How to deal with family members?

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Bed warmer
Barked: Tue Oct 23, '12 8:27pm PST 
I had mentioned to my mother earlier this year that I would enjoy seeing her and spending time with her and my step-dad's side of the family for Christmas this year since they will all be in one place. Well I talked to her more seriously about it this morning and she didn't exactly make me feel welcome.

She mentioned that their two bedroom condo in Florida will be pretty packed and that "there won't be room for Bella and we have brand new furniture". I know she doesn't mean to be rude or a b!tch about things like this, but she's never met Bella so I don't feel she should be making any judgements about my dog based on what she knows.

As a college student (supported by said mother) I don't have the funds to rent a cheap hotel room near their condo which I would love to do instead of dealing with being treated like that. I haven't seen most of that side of the family since I went off to college, and one of the relatives that will be there was just hospitalized (but is doing better) so I would like to be able to see him. So just not visiting them isn't really an option.

I know I need to say something to my mother about her making Bella unwelcome and in turn making me feel unwelcome for Christmas, but I'm not sure how to phrase it or what to say so that she understands I don't appreciate her making jabs like that as Bella is becoming a necessary part of my everyday life and can't be excluded like that. I'm not really able to be open with my mother and just tell her exactly how I feel because she absolutely terrifies me so I know that I need to come from a place of understanding and respect for the situation when I speak to her about this which is why I'm trying to formulate a proper response before even speaking to her.

Wow, that got a lot longer than I thought it would, sorry guys!

So any advice?
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 12:56pm PST 
My only advice is this:

If you show up without your SD once, your family will expect you to be able to show up without her again and again.

That said, private residences are not covered by the ADA and people can choose not to provide access to you accompanied by your SD.

There is no easy answer. I wish you the best with this tough situation!
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 1:01pm PST 
IMHO, you need to be honest about your own feelings and needs and situation. If your mom does not wish your SD in the condo... invite(!) her to help solve the conflicting issues [her desire for your visit; your need for your SD]. Keep things issue-based and away from the personal. Stay calm.


Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 3:04pm PST 
Wow, I'm guessing your mother is not a dog person. frown I think the best thing to do is to be absolutely upfront and honest. Certainly she's aware of the extent of your disability, is she? I find any parent who is unsupportive of their children's need for an SD is not a loving caring parent. frown

Bed warmer
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 7:37pm PST 
She has seen me without Bella twice (once in May for 9 days and once a few weeks ago for a weekend Friday - Sunday AM) so I could understand her not understanding my need for Bella, but both of those trips were incredibly taxing on me both physically and mentally and took weeks to recover from where I felt even close to normal again.

She isn't a dog fan which is fine, but I think she's having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that I'm going to have a service dog. I did attempt to meet her half way for this trip but she isn't going to be able to just pick and choose like this once Bella's training is complete.

Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 1:09am PST 
I'm sorry that you have to go through this. It's hard when your family doesn't understand your need for your SD to be there with you, but it is your mother's house and it's not fair to her to make her uncomfortable in her own home. My mom is not a huge animal lover herself. She never wanted the dogs in the house when we had them growing up. She hated animal hair getting all over the place and if she saw even one on the floor she would start itching and break out. Knowing this I always try to go out of my way to avoid anything that may make her uncomfortable in her own home, because it is her home. I have my own SD in training and I was able to get permission to bring him this last summer but made sure to keep Sarge in a separate room at all times and vacuumed the house several times while I was there. It's hard to be without them and I know what your going through when you can't have them with you. I will be going through the same thing next month. We are flying to WA to visit my family and since we are flying instead of driving like we normally do I will have to leave him behind. I know it's going to be real hard on me, because I went through it once before when we went to visit my husbands family in NY, but there's no way I can bring him with me.
I've also been on the other side and I've denied a friend from bringing her SD in training or any of her other dogs in my house. For one thing, her dog was a pit so my son and I are extremely allergic to her and I don't like other dogs in my home except my own. I don't know if the other person's dog has fleas or anything else and I don't want them to have accidents in my home. If she brought her dog, I allowed her to put it in my backyard but told her she couldn't bring it inside at all. My son and I already had a horrible time when we used to visit her home due to allergies and we would be wheezing by the time we left so I wasn't going to go through that in my own home.
Could you possible find some other place to stay when you visit? Maybe a friends or another family members home? Maybe ask your parents if you could bring her but keep her crated while inside the house so that they feel comfortable and she would still be close to you. Hope it all works out for you in the end.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 4:20pm PST 
I do know what you are saying I have family that just don't get it and some are imbarised to be with me and Sadie or just don't believe that dogs belong in serton areas like were food etc. are.
I am sorry that you are having that issue cause I even have a family member that is some what like that too. I believe if you are going to have an animal in your life it is going to be like your family also and treated as so. A SD is no different since it is more so then a pet in your life and 24/7 a part of your life.
Good luck to you.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Sat Nov 3, '12 6:28pm PST 
What do you say to a person that refuess to believe that a SD ( even one for the blind) needs to be allowed to accompany a handler in to all stores (even a food store and restraunt).

I grin from ears- to chin :D

Barked: Sun Nov 4, '12 7:37am PST 
I personally would not go, if I weren't welcome.
"I" means - my husband, my dog(s) and myself. If any of those are not welcome, they don't care enough for me. There are always options and solutions.
We have friends where the landlord will not accept dogs in the house. Well, then we meet in the yard and bbq or hang out in the kitchen, which is right next to the yard. Have done it for years and it's just fine.
I have family members, who feel not strongly about dogs in the house, because of their furniture and carpet - but they try. Well, fine with me, then we stay leashed and in the kitchen.

I show up at places without a SD and don't mind it - if there is a logical reason for it and if the person does not invite the dog out.
We have friends, who really like our dog, but their child is ill and they are worried. I can bring the dog, but of course, I don't.

For me it really is a question of respecting me the way I am. I, as a person, with my needs and issues, am not negotiable. If they want you, meaning you and the dog, then they can make an effort to find a place within their neighborhood or friend circle, for you to stay or pay for a hotel room.

It's difficult to answer, because everyone has different backgrounds and different needs.
My need is to be healthy, at ease and surrounded by the people, who want to be with my little family.
It's difficult, give it time and go with what you feel is right for you wishes
Warm wishes, sonja and the crew