Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Uninvited Guests II

On our first Thanksgiving together, we were so excited to have the family meet our pooches, because of Mr. B's calm nature
 and Ms. M's huge personality.
They didn't disappoint, Mr. B quickly became best friends with E's 70 year old reserved and soft-spoken grandfather and Ms. M was the hit with her wiggles and kisses. Ms. M even practiced her waves and she was happy to perform for the whole family. And they were impressed!
So when the next family party came around, we were confident that the pooches would be on their best behavior when we brought them. Instead, clever Miss M realized our rules didn't apply outside the house. Everyone let her do whatever she wanted, she was being given food, and with her pushy nature she began eating food off of plates, digging through the trash, and eventually stuck her head in a huge family sized bowl of homemade potato salad. She was banned from all family parties.
And Mr. B. was banned by association. Even though all he did was search for his new best friend, E's grandfather.
So we are trying to find a way to get the pooches back into the family parties. Maybe if we gussy them up in these matching skull sweaters?
We were thinking we might bring her and have her on a leash with us for the night, so she can't sneak off and try to eat food off of plates. Anyone have any luck reminding your pooches of the rules, even though everyone else is trying to break them?
Hope everyone has a great holiday!

30 comments:

Kerri said...

I've kept Milo on a leash when at friends' places. I let him on the couch at home, but I know friends don't appreciate that. After about 30 minutes he understood that he has to behave himself, and he was very good. I kept the leash on just in case, but I bet I could have taken it off. Maybe try the leash for the first party, and she if she can earn back her freedom.

Loren said...

I had to keep our dog a leash for a couple away from home parties too. After that he's been pretty good but I did have to have a discussion with my family about 'the rules'. No snacks at the dinner table, no treats unless he does a trick. They've were actually really helpful enforcing the rules once I explained why I was putting them in place.

Kate said...

One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is from several years ago. My parents were hosting a big meal that year with lots of our family and, being the dog-oriented people we are, we all brought our pets too so there was something like 7 dogs there, including my dog who I just adopted. Everyone was getting along really well and while the dogs were definitely all getting lots of "treats," they were behaving really well. At one point during the meal though, one of my young relatives called out "SOMEONE'S DOG IS EATING THE HAM!" Sure enough, there was MY dog with her two front paws up on the buffet table chowing down on our Thanksgiving meal. Good thing they made both a ham and turkey that year, but needless to say my dog wasn't invited back next year ;)

jet said...

I find that it's the humans that you need to teach the rules, it's not really something the dogs can abide by unless they are the most meek, mild mannered, or perhaps not-very smart dogs.

Miss M is far too smart for any tricks. I think keeping her on a leash would work cos at least then you could make sure that no people around you break the rules...

Liz said...

Have you thought about giving them nommy treats like a stuffed Kong or a long-lasting rawhide bone or something to occupy them while everyone eats?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maggie said...

No matter how hard I try, my parents just won't follow my rules with the boys. So they feed Emmett from the table, which turns into him jumping up onto the table... that sort of thing. However, Cooper stays on leash. He's still new to big family functions, so I keep him right next to me. I reward him throughout the night, of course, but I'm trying really hard to keep him from picking up bad habits from his brothers! Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you have fun!

Eden said...

i like the leash idea! that should at least get them back in the door :)

EmilyS said...

put them in another room. Is there room for their tent? At a minimum, leash them to something out of the way.

have a great family visit!

SherBear said...

I have the same issue at my parent's house - they let their Springer Spaniels lick the plates clean on the kitchen floor before they go into the dishwasher. Nala does not eat human food - she has bad enough gas as it is, I don't need to introduce more items to her diet!! My plan next time we go there is to give her an awesome Bully Stick or Rawhide in the other room while my parent's pups do their "kitchen patrol".

One of the most important things I learned from my parents - a tired pooch is a well behaved pooch!! My dad will take his dogs on a 10 mile mountain bike ride/sprint before they have company, which knocks them out cold. It's not uncommon in their house to wonder where a dog is and then find him or her passed out on a couch :-) Nala has free roam on furniture (as long as she is invited) so luckly that isn't an issue at their house.

Sarah said...

Buddha is always welcome because he's proven himself not to be "that type" of pit bull type dog.

Buddha actually gets table scraps at home, but under strict rules and only when he's on good behavior, so he knows exactly what to do at holidays.

Also.. the leash is useful for when he's being obnoxious, or decides he wants to potty on my cousin's shag-like carpet.

openid said...

Yeah, we do tiedowns at friends/family houses to keep Chick from partying too hard. We let people feed the dogs treats in a controlled environment, like when they're laying quietly on their beds or as a reward from doing a command. It makes it into more of a fun game for friends/family that way, rather than just listing a bunch of "NO" rules.

h(eather) said...

Haha, Poor Ms. M is so misunderstood..

Rudie was banned from my in-laws lakehouse in Wisconsin after peeing in his grandparents house, barking/howling at everyone that walked through, falling into the water and a bunch of other things. We ended up not going up at all one summer because I didn't want to board him, so they missed us so much Rudie was re-invited. He is now best buddies with Dave's grandmother, who adores him and sneaks him treats :)

Gin said...

