Relationship problems over animals : LUSENET : A Country Singletree : One Thread

Are you in or have you been in a relationship where you didn't agree on the importance of your pets? As in, one thinks thinks a dog ( for instance) should know it's place and never come inside, and the other makes the dog part of the family and assigns human emotions to it and responds accordingly. One never takes the pet to the vet except of annual shots, the other is very in tune and senses trouble and would rather be safe than sorry, so off to the vet we go! In my own experience, this particular problem can sure form a wedge when two people are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Been there? If so, how did you work it out? Carole

-- Carole (, March 04, 2002


Carole, I don't think you can work it out. I can't prove it, but I think my to be ex-husband did something to my cat when I wasn't present. When I was present with them, he would hug her and pet her like he really loved her. Whatever it was he was doing to her, it took me a long time to get her back to purring and being her cuddly self. Now that he's gone out of the house I'm not having the same problems with her. Besides I think animals have a sixth sense about people and if your animals don't like the person, they are probably smarter than we are and we should probably listen. - Sheryl

-- Sheryl in NJ (, March 04, 2002.

My ex called my hound my "girlie friend" and actually got jealous of the dog sitting by my leg or laying at the foot of my side of the bed.I won't even get into what she thought of me spending $600 on a vet visit. I guess my solution was to get rid of the wife and keep custody of the hound :>) If I ever find another woman to share my life, she will need to be an animal lover.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, March 04, 2002.

All of my serious relationships were with fellow critter lovers. I could never get serious about someone that opposes or is indifferent to an attribute that I feel defines "me." Compassion is a must, and rarely is a matter of degree. Either you have it or you don't, and it is hard to fake for long.

Bob Herrick in So. Calif.

-- Bob Herrick (, March 05, 2002.

When I got married I had a cat who lived to be 24 years old. Because of his age I left him to live with my mother rather then stress him with a move. When I got PG and we moved to a house I was then allowed to get a cat. I have always grown up with animals and cats in particular. I HAVE to have animals in my life, it just isn't complete without them. When the time came for me to get a cat I chose a Main Coon, I found a breeder and we went to pick out my baby. My husband always had dogs, hunting dogs, so he had already spend several hundred dollars and a flight to Virginia to pick him up. So we go to get my cat, he quietly whispered into my ear, don't you dare tell anyone I paid money for a cat. Mind you we had talked the breeded down a lot of money and I don't think I paid more than $100 dollars for a beautiful baby. So when we get home I was informed he was allergic to cats and the cat would not be able to sleep on the bed or be in the bedroom. Things changed quickly so I got my way, he took medication, but there was always a strain between us and him and the cat. I didn't trust him with the cat when he was alone. I think you have to go with your heart. Animals, in my experience, always seem to be MUCH more loyal than mates. My last relationship, I actually caught him throwing my cats off the bed. That relationship will never be again.


-- Susan in MN (, March 05, 2002.

My X shouted at me one day when he found me talking to my bird. He accused me of loving that animal more than him. He was also jealous of his own children and the attention I gave them. Maybe he was right, maybe not. I don't know anymore. Some folks never "grow up" I think. They think they need their Mom/Dad/Wife/Husband's attention totally, like a little kid would. It's a fight for survival or something. The nestling that gets the most attention is the most likely to survive. A case of arrested development? Or, I wonder if it's a territorial thing. After all, we are animals too.

-- Susan in Northern LP Michigan (, March 05, 2002.

Carole, It is one of the major stumbling blocks to a relationship. If a significant other can not share your love for a pet, will they share your love of a parent or a child or a sibling? They may try to fake it for a while, but the pet always knows whats up. I won't bore you with my tales of woe but I am much happier with my "critters" including my 3 dogs than I have ever been with my "ex" If I ever have the good fortune to have a new man in my life. he will have to love animals, and children(anybodies), and life in the slow lane.

-- Karen in Kansas (, March 05, 2002.

Time for "Personal Best" lie-swapping on number of critters. I have had as many as nine cats at one time, and I was even living in the city. I now have seven rescue dogs, five domesticated and two feral, and one domesticated cat and two feral.

From So. Calif.

-- Bob Herrick (, March 05, 2002.

Ok confession time for me too. #1 I don't have enough pets. #2 I have 3 cats and a dog. #3 The maximum my city dwelling highrise condominium allows is two. #4 I manage the condominium. (eeeek!!!) Weekends I get to love and cuddle all the goats that I care about tenfold more than the actual goat owner, scratch and brush Ethyl the donkey, and feed super homemade treats to my friends Blue Heeler named Pard. The best part of the weekend is taking Pard and my dog Mattie on walks in the woods or following a creek bed. I tell'em we are "going adventuring" and they get so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Yeah.. I sleep with 1 dog and two of the cats. The third cat was pretty wild when I got her, but now at least she sleeps on the floor at the foot of the bed. One of these days she is going to let me pick her up, but not any time soon. That's ok.... I have enough cat hair on my clothes as it is :)

-- Carole (, March 05, 2002.

Carole, it is fairly obvious that you gotta get out of the city so that you can have all the critters you need.

