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Just wondering whether anyone has had conflict with family members who don't like your dog and how you managed to deal with such situations? My relationship with my mum is on the verge of breakdown because she keeps on saying how she regrets allowing us to get a dog (I pay everything and care and train him). She uses "I'm going to give the dog away if you continue to..." or "I'm going to kick you out and you can take the dog with you" threats all the time and I'm tired and stressed from hearing her blackmailing me.

The puppy behaves well and is nearly potty trained. He is very well mannered and calm because I try to remain consistent in my training. But my mum is pissed off at me for putting so much effort into him. I don't neglect other areas of my life such as work and study but she believes that I love my puppy more than humans because of the amount of effort I put into him (I spend at least 5-6 hours playing and training with him). She also thinks I spoil him too much e.g. sitting on the floor with him, buying him a few new toys each month, making sure that he is under someone's supervision most of the time for potty training, buying things such as cooler vest etc She is not a big fan of dogs and doesn't not want to involve herself in training.

Our tension increased when the church pastor brought up the issue of bringing the dog to the church on Sundays. I insist on taking the dog with us and place him in his crate in the enclosed backyard of the church so that he is not left at home for long hours in case he needs to pee/poo. He doesn't enter the church or anything but my pastor warned us that people at the church might feel negative about this. So my mum started blabbering about how she regrets getting a dog and stuff.

Our conflict has gotten to the point that I told her to stop threatening and blackmailing / complaining about the dog and thinking of kicking him out because she shouldn't cross this line or else I can't promise what I will do. I will move out if she continues this tactic to guilt trip me into thinking that I should just leave the dog outside in the backyard by himself. However, I don't want to destroy my relationship with my mum (it hasn't always been the best anyway) because of my puppy and move out on unhappy terms (probably never talking to her again after that).

Have you guys ever had a fall out with people around your because of conflict over your dog? I honestly think others will laugh at this insane idea that I'm moving out because of my mum's dislike for my dog or my love for my dog. I just think it's stupid to destroy your relationship with your family over a dog but I would do anything to keep my dog so I'm kind of in a conflicted situation here.
 

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Have you guys ever had a fall out with people around your because of conflict over your dog? I honestly think others will laugh at this insane idea that I'm moving out because of my mum's dislike for my dog or my love for my dog. I just think it's stupid to destroy your relationship with your family over a dog but I would do anything to keep my dog so I'm kind of in a conflicted situation here.
Only twice in nearly 20yrs have I felt such fierce resentment, bitterness and anger towards my husband. First time was the result of having two children in two years and the second was the arrival of a puppy in January last year.

She drove me nuts and my husband drove me nuts undoing the work I was trying to do and there were times I wanted to kill him and the puppy cos both were driving me to despair.

Puppies are hard work / demanding and can really drive you to distraction to start with but even more so when people sharing the same household have different temperaments, tolerance levels and ideas about what's "right" and what isn't.

I have siblings that don't like my 1yr old Border Collie at all because they think she's spoiled / badly behaved and would rather she was one that sits perfectly quiet and perfectly still and doesn't bother them.

My Mother didn't like the dog either until very very recently and that was because she hadn't seen her for a couple of months and was quite taken with the tricks and things she now does.

Your Mum is probably just tearing her hair out and exasperated with the whole puppy business but it will pass and chances are she'll warm to him before long.

The "I'm getting rid of him" is way below the belt though and a trick you'd expect from like an older toddler throwing a tantrum but just for now; try to hold your tongue and either stay out of the way or get her interested in what he's doing / encouraging her to do more than just see all the bad side of having a puppy.

Next time she hits you with a threat to kick you and / or the puppy out I'd personally respond calmly but with something like "Mum please don't keep threatening me like this and making me feel bad. I love this pup and I'm doing my best so please at least give him chance to get out of the puppy stage"

It's very odd that she takes issue with the time and effort you put into him though cos I'd have thought she would be glad you're stepping up.

Even still just go steady away and try to keep things nice and quiet for now.

:)
 

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Hi Tange,

I sympathize with you. I really do. I know that you are doing your best to take care of your puppy and raise him into the kind of well-trained and well-behaved dog that will make your family happy and proud to have. I've read many of your posts and know that you are thoughtful, caring, and kind dog owner.

Our tension increased when the church pastor brought up the issue of bringing the dog to the church on Sundays. I insist on taking the dog with us and place him in his crate in the enclosed backyard of the church so that he is not left at home for long hours in case he needs to pee/poo. He doesn't enter the church or anything but my pastor warned us that people at the church might feel negative about this. So my mum started blabbering about how she regrets getting a dog and stuff.
I would suggest, though, that you compromise about taking your puppy to church. Clearly, this is a huge source of frustration and embarrassment for your mother. Your pastor has directly spoken to you about leaving your dog at home. Your mom's friends and other members of the church are unhappy and uncomfortable about having your puppy there, even though he's kenneled at back. Since your puppy is not a service dog, I think you need to respect their wishes.

Your puppy is also old enough to learn how to be alone at home, and that, in itself, is a worthwhile skill. So, I would suggest that your puppy at home. If you feel that you would be away for too many hours, drive a separate car and leave between the church service and the lunch and social time.

Hopefully, your willingness to compromise about church will make your home life and relationship with your mother a bit less tense. :)
 

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IMO this is not about the puppy. This is about something your mom fears about what the puppy represents, probably related to you growing up and becoming more independent. It's hard for moms to let go, some more than others. Some take it to an unhealthy degree and use unhealthy tactics (like the emotional blackmail you're experiencing) to express it.

I don't know you or your mom so I can't tell you what to do. For some people, involving them in the puppy's care and training might help. It might be as simple as asking her advice about the puppy every once in awhile. Or it might just be something you have to tolerate until you do actually move out.

