Monday, May 7, 2018

A Cautionary Tale...

On The Porch With Jack

Beware who you let in your home and around your pets is the message my little tale will tell today.

I mentioned in my last post that Alex and I invited a friend over for a fondue dinner last week. This friend brought his girlfriend who we'd never met before. She got herself drunk and was very sloppy, unbearable and kept dropping things and knocking over glasses, spilling things...it was a scene. And our friend was oblivious to his girlfriend's behaviour.

They had brought a box of chocolates for dessert. Alex, myself and our friend were at the table the whole evening. This woman would stumble back to the kitchen to text people. She had her phone on the entire time on SOUND. By the way? This woman is 60 years old. Age doesn't dictate manners.

Anyway...she was in the kitchen playing with one of the cats, rolling the balls of chocolate back and forth on the counter. 

ANY pet owner knows that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. This woman was supposedly a cat owner.

When Alex noticed this, he went over and took the chocolates away from her. She came back to the table and then went back a few minutes later. At one point, I told her we were out of wine as I secretly thanked myself for hiding my last 2 bottles! She wouldn't accept water, coffee or tea...she just wanted more booze. We were glad when they left. I realized after they left that she'd been secretly drinking another bottle of white wine that I'd had in the fridge because it was left in the garbage can empty. Stealing from your hosts...

The next morning, Jack threw up the wrapper of one of the chocolates. (Sorry for the tmi)...we found another wrapper in his poop with whole hazelnuts - the chocolates were Ferrero Rochers. He was really sick all day, and we were infuriated - at one point we got scared and nearly ran to the vet but after calling the vet tech, she told us he's likely past the danger zone but keep a close eye on him.

Though we weren't there to witness it, what likely happened was that she started using the chocolates as a toy for the cats, one dropped, or two, and Jack ate them. I would be livid to think that she may have been stupid enough to FEED him chocolate so I don't even want to go there.

To us, this was very serious and very dangerous for Jack. 

We confronted them by phone and the denial started. First we were told that this woman wasn't drunk...then maybe she was a little. Then we were told that she didn't use the chocolate as toys to play with the cats...then well, maybe she did (when Alex said he saw her doing it). Then it was OUR fault that we "allowed" chocolate in the house. Then it was Jack's fault because he must have climbed the counter to eat them...blame the victim...

At one point, he said: "Well, yes, this could have ended tragically, but we need to focus on forgiveness and moving on, not on the problem."

"this" meaning OUR DOG Jack..."could have ended tragically" meaning HE COULD HAVE DIED.

Careless drunk. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but my gosh, OWN UP TO THEM. They clearly didn't take this situation seriously.

Thankfully Jack recovered. If it were another one of our pets, it could have been worse because Jack is the one with the iron stomach. What if one of the cats had eaten a whole chocolate???

With all that Jack has been through lately, we told our friend that his girlfriend was no longer welcome in our home and around our pets. I made sure to tell him that we hold no ill will towards her, but that we have to set a boundary. When it comes to our pets, it's zero tolerance for any new person in our lives. Their reaction dictated our decision. And then the insults began. We were ungrateful for their friendship, we were too hard on the woman, we were passive aggressive, we didn't know how to forgive...omg...This guy is an armchair analyst and we just told him that we had to hang up the phone. He continued the barrage of insults and analyzing our entire lives over text until Alex finally blocked him.

Now we have to get over all of this stress to add to everything else.

We've had bad luck with so-called friends lately haven't we? We decided that we are just happier being hermits. Next week, after Stella and Pavlov are gone, we are going to make the exact same fondue dinner, light a fire, share a bottle of wine and enjoy the evening we missed out on!

Has this kind of thing ever happened to you? How did you handle it?

42 comments:

Mama Pea said...

GOOD GAWD! I'm tempted to spew out my outraged thoughts on this whole situation here . . . but have decided not to subject all your commenters to my wrath. Plus, I need to calm down a bit. E-mail to you coming shortly. There may be smoke accompanying it. Good gawd!