-- Bob Herrick in So. Calif. (, March 05, 2002.

I'm working on it Bob. Deep down Mattie and I are country gals. She is so patient in town 4 days a week walking around on a leash (sheesh) She is a truck dog at heart, and I am hoping we both will be happier in the latter part of this year. Keeping fingers crossed. C

-- Carole (, March 05, 2002.

All of my land is open, and I need to fence the perimeter to stop tresspassers from taking shortcuts. They have come close to running over my two feral dogs more than once. I also need to fence around the house under construction to give them room to run. I don't let them run around loose, that's what all the neighborhood does, which results in packs that attack pretty much everything. Right now, I keep them in my unfinished house when I am not tripping over them in the trailer. I still have to herd them to and from the pen, just like I was still in the city.

-- Bob Herrick in So. Calif. (, March 05, 2002.

Okay. Since we're fessing up. I'm actually down on dogs. I had nine but now only have six, one cat, a parrot, 4 koi and 3 goldfish (and babies) and a rabbit. And 19 bantam eggs, a quail egg and 4 ? chicken eggs in the incubator. All live in the City in a house with me. I wouldn't have it any other way. They keep my sanity. - Sheryl

-- Sheryl in NJ (, March 05, 2002.

How do you transport all your critters from A to B? I have a mustard yellow, 4 door, 1973 AMC Hornet (I am not making this up!) that I call the "MuttMobile" to haul 3 or more of them. The dogs think it is great, and the people, particularly kids, that see the MuttMobile in action seem to find it amusing.

-- Bob Herrick in So. Calif. (, March 05, 2002.

Well... I had a Subaru that I loved so much I swore I would drive it til the wheels fell off. Getting back and forth to the lake with animals and hauling other things you need to get set up for a second home became a nightmare. I would load up the baggage, then stack pet carriers on top of that, which looked like a teetering pyramid that not only moved but had strange whining noises comeing out of it. The dog was loose in the passenger seat begging to put its nose out an open window. It was a real circus. Once I had a flat tire under these circumstances plus I had an ice chest full of frozen food AND my mother on a cane. What a sight we were at the tire place. They were crowded, but 2 customers took pity on me and insisted I go ahead of them. We survived. On that dreadful day of 9/11 I was at the car place buying a GMC Yukon. I lowered the back seats the next day to increase the cargo space and they have never been back up since. Cat carriers slide in easy with bungee cords to keep them from sliding around and Mattie likes being back there to check on her prisoners. Two trips ago I rode up like that with a 12 pt mounted buck strapped into the passenger seat.... we drew a few stares and lots of pointing and laughing from other drivers :) I sold the Subaru recently. I wonder if it misses us? C

-- Carole (, March 06, 2002.

I had a red Dodge Raider that had a back seat that flipped up but I increased the number of animals so I increased the car size. I now have a Ford Explorer and the seats go down so we can fit all the crates and my Mom's wheelchair all at the same time. - Sheryl

-- Sheryl in NJ (, March 06, 2002.

I am sorry, but it cannot be worked out reasonably. My fiancee and I had a minor problem with her animals which tried my tolerance over time to the point to where it destroyed the relationship. I have been a dog (German Shepard Dogs) lover for years, but coming from a military K-9 background, I am used to my dogs being kenneled outside because of the nature of the training they receive. When my fiancee moved into my home with 2 full grown Golden Retievers that violated my off-limits bed (the only place in the home I do not allow the dog - for obvious dander / hair reasons) on a regular basis in our absence, the problem steadily grew in intensity. When we began shutting the bedroom door, one of the Goldens actually destroyed the door to get inside, thinking that when we were not home the bed was its rightful place. So, there I was in my own home used to conducting intensive canine training - but unable to keep a simple Golden Retriever off the bed. The problems began compounding over this simple problem. I had problems sleeping due to the hair/animal dander, intimacy problems came into being due to the attention needing Goldens constantly interupting during sex (jumping on the bed, barking, scratching at the door), the sheets had to be changed daily because of the dogs sleeping on the bed, etc...As these problems grew worse, the relationship between my fiancee and I suffered. Eventually, we ended up arguing all the time about how to keep the dogs out of one room in the entire home and why I had a problem dealing with it. The relationship ended one evening during intimacy when I ended up with a mouthful of canine hair while giving my fiancee attention. I had reached my breaking point - so the relationship was terminated and I moved out the next day. 8 months wasted. Understand that I am a German Shepard / Schutzhund lover. There are different types of animal companions. In her life, she was used to the loyal Golden spending its days totally encompassing her and occupying her personal space. In my life, I was used to working and training beautiful GSDs to their maximum potential to make thier noble lives everything that was intended for the breed - a part of this is respecting personal space, keeping strict disipline, not softening the animal's inherant nature, asserting dominance, and being the dog's ultimate companion and guide. The two very different virtues simply did not add up, and there was no way to effectively solve the problem. All I can do is wish you luck in overcoming your problems and that in the end, it comes down to how stong your love is and how much you are willing to compromise to accomidate that love.

-- Jon Sarge (, July 27, 2003.

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