Carolyn Hax: Is it fallacious to not accommodate niece’s concern of canine?


Pricey Carolyn: I’m about to host a household gathering — three siblings, our spouses and as many grownup children, spouses and grandkids as can be found — for one Sunday this month. It’s an annual custom that traditionally passed off at my mother and father’ residence. Due to isolation throughout the pandemic and the deaths of each of our mother and father, sadly, we’re regrouping this 12 months and reimagining this get-together.

My house is the popular location to assemble due to our home being the most important. The issue is with my youngest niece and our canine. My niece is a teen and has been scared of our canine for a decade.

Our canine does get excited (barks and needs to play) however has by no means bitten or harmed anybody. We’ve got by no means even heard her growl. She completely loves when we’ve firm over and performs till she collapses and falls asleep within the midst of everybody.

Though I don’t know the specifics, my understanding is that my niece has numerous fears and anxieties for which she is receiving each counseling and medicine.

Right here’s my downside: Prior to now, we’ve tried to make lodging with out truly locking up or eradicating the canine from our residence. We maintain her on a leash or in a single a part of the home whereas niece is in one other. Niece has, of late, resorted to easily not attending occasions that happen at my residence.

I’ve an inkling that I’m seen as prioritizing a canine over an individual by not “fixing” this case. From my perspective, although, my husband and I’ve made many lodging — along with these associated to the canine — for a lot of members of the family’ wants, and that is the place we draw the road. I really feel that if we proceed to contort ourselves to the distinctive wants of each one who visits us, then we’ve misplaced our autonomy in our own residence.

Are you able to assist me see this case from one other perspective?

Nameless: You may take the canine off-site for at some point.

In fact you’re prioritizing a canine over an individual. Having your causes doesn’t change that. Name it what it’s.

Although I counsel you don’t share along with your niece how a lot your canine looooves to have firm!!!

It’s your residence, so it’s your prerogative, after all, to not kennel your canine — or ship her to doggy day care or a play date at a good friend’s home, or e-book her with an expert pet sitter who takes canine in, or in any other case “contort ourselves.”

However, like several selection, it has penalties, and the consequence of this one is that your niece, your apparently fragile, adolescent niece, opts out.

I’ll maintain up my bona fides as a canine individual in opposition to anybody’s — however I’m not backing you right here. Particularly since you say your self that you simply’ve accommodated others’ “distinctive wants” however “draw the road” at a baby with psychological well being struggles. As a result of now, now, your “autonomy” counts?

Impression of exclusion on canine, negligible. Impression of exclusion on adolescent lady, ongoing. Have the heart to name it what it’s. Then both personal it, or make a special selection.

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