A woman has vented her frustrations over her parents for prioritizing their dog over visiting her in her new home.
But while she feels her parents are out of line to put their beloved pooch first, plenty on social media sided with them when it came to caring for their pet. While it’s not uncommon for older parents to treat a beloved cat or dog like a de facto child in place of their now-adult offspring, some pet owners have been known to take things to the extreme.
In 2019, for example, a survey of 2,000 pet owners and parents conducted by pet food company I And Love And You found that 34 percent of respondents valued their four-legged friends over their children, describing their pets as a “favorite child.” Perhaps slightly more understandably, 78 percent of participants said they considered their pet to be part of the family, while 68 percent viewed them as people.
In the case of the disgruntled homeowner posting to Mumsnet under the handle rightonthemoney, it’s difficult to know definitively where her parents stand on the matter, but it certainly seems as though they value their dog as much as a person.
According to the post, the woman and her partner have just moved into their first home and now live 45 minutes away from her mom and dad. She wants her parents to come and visit, but there’s a problem.
“They want to come, but they’d like to bring the dog,” she explained. “I said they can bring her, but she’s not allowed on the carpet…. she’s a very hairy, smelly cocker spaniel.”
Though she suggested a compromise that would see the dog stay in their kitchen, this wasn’t enough for her parents. Initially, it seemed like they would be willing to leave the dog at home but, according to the woman, those plans changed a few days ago when her mom messaged her saying: “I don’t want her to be alone. Minimum of 50 mins to you, and back so that leaves a couple of hours max at yours….simple, you come here.”
Frustrated at the fact her mom now expected her to travel to them every time “because of the dog” the woman turned to social media for support because the situation had left her feeling increasingly “angry.” But if she was hoping to find some consensus on the matter, she is likely to have been left disappointed by the response online.
Some users like TeeBee agreed with her wholeheartedly, writing: “t’s ridiculous she won’t just leave the dog…Just say you’ll give it a miss and keep saying it. At some point she’ll realize her daughter is more important than a dog.”
Romdowa concurred, commenting: “it’s a dog not a 2 week old infant! People treating dogs like babies is so annoying! Your house and your rules!”
Watchingrnfire, meanwhile, added: “It’s a pain cleaning light colored carpets!! Your mom is being difficult…she has zero respect for your home already.”
However, despite several messages of support, there were plenty of others who sided with her parents.
Animallover87 said: “The dog is part of the family. Just ask them to wipe her paws before she comes in” with bellac11 commenting: “A dog is part of the family, your family. What if your brother had kids? Kids can be smelly and dribble and messy too, would you ban them from the living room?”
“I wouldn’t want to leave my dog at the weekend unless there was no other option,” Museumland noted. “I think your parents might be thinking that the dog is part of their family and loved by them and you are putting your carpets ahead of that.”
That sentiment was echoed by Sittingonabench who said: “You are framing it as they are choosing the dog over you but it seems you are choosing carpets over them.”
Newsweek reached out to rightonthemoney for comment.