So.. I’ve vented about Mother’s Day on here repeatedly… on the feelings from being a mother and yet not being counted as one on mother’s day not from lack of a child but of lack of any real support that cares.
Well, this year, having the day be all about my mother, to the exclusion of any other mothers, wasn’t quite enough…
This year, it was announced that instead of doing Mother’s Day dinner for my mom, we would instead be having a birthday party for her dog.
Yes, a day honoring the mother-child relationship was instead replaced with a celebration of her dog.
Only my family…
But to really realize the slap, you have to realize that I hate these dogs.
I do not hate dogs in general… but yes, I ABSOLUTELY HATE POORLY BEHAVED COMPLETELY UNDISCIPLINED DOGS.
It’s not even spoiled dogs… some of the most spoiled dogs are also some of the best behaved, especially the ones you see in public.
It’s dogs that the owners have never bothered to attempt to train to do anything other than potty outside (ok, and sometimes even that)
And my mother’s dogs are basically the poster children for that lack of training or any expectation of appropriate behavior.
In spite of now being over 2 years old, the response to everything they do is "they are just puppies, they don’t know any better", rather than teaching them better.
They essentially destroy whatever they can reach (Including rugs and new carpeting and furniture).
If you try and eat, they will bark and bark until my mom gives them food from her plate. If you point out that this is just teaching them that if they bark constantly during mealtimes they will be rewarded with what they want, she will just snap back that giving them food makes them stop barking so she can eat.
Which doesn’t happen. And, one in particular barks constantly anyway, at every passing breeze… which my mother will tell you is a good thing because then you know to go check that it might be something that needed warned about by a guard dog. (Even if 400+ times a day it isn’t.)
They jump and scratch all over people… with uncut claws because trimming their claws supposedly upsets them too much… and if you do anything to push them back or defend yourself, she tells you not to be mean to them when they are just happy to see you.
They jump on tables and counters to grab things to chew up, and its always the human’s fault for having left something like a phone or remote on a kitchen counter knowing that they can jump, rather than the dog’s fault. There pretty much is no safe zone for setting anything down in the house.
Let alone any room for accidents. My wallet falls out of my too loose pockets while I was sitting at the kitchen table? Gone. I fall asleep on the couch one night waiting and my glasses slide off my nose? Gone.
But it doesn’t even have to be loose… I’ve had to set boundaries repeatedly with the dogs chewing on shoes themselves (not just the laces) and damaging them while they were still on my feet.
I got told that I should just take them off and put them in a closet when I come inside when I complained that I didn’t have the budget to be replacing $100 shoes from dog damage… and so, I got up and left. If walking in the door is going to be considered permission for my shoes/pants to be turned into expensive dog toys without even being allowed to tell them no or force them to stop, then that’s going to be the end of my visit.
Which of course always gets treated like I’m being stupid about it… rather than making any attempt to get the dogs to stop… or rather than admitting that other family friends have stopped visiting entirely because of the dogs being rough with their children so there might be a problem.
But then, that’s assuming that you can even sit down.
Often, the dogs are spread out all over the couch, but their pillows and blankets are spread all over the love seat and chair.. but if you move the blankets, the dogs will them get upset and you’ll be told "they live here" if you expect to be able to have a seat in the living room in spite of the dogs’ possessions.
Because, you see, she’d convinced that since she read somewhere on her facebook groups that boston terriers sometimes have to be covered up to go to sleep, the dogs are trained that they have to sleep on a pillow with a blanket covering them. They will literally bark at my mom when they are tired until she makes a bed for them.
But then, that’s assuming you can even get in the door. The gates now have to be kept locked because someone might steal the dogs… in spite of the fact that nobody ever messed with any of our other dogs in the exact same yard. But with the gates locked, if the front door is locked (It frequently is, even when she’s home, for the same reason) you can’t even get to the back door to use the key unless you jump the gates or have a garage door opener (My brother does, I don’t.)
Even though she has a dog door, it has to be kept closed instead of letting them come and go, because she has to go outside with them to watch them to make sure that these 35 lb dogs don’t get taken by a hawk (That nobody has ever seen in the area… that her cat is apparently open game for… that has never touched my brothers previous small dog…) again, due to experiences of facebook group members.
But these dogs do actually need watched, because they will pick up things like pieces of plastic and roofing nails and anything else they can find and try to chew on them… because my mother will then trade them a handful of treats to give it to her.
None of our previous dogs have ever bothered with picking up things like roofing nails from the yard. None. Why would a dog have any interest at all in such a thing?
But these dogs might eat them and die. They go to the vet if they so much as appear to have a tummy ache for a single day… but the yard and house has to be kept tighter than you would for a crawling baby because they might die otherwise.
This also means they can’t be left home alone on their own for very long without someone there to let them out, because they haven’t been crate trained or trained to wait either.
You can point out that other people are able to leave their dogs of this same breed for long enough to go to work each and every day, and it just doesn’t matter… hers just aren’t capable to her, and thus must be catered to.
So rather than take the effort it takes for a brief period to train them appropriate behavior, these dogs end up taking almost as much effort as a young child every single day… a nice substitute for any human interaction I guess.
And so… it’s under this environment that mother’s day was cancelled in favor of the dog’s birthday.
I actually shouldn’t have been surprised. For that matter, the mother’s day pillow that my daughter and I gave my mom a few years ago had long since been gifted to one of the dogs as a chew toy.
But it didn’t stop with just that declaration.
Because then I got told that because I’m so mean to the dogs (expecting them to at least somewhat be expected to behave, or I simply leave and let her have her choice to make to attempt to correct them while I make my own not to be terrorized by them)…
That the dogs didn’t know if I should be allowed to attend.
I ignored it the first time.
The second time, I was informed that I was going to have to make it up to them for being so mean to them to get to come.
Uh, yeah.. no.
Not even going there on playing games with required bribes.
Especially after the day before… I wasn’t even in the mood to deal with that sort of stupidity.
And so I didn’t even go.
Didn’t even see my mom on mother’s day, and while I sent my gift with my daughter, I seriously debated not even doing that since she’d decided the dogs were more important to celebrate.
The unfortunate side that I didn’t think ahead to predict was that my daughter wanted to be down with the action, and so I barely saw my own kid that day.
And, of course, the dog’s birthday will likely fall the same weekend as mother’s day every year, so this is likely to become a repeated thing.
I’m thinking I need to schedule myself a nice out of town getaway to just about anywhere for next year.