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea...thank you for your fury lol...I hadn't even told you about Jack when I mentioned the slobbering drunk woman...that was before we noticed he was getting so sick. Just the fact that they denied denied denied...then when we set the boundary they didn't like, were so insulted, rude and aggressive...plus not taking this seriously. I could go on...

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

OMG. I have no words. Well, I actually have alot of words but can't post them here. They would be really not nice. What a bunch of idiots. That's all I can say.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Oh my, what horrible people. Don’t, though, judge all people like them. It is good to have a friend to talk to, to listen to and to call upon. It may take a while after this incident but know that most people do not act that way in another’s home.

Susan said...

Excuse the language but, WHAT A FREAKING IDIOT! For crying out loud. Obviously, your friend's (using the term loosely) girlfriend has a real problem, but it's so wrong to deny her behavior when it led could have led to severely harming your pups and cats. Neither of them deserve a place in your lives. I have only had one similar experience and I drop-kicked that person out of my life permanently. Geez.

wisps of words said...

Tough Love--->You 2 nice people, must have a sign, on your backs:

"Nice People.. Can Be Taken Advantage Of"

Sooooo happy, that you are learning your lesson, so to speak.

You must protect yourselves, and your pets. You/all, come first. Stop trying to be nice to people.

Your niceness, is being rewarded, with pain. Of various kinds.

Lots and lots of hugs...

Linda said...

Never be ashamed of setting boundaries and doing the right thing! Your every action was spot on!
Good grief! If THIS is what your FRIEND would do, I say you are better off with one less ‘friend.’ Share your hospitality with real ones!

Connie said...

No it hasn't (well maybe back in our younger days) and thank God for that. I've reach an age now where I won't put up with bad behavior . . . behave or stay home! I'm glad that your dog is alright, there was no excuse for her feeding them chocolate, or for raiding your frig either.
Here;s to better days and better friends.
Connie :)

Yarrow said...

OMG, poor you and poor Jack. Other comments are way better than anything I say, but I wish I could come over and kick that woman's butt!!! I'm so upset and outraged for you. Please give Jack a big kiss from me and have a hug for yourself.xxx

jaz@octoberfarm said...

thank heavens jack is okay. i would kill someone. i have made such an effort to get all the toxic people out of my life.

Christine said...

poor Jack! What awful people, so sorry to hear of your experience.

laurie said...

aw Rain, I feel so bad for you,, I know it could have been so much worse,, My husband's family had a dog die from chocolate, it was Christmas and the dog ate the chocolate decoration from the front of a wrapped gift under the tree, it happens,, I know people think it rarely happens but yes it does and one time is too often. If a guest brings something into our home that we are unaware of it's even worse! Its our responsibility to protect our pets so I can fully understand banning this people from your home. Try to put this behind you , try and move on, they have some real issues they need to figure out!
That's a beautiful photo of you and Jack,, his eyes are to die for lol,, love that dog,

Birdie said...

It’s baffling that people think that any of this is okay. Yikes! I wonder what he will do when he sees he for who she is.

Stefanie said...

OMGosh! What effing pricks! And that's putting it nicely. I'm so sorry you had to deal with such stupid ppl. I can't believe she was filching more wine from the frig; what a disgusting woman. And poor Jack. I hope he is fully recovered soon after all he's been through. Hugs to you.

Fundy Blue said...

I think that you and Alex handled this situation well. Friends like that you don't need, Rain! I'm sorry that you experienced this, and I'm glad that you and Alex are going to "redo" the evening. I'm also glad that Jack came through all right. I had a bad scare once when my Scottie hunted down all the Easter eggs I had hidden and ate them ~ that was over 40 years ago! Fortunately he survived too. I find walking outside in nature helps me to destress, also jigsaw puzzles (LOL). Feel better!

Sandi said...

I'm going to guess this isn't the first time nothing's been their fault and I bet it has caused them a lot of problems in life.

