am I to do?

Reply to Cruella
Posted by: Sg | 2008/02/04

I would resolve this issue before moving in with him or getting married.If it is not resolved it will only become a much bigger problem later.
I personally would not permit a smelly dog in my house,particularly if it pee's as well.

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