I'm lucky that with my mom I don't have to worry about things like this because she knows the rules about food and dogs, although it kinda helps with one of my dog's having a food allergy. My dad doesn't lissten so well. I never bring my dogs (because I have 3 and my dad's family hate my pit bulls because they are pits) to my father side of the family get together. I would just stress that your family has to follow the rules that you enforce. Try the leash thing, it might help. That's all help I can give. Just try to get the family to understand that the rules enforces the great behavior that you dogs have. Maybe try treating the humans, LOL

Tucker The Crestie said...

Who wouldn't want those cuties at their party?

I agree, though, at large gatherings it's really hard to keep an eye on what the dogs are doing, and what the people are doing in relation to the dog (giving unauthorized snacks, reinforcing negative behavior, etc.)and still be able to socialize. So whenever I'm going somewhere where I know a large crowd will be gathering (like during holidays where I'm staying with friends or family who are hosting the meal or a gathering), I bring a crate that is small enough to be portable and reasonably unobtrusive, while still allowing both dogs to lay comfortably in it together, and when things get hectic, in they go, to rest and relax, and allow me to socialize. Given the size of your dogs, though the crate idea isn't really optimal, however. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah said...

I have no suggestions for you other than I think the leash sounds like a good idea. Tomorrow will be our first Thanksgiving with Hurley and I'm pretty apprehensive about the destruction he may do to the food table. Of course, we are hosting at our house so into the kennel he may go, if all else fails.

I think ugly Christmas sweaters may be the way to go with a family Holiday event. Do they even make those for dogs??

Julia said...

Lily is much better at "inside dinners" than picnics, as we discovered after our "paw print cheeseburgers" episode this summer. We leave Lily's leash attached inside- she's much better behaved with it on, and it's easy for anyone to grab, if needed. My 1-year old nephew loves to "walk" her up and down the hallway, and with her leash on, it distracts him from grabbing her tail!

Hilariously enough- Lily is invited to Thanksgiving because my parents' lab Hershey was uninvited. A few years ago he countersurfed and took out all of the desserts, including 3 homemade pies, following it up at Christmas with a little swim session in a decorative pond.

I love that M stuck her head in potato salad! Hysterical! I can understand why- it's delicious!

Trissi_V said...

Poor Miss M...I think the leash thing is a good idea. It keeps her out of trouble and you can keep an eye on people around you and correct their bad behavior around your dog,

Dog Foster Mom said...

Wow, so many comments from people who also bring their pets to family gatherings. I don't ever get to bring my pets to family gatherings. They might get in the way or shed or something. I love my family, but still, I'm really jealous of you all! I hope your pets are invited back again soon!

Unknown said...

This year I'm fortunate to celebrate Thanksgiving with the founders of the rescue I foster for (Old Dog Haven) and the 19 dogs (and 3 cats) who currently live with them. As it's a small house, I'm only bringing one of my 4 dogs, the well-behaved pit mix. But this post did remind me that I'll need to instruct my mother on the rules when she visits for Christmas. The dogs will beg with her like they never try with me.

kasia077 said...

Mrs. M can come to my house for Thanksgiving. I'll even supply a big bowl of potato salad. :)

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

Oh Ms. M... Skye was a monster at my college graduation party, which was supposed to be her big chance to impress my anti-pit bull family... last Thanksgiving, I had her on leash and treated it like a training class. I let all the kids take a turn asking her to do a trick for a treat, then we played recall games in the yard. She still hasn't one over everyone, so I never bring her along to parties that are at someone else's house. Sad for Skye, but double sad for Mr. B!

In Black and White said...

My family are all 5000 miles away so it's less of an issue for me. However, my mam has an overwhelming phobia of all dogs. I doubt I'll ever get her within a block of Billy.
The pooches were allowed to my ex's family gatherings and Billy was mostly well-behaved. In fact, he's much more attentive in spanish - he never ever disobeyed my ex's mom! The only problem was the humans feeding the dogs food they're not allowed.

Two French Bulldogs said...

we love you guys
Benny & Lily

Tank said...

I hope it all works out okay and the doggies are on their best behavior.

Roo said...

Aw. Sure hope you find a way to include Ms. M and Mr. B in the festivities! Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday :D

Waggin at ya,
Roo

Skinny Fat Kid said...

Rules?! What rules?!! We do keep Izzy on leash if need be. My mom ends up holding the leash because she likes to lay down the law while her dog is sleeping off her Izzy hangover.

Bobby said...

Well it sure sounds like miss M had a good party, poor Mr B.
They both look great with the sweaters on I am sure Miss M will be forgiven..
Licks Bobby

Sagira said...

You guys sure look cute in your sweaters. :)

Amy said...

Perhaps if Miss m sent a thank you note to the maker of the homemade potato salad. Being thankful is very popular this time of year and it might endear her enough to get another invitation. Seriously though- if your family wants the dogs to behave, they need to lead by example ... Follow the rules means everyone - not just the dogs!

Mary said...

Poor Mr. B! Guilty by association!

It is really tough when other people are enabling behavior in your dogs that you have tried so hard to manage. I swear Levi didn't beg until we lived with my mom, who loved to feed him from the table!

I try to set them up for success as much as possible. So, I think putting her on a leash is a great idea because she will be reminded that you are at the other end of it and that her behavior is not tolerated by you in spite of everyone else's encouragement. Maybe even putting her on a leash at first and letting her calm down or adjust and then giving her more freedom. If I think Levi will be weird around guests, I put him away at first and then get him out because he seems less wary of people that way.

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