I think you were very reasonable. Your calm discussion and boundaries kinda makes me feel guilty for hoping you would go to their house and throw things at them. Kinda.


Lisa said...

Oh my goodness!! What toxic, messed up people! She is obviously an alcoholic and he is obviously used to making excuses for her (enabler). Good riddance!!!

I used to work with a very toxic and psychotic female instructor in a small private dance studio where I was the office person. There were always rumors of her "double life"... running around on her husband, drinking, partying (she also had young children!) but always played the part of the perfect wife, mother, instructor to the owner. All the teen dancers looked up to her but turns out it was just because she was obsessed with trying to be a popular "teen" herself and it was found out (partly because I was relaying details told to me by the teens) that she was discussing inappropriate topics with them, texting them after hours, hanging out with them etc.. It all eventually caught up with her and she was let go and obviously blamed me and the studio owner for "turning against her" I had to block her on all social media as she and her drinking friends all tried to bash the studio and anyone who worked there, etc.. The stress of it all helped lead to my early retirement this past year. I saw the evil side of some people and it was just NOT worth it to put up with toxic behavior or people - it helps to think of what their life must be like that makes them so mean and abusive - almost feeling sorry for them. That's how I was able to let go....she's not worth my thoughts. She made her own mess though....has since gone thru her second divorce and lost her big house and now she and her kids have to live with relatives...have to feel really sorry for the kids though :(

tpals said...

All of your blog friends cherish your pets and your friendship. I promise never to drink or smoke in your home nor to forget the meaning of 'guest'. (Not that I foresee any travelling in my future, so you're safe.)

Sunnybrook Farm said...

The worst thing that I did at someone's house was to smuggle a velvet Elvis painting in during a party (they didn't like this kind of painting) and hung it in the bathroom so that the other guests saw it and thought it was their painting. I liked the tear coming down Elvis's cheek, a nice touch. No I didn't drink too much!

Anonymous said...

I mentioned what happened to my husband, he would have escorted that woman from our premises no drinking and acting like a yahoo for him or me..I love kitteh cats and dogs when someone just goes bonkers I always take the animals side..and I never speak to them again knowing they are dumbasses yes the term from red in the 70's show..people who harm animals are absolutely horrible people..no animal would do that to another animal..I read your blog daily and I adore it, you are compassionate, smart, loving peaceful and adoring of your hubs and your children your animals..Why can't others be like you I say after reading your blog..I get a big kick out of you cheese making and your food preparation..your area looks like a heaven on earth..Just erase the people from your mind and soul, they did not act like real animal and or people lovers..we are on this earth in my opinion to love each other and that means all gods children pets being what they are to mankind..Peace & love to you and a big smooch to Jack what a pretty doggie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

baili said...

i was reading it worry until you mentioned the age of lady
OH MY GOG 60 years OLD and behaving like ..............

feeling for Jack and for both of you who love their pet as i love my kids dear Rain!
and tolerating g such rubishness with kids is just UNBEARABLE !

Thank god that Jack survived , How awful to not acknowledging their mistake and giving excuses for this ,they must be ashamed of what they did and apologize for misbehaving in other's house and causing then tension and trouble

here i have few of my in laws relatives who whenever visit their children not only distrubbed our mental peace but the stuff of the house was damaged by them and worst about it that they were not being stopped by their moms
so i asked those ladies to come here without those kids or teach them to behave
enjoy your next party together dear Rain!

Dawn McHugh said...

Delete Block and move on with your lives no looking back, you dont need toxic people around you they just drain you emotionally and leave you feeling stressed.

Terry said...

Dear Rain,

You have done nothing to be ashamed of. Why you ever doubt yourself when I would have told them to go (not in a nice way either) surprises me. Being a hermit is what I want and what I get. There’s nothing wrong with that. I find my own company is very reassuring.

Kristina said...

