How to Deal with Guests who Bring Long Unwelcome Pets

How to deal with guests who bring along unwelcome pets, is never difficult for someone who can deal with unexpected events with equanimity.

None of our friends, as guests, would be so gauche as to foist an unknown pet upon our family. As for those who do, it is because they have asked us if it is appropriate to do so. There are matters of concern at times, that need to be cleared beforehand. Some of the children have allergies, and it would only be right for them to ask if we have any problems with pets in the home.

Most long-term visitors would arrange to have their pets cared for in a kennel, or in some other appropriate home. Our granddaughters house sit pets for locals who travel and wish to leave their pets at home, taken care of by someone they know.

Guests with pets need not always be unwelcome. I never had a pet, not because I could not enjoy a pet if I had one, but because a pet requires more attention then I ever had time to give a pet.

A pet that is too much trouble for the owner inevitably becomes unwelcome even as the owner loves the pet. Frequently it is because the pet is a pest by nature with habits that do not easily or ever go away ,or that can be coaxed out of the animal.

Any pet that is too much trouble for the owner, inevitably becomes a problem with whomever the dog comes into contact.

I personally do not like to house sit for someone who owns a pet. In some cases with animals, the tables are turned, and I become the unwelcome guest in the pet’s own home.

In one case, the iguana, though still small, got out of its mistress’s bedroom and was trying to chew the leather off my shoe. I retreated to the kitchen while the iguana made an iguana run to the bedroom, whereupon, I closed and barred the door.

In another case of house sitting, a beautiful Samoyed amused itself, tossing the white cushions from the couch. The dog managed to tear them apart while I was out getting the morning paper. The owners could not figure out why their dog had behaved so badly. I thought the dog was probably smarter than I was. Many years later I found myself sorry for the animal when it came down with cancer.

There is no need to be upset with unwanted or unwelcome pets unless one has to move everything breakable from it reach or path.

One never knows the reach of a visiting cat. Because I have seen my daughter-in-law’s cats climb just about every reachable perch in the house and move from the recliner’s back onto the fireplace mantel with all the valuable pottery, I know to use museum putty to nail down all objects d’art in the house.

It’s either that or whatever cat by whatever clever name stays in it’s traveling tiger cage.

It’s true of dogs, too. I have no personal objection to most dogs that are playful and know enough to stay by their mistress’s side.

But the dog that whips me with its wagging, loving tale is persona-non-grata. That goes for my sister’s little dog that barks at the sight of me and does not stop unless threatened. If I make a move to hug my sister, that tiny dog starts barking again and snipping weirdly as it bites at my ankles. If we sit for a conversation, and I make a mistake of reaching in her direction, the dog leaps from her lap to latch onto to my hand.

A ferret was more playful when it remained in our guest’s sleeve, or peaked out having turned around somewhere at her elbow to come down again to check the pace of whatever was happening.

I understand that there are times when my guests must visit with their pet, but they know my condition. They must bring the traveling animal pen.