Good luck. People problems are harder than puppy problems by far.
 

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It sounds like your mother being emotionally abusive, unfortunately. That's exactly what an emotionally abusive person will do. They use things they know you care about as a way to hurt, control and manipulate you. I grew up with an emotionally abusive parent as well with very similar threats and attitudes regarding my dog. Except he would threaten to beat her if I didn't do as he asked.

I have a feeling that your relationship with your mom would eventually start breaking down regardless of whether you had the dog or not. The problem isn't the dog. It's her. Those types of people are very difficult to deal with.

My relationship with my stepfather was never great as a kid, and I'm still dealing with emotional fall out from the way he treated me. At this point now that I'm older, I basically don't have a relationship with him at all. We are on talking terms, and can be civil, but he's not somebody I share details of my life with. We hardly hold conversations. He is not capable of having a healthy relationship with another person; he needs counseling. He won't fully acknowledge that he has these issues that hinder his relationships, which means he won't take steps to fixing them, like going to therapy. I have no choice but to value my emotional well being over a relationship with a toxic parent.

I'm not sure how old you are, but is a possibility you can move out? That's basically the best way to solve this problem. Have your own place, own yard.....Your mom will still complain. She may even get worse since you leaving will likely be taken personally as an insult, and she loses any control she has over you. But at least then she won't have any power or control over you. And creating separation and independence is the first step to being able to have a better relationship with her. A lot of people find that their relationships with their parents improve when they move out.
 

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I agree with Susan, at the least it's time to teach your puppy being alone is OK, as is trying to hold his business in til you return in a couple hours. Handling separation anxiety when they're young, as opposed to teaching the dog something is unusual and wrong if someone isn't there constantly, is a very good thing.

I also agree that the church is not a place for a dog. It's not just your mother upset by bringing an animal into a 'holy place', there could be people with allergies you're inconveniencing even if the pup is in the back, and it's really not even a little bit necessary for your pup to be there. Leaving him home may show your mother you're willing to work with her. I am NOT going to claim your mother is being abusive, and think it's just ridiculous anyone else would say so. Parents have always, every parent I've ever known, pulled 'if you don't do x I'm going to do Y', she just has a new focus to use. And by your words she already doesn't much like dogs.

If you find it too much to bear and you ARE old enough to live on your own and hold a steady job while caring for your puppy, then maybe that too is a worthwhile thing to consider. Looking at your other posts it might not even be YOU she's sore at about the puppy, but the rest of your family and their habits about the dog and you simply make a more convenient target when you, say, bring your pet to church.
 

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I agree with those who say the puppy needs to be left home from church. Your puppy will never learn how to deal with separation if you don't and even though it's been decades since I've been to church, it seems to me it's only for 2 or 3 hours tops for services, and chatting around talking with friends afterwards, etc. That's not that long of a time to leave a puppy...who more than likely will sleep. Also, as far as worrying about the puppy making a mess. Make sure you take him out before you leave for church, and as most dogs don't like to mess in their crates, it will also help your dog learn to control himself until he gets outside.

My own mom was a very insecure person, and if she thought her kids were enjoying something too much, then 'we must love it more than her'. And seriously, telling her we loved her never seemed to work. But...in her eyes, if we bought her gifts for no reason...then that proved we loved her. To this day, her idea about love to me still seems petty and childish....but I do know she loved us kids. I, also after many years of thinking about, have come to believe that my mom was a very insecure person, who grew up in poverty conditions the likes that most people now days can't even comprehend. Somewhere along the way, maybe someone lied to her and told her they loved her then left her for someone else. I don't know for sure about the last one, but given her verbal denials when one of us kids said we loved her...that's just an idea that I have.

My mom would often say "You kids don't love me." (this was done with an angry pout on her face more often than not) I would reply, "Mom, I do love you" and the reply was 'No you don't!".

But...if I bought her a gift and it could be the cheapest, dumbest thing...a paper flower even...and gave it to her and told her I loved her...she would just be over joyed and acknowledge what I said. I didn't respect my mom for the way she behaved, but I really did love her. She was over all a good person...just had some mental hang ups about how love is to be expressed.

Based on my own experience and what you said about your mom maybe feeling like you are paying more attention to the dog than her. I would like to tentatively suggest perhaps by saying, doing things, or buying her something out of the blue from time to time to let her know you love her might improve her attitude towards you and the dog. You would have physical proof to show her that you love her more than the dog.

You might surprise her by cleaning a room, or doing laundry...take a work load off of her for a day. Or buy her a small something she might like and tell her when you saw it, it just brought her to mind and you thought she might like it.

I learned that I could never change my mom and her attitude towards some things...like how to just accept it as truth that her kids loved her. She for some reason needed proof that she could see and touch, along with the words.
So, 2 or 3 times a year...for no reason...I would buy my mom a rose, or if I saw a small nick-nack or a magazine...she might like...I would get it and give it too her....or I would go in and do something extra around the house so she didn't need to do it.

It really went a Long ways in easing tensions in the house...when mom was starting to build up the idea that us kids loved dad more, or the dog more, or were more interested in t.v than in her...etc....she had a lot of things that she felt drew our attention away from her that she would start to get on about....but again, we (my siblings and I) learned how to defuse those emotional ramp-ups...and get her in a better mood.

Maybe your mom might respond to that approach and it would divert her attention from how much attention you do give to your dog.

Stormy
 
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I think Sassafras is correct. That's good advice, and a good analysis of the situation as you describe it. We can not possibly know what your relationship with your family is, but I'm guessing you are grown up or just about. Part of the message may be that you should be planning and working toward your independence.
 
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