Oh my, what an ordeal. I would have hid the wine too. That is just crazy. I hope you have a better time with other guests.

Sam I Am...... said...

Yes, I've been in situations like that and it makes you crazy! Lying and denying seems to be acceptable behavior now a days. Does anyone ever admit they're wrong or apologize anymore? It seems to be a thing of the past. People that can't hold their alcohol or are alcoholic tend to lie and deceive and everything that happens to them (usually because of the alcohol) is everyone else's fault. She definitely has a problem and would probably steal you blind if you let her. It doesn't sound like your friend is very discriminating in his choice of girlfriends but maybe that's the only kind he can get! LOL! From now on maybe you should meet at a restaurant that way if it doesn't work out you can leave. Poor Jack and thank goodness he is okay but after all he's been through! No wonder he has those sad eyes...he's been disappointed by stupid humans just like we have. Thank God he has you and Alex! As for your 'friend' (not) and his 'friend'.....good riddance to bad rubbage!

Ruth said...

I'd have been less polite.....

The good news is that for any reasonably sized dog it actually takes a fair bit of chocolate to be toxic. But of course an animal's health is a factor, and Jack's had a hard time......

The closest I've had to deal with: when Apollo was 6months old he was already as big or bigger than many of our friends dogs. A co-worker of my husband was coming over to help us take down a tree, and asked if he could bring his 9month old lab over too, we said sure, figuring that a 9month old lab would be big enough to play with Apollo, and the guy said the pup was well trained......Turns out "well trained" ment "I yell at him till I get tired of him ignoring me and then I walk over and smack him". Among other issues (the dog wasn't friendly either). After the day was over we told him that while he was welcome back his dog wasn't. It didn't go over so well.....

Pam Jackson said...

It is really a shame when you have friends that you trust to come to your home and they bring someone like that, then they are offended cause you say something. I love my friends, they have been there many times for me and I return that and if I lose one, then I know that I am losing them for a good reason. Hang in there...hoping life turns around for you and the animals...esp Jack, bless his heart.

Martha said...

HOLYFLIPPINGCRAZINESS! This is a whole new level of dysfunctionality. It sounds like this woman is an alcoholic. And a mean drunk. How either one of them can think any of this behavior is okay is mindboggling. You and Alex were very courteous and patient. They should have apologized when you called. Actually, you shouldn't have had to call them, they should have called you!

Rain said...

Thanks Everyone for sharing your stories and your outrage.

I rack my brain trying to figure people out sometimes, what is wrong with say "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry about that, Jack's life is more important than the need to be right, pride or ego"...it's mind boggling for sure.

When we first met the guy (I referred to him as our friend)...he was nice! Very intelligent, fun to be with, lots in common...we shared a few dinners with wine, there was no drunken behaviour, no careless actions, no pet hurt...but he turned into an enabler (thanks Lisa) when she was here, that's for sure. At one point during the phone call, he said "I'm upset that she let her drinking get to that level"...maybe he does know what she's all about.

If I went to one of Alex's friends homes for dinner and I got drunk, I would be too embarrassed to show my face there ever again. I would definitely have apologized. Worse, if I got a phone call the next day saying I nearly killed one of their pets, I wouldn't be able to apologize enough, even if I couldn't remember doing it.

Alex and I discussed it, if it were either one of us who got drunk and hurt a pet, we'd not defend the other person's actions, but apologize on behalf of the other person.

It's so crazy. They made us try to feel like we did something wrong (they did NOT succeed), when they both were in the wrong.

Funny, I was just thinking about how I've had trouble with boundaries my whole life...but this one was a case closed. At least that chapter is over!

Laurie I'm so sorry to hear about that tragedy...chocolate and pets don't mix no matter the amount...

Our pets are our kids (yes, Baili, you are very right!) and nobody better mess with them!

Tewshooz said...

