|Barked: Mon Dec 5, '05 1:16pm PST |
|Hi all, we will be visiting family in Baton Rouge this xmas and it will be the first time since getting Sabrina that I've seen most of them. First let me describe each to you and then I'll sum up and ask more specific questions:
Mom and Dad: Have met Sabrina. Dad hates dogs, mom tolerates. When staying at their house Sabrina must be crated the entire time, though crate can be moved around so is always right next to my chair.
Sister and boyfriend: No problems here!
Grandmother: Beginning althimers, "mean as a snake" as my mom says. Dogs are outside animals, she doesn't like them at all. Has white carpet. Will probably die within a year. This grandmother really has lots of poisin inside her and the althimers is making it all come out, unfortunately (I still love her, though, and she can have her moments).
Aunt and Uncle #1: Allergic to dogs, don't like them either. Have a heated garage where they say Sabrina can stay while we are at their house.
Aunt and Uncle #2: These two have a 5-6 year old child who is seriously hell on wheels. They do not discipline her at all and no one else is allowed to either. In restaurants she is allowed to wander and take food off strangers plates. Bites without reprecussion. Hits without comment. If you say "ouch" the parents tell you you are overreacting. These two also have a dog, whom I imagine is as well trained as their kid.
OK, so you get teh picture it's not a very Sabrina friendly situation. I don't have a problem really with crating her inside someone's house. Of course I'd rather she be out so I can use her to ease the anxiety that is always cuased by these types of things, but there is really no way that is going to happen. Problem is that at grandma's house she doesn't want her inside at all b/c of white carpet and dogs are dirty. Aunt and Uncle #1 have the heated garage, which may be OK... I don't really know how heated it is and I really don't want to do that, but what can you do? Aunt and Uncle #2 and hellion cousin I don't want anywhere around Sabrina really. I know the little girl will slap, kick, bite etc. Sabrina and probably will do that even if Sabrina is in a crate. I'm also not sure I want Sabrina around their dog as she is almost over her fear agression of other dogs due to being attacked. I'd hate for that to be reversed because of this other dog.
So here are my questions: How do you introduce these types of issues with people who don't believe in service dogs? What do I say? Should I insist on her being out or should I just accept her being crated inside everywhere since it will only be for three days? How do I handle the little cousin? Part of me says that maybe I should just leave Sabrina in the hotel or something for any activity we might do with them because in that situation I think Sabrina has a very good chance of getting hurt by either the kid or the dog, and if I said anything to her (the kid) then Aunt and Uncle #2 and Grandmother would both be yelling at me until the moment I left.
I also want to emphasize that these people do NOT believe in psychiatric illness. They don't believe I am bipolar, they don't believe in depression etc etc even though my grandma I believe shows lots of signs of being bipolar. They are also all very breedist and they know Sabrina is half pit. And in addition they're all still under so much stress from Hurricane Katrina stuff. Apparently all the refugees are causing a huge strain on life there with horrible traffic, empty grocery stores, super full classes (Aunt and Uncle #1 are teachers) etc etc. Our hotel also might be cancelled, we're supposed to call a week ahead of time and see. That would be the worst, though, because we'd have to stay with one of the relatives.
Anyway, this will probably be the last time we'll be together for a long time becuase I really think my grandma is going to die within the year. They weren't sure she was even going to make it to xmas (she has heart problems and also forgets to eat, drink, take meds etc and has deeply offended and fired every nurses aid that they've tried to get for her). So any advice for keeping this visit as easy as possible? I want to be able to say goodbye to my grandma and remember good moments with her from this vist, and I'm just afraid that won't be possible since she is so anti-Sabrina.
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