I am in a fix. I think my mom is traumatizing my dogs.
My husband came home today and when he walked in he didn't hear the pitter patter of Frodo's and Chewie's feet. He walked into the dining room and saw them locked in their crate together. They looked at him, their eyes pleading with him to let them out. My mom had put them in the crate when she left for the senior citizen's center hours before.
All the signs are there. Frodo and Chewie are super needy when I get home. They have always jumped on me and kissed me when I walk in, but this is a little different. Since my mom moved in, I sense a desperation that wasn't there before.
The other day, I caught her chasing after Frodo with a broom and when I called her on it she pretended she was playing. "That's not playing," I said to her. "That's abuse."
Yesterday, she walked into my bedroom and Chewie, who is very even tempered, ran at her growling and barking as if she was an intruder. Dogs know.
When the dogs jump on my mom she screams at them and I see a little bit of the mom from my childhood. Her voice is high and anxious, "God Dammit, get off of me."
My mom buys the dogs treats, lots of treats, but when I see the boxes of biscuits I flash back to how she would always buy my sisters and I a present after she had one of her "episodes". This is no different.
If I have to choose someone or something to live with, I choose my dogs. It may sound cruel to say that, to put an animal before a human and a mother no less, but the dogs were here first and they are a part of our family. I love them with a maternal fierceness that I never expected.
My mom has been warned and is on notice. I walked in her room last night and woke her up, "Mom, don't put the dogs in their crate for hours. And don't yell at them. They have no idea what you're saying. They don't speak English."
"Well, they don't listen. I put them in the crate because they were bad and then I forgot to let them out," she said.
Next step: nanny cam.