What a terrible experience! Guess that is why we like animals more than people, eh? I even go after people that I see mistreating their animals. You know, you need to just practice the "look" and say, "you need to leave, NOW". Your house, your rules. Poor Jack, big hugs. I think I would have physically grabbed that woman and thrown her out on her ear.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Poor sweet Jack! I am so glad he is okay. I would not have him or her back again. We had a couple over one night. Their two kids were awful and we never invited them back again! Nancy

Harry Flashman said...

That kind of thing is why I live on a mountain, in the middle of a forest, far from anyone. Your home is the only place you can ever be truly in control and not have to deal with people who are obnoxious. I sure am sorry that happened to you. 😞

Weekend-Windup said...

Oh! It would be a terrible day for you peoples. If they cannot behave properly why they come to others house to spoil the thoughts about them and others mood.It would be very embarrassing situation for your friend to see his girl friends behavior...

RO said...

Can we say, 'narcissists"? Anyone who does a dastardly deed, refuses to own up to it, AND blames someone else is a classic example. I'm all for forgiveness, but to be blamed for things that someone else does is just plain ridiculous. I'm sure had they behaved differently, you would have been happy to forgive and move on, with boundaries of course. How in the world can you not notice that your girlfriend has had too much to drink, not to mention stealing more wine from the dang refrigerator, which is just rude. I really hate to hear about people taking advantage of others and being unkind. I'm so sorry you all had to go through this and thank goodness your baby is okay. Hugs...RO

Sol said...

Your home is your safe place. I would have been so upset if this had been one of my dogs. It is the reason that we dont have people over as one is a rescue dog and they both need routine and not to have people hurt them. We try to meet people out at a cafe, we are lucky there are dog friendly ones around here, we take the dogs. They would have to be pretty special people to come to our house. And I would have to trust them 100%. I no longer suffer fools, I would rather it was just us any ways. Good for you, for standing up for your family. My dogs are our family and woe betide anyone one who hurts them.

Becki said...

What a crazy situation. And I don't blame you for being upset and having to recover from it. I found it disturbing to read. Yikes. I think I would have shown them the door at the first sign of the woman's drunkenness (probably tried it kindly to begin, but I have a feeling these folks were never going to leave until you kicked them out, or they deemed you inadequate hosts. Of course they cast blame on everyone else - to own up to that kind of ridiculous behavior would be pretty humiliating. Narcissistic, indeed. Good for you and Alex for even trying to explain to them why their behavior was unacceptable. You are good folk.

Magic Love Crow said...

What an experience Rain! I am so sorry! I'm just happy nothing happened to your fur babies!! It's hard when something like this happens! I think you did the right thing! Big Hugs!

Rain said...

You guys are right...home is our sanctuary and there will no longer be anyone invited unless we know them well. It's hard because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt...well, as some of you know, maybe too much benefit lol...but really, what happened to people having manners, dignity and gratitude? And Tewshooz you are right about enjoying the company of pets over people these days!

Share my Garden said...

Dear Rain, I'm so sorry for your stressing experience. What shameful people, behaviour like this is totally unacceptable, the woman obviously has a drink problem. I wouldn't use the word, 'friend' to describe anyone who was so insensitive/uncaring of your pets and your company.
Have a lovely meal together next week.
You ask if anything like that has happened to us. We had the start of something similar and asked them to leave. It was the end of a friendship. Sometimes it's best just to move on, if that's how they behave it's no great loss.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

I don't spend much time with people who drink, seen that over and over. He's just an "enabler", sounds like they both need to go to AA. So sorry for you and your pet, terrible.

Rain said...

Rosemary, we should have asked them to leave earlier in hindsight. Actually when I told her the wine well was dry she didn't stay much longer. It is unfortunate that people are willing to end friendships over stupidity, but we are so much happier now that we don't have to deal with her...and he showed his true colours too.

Thanks Nancy, Jack is absolutely fine now, but my gosh it was scary.

Leigh said...

What a horrible experience for you. These people are not friends, and I'm sorry you had to go through such a thing. Very glad Jack is okay.