Alice, I'm Angry That My Guests Were Rude to My Dogs

Alice, I'm Angry That My Guests Were Rude to My Dogs

Ask Alice
Sep 15, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

I love being a hostess. I have a big apartment set up with a guest room that's very rarely used. Usually, it's just me, the S.O. and our two Boston Terriers.Everyone who knows me knows how important these two dogs are to me. Yes, I am totally one of those girls. In fact, almost all of my friends are as equally obsessed with my dogs as I am. They are small friendly lap dogs, and no one has ever had a problem with them, until this weekend.

I considered this couple one who I knew very well, so I had not a single reservation about letting them stay with us for four days. However, problems arose as soon as they walked in the door, being very standoffish and awkward towards my dogs. It became clear over the next five minutes of conversation that I would have to move the dogs' kennels, change their schedule, and keep them off their regular chair because our guests had decided to put their luggage there.

I was very careful to ask if either one of them had any allergies, any bad memories with dogs, or any other concerns I should be made aware of, to which they simply responded that they just don't like dogs. I have met their two cats on multiple occasions, and they are just as friendly and needy as my dogs, and I let them sit in my lap every time I go to their house despite being slightly allergic!

I obviously have no comprehension of how to be biased against dogs, or what it feels like. I'm having a really hard time deciding if I truly am just being overly sensitive because someone is being mean to my babies, or if I should say something to them about how the house they're staying in belongs to my dogs just as much as me, and their actions are inconsiderate and rude.


Crazy Dog Lady

Dear Crazy,

It's clear you love your dogs very much, and that's great. I'm glad they bring you so much joy. However, I do think you are being a little sensitive.

From your letter, I'm unclear as to exactly why exactly you describe their behavior as "inconsiderate and rude." You mention you had to move the dog kennels, change their schedules and keep them off their favorite chair. Those were all things you did, not your guests. I'm willing to bet that your guests don't know anything about dogs (since they told you themselves they just don't like them), and they especially don't know about your dogs' habits. How were they to know they were offending you by asking for a switch up? Remember, instead of speaking up, you accommodated these changes. I'm sure they don't realize you are offended because they don't think these things are a big deal. But YOU do, so it is your responsibility to put your foot down if you're uncomfortable with something going on in your own house.

Sounds like they didn't fawn all over your cute pets as many of your other friends do, and I think that may have hurt your feelings a little bit. I know it's hard for you to see because you love them so much, but not everyone connects with every type of pet. For example, I think rats are creepy. They have little graspy hands and red eyes that stare into your soul and I just don't understand why anyone would keep one as a pet. But some people do. And they love them! If I were to stay with someone who had a pet rat, I would tolerate it and be polite, but I wouldn't go out of my way to talk about it and I certainly would not want to hold it. Now, I'm not saying your dogs are like rats, I'm simply saying that people love different types of animals for all sorts of reasons and just because they don't like dogs, it's not a personal affront to your dogs or you.

You love your dogs and they know it and that's all that really matters anyway.



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