Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm Okay With Halloween, But ...

by Leann

I love kids. I did work in an elementary school for 20 years, so that's proof. And I always enjoyed Halloween as a kid and even as an adult. Until along came Rosie, the brilliant little dog who has a very, shall we call it, energetic personality.

In our Texas home, we rarely had trick or treaters, so it wasn't a huge
problem that Rosie is a barker. I never wanted to curb that behavior because before my husband retired, I was
alone for 10-12 hours a day. I wanted her to warn me if people were near the house. She goes nuts when someone rings the doorbell or knocks. You see where this is going?

Then along came Marlowe. He has epilepsy and when he is startled, he tends to zone out and sometimes even has a seizure. He also is very attached to me and when I leave, he gets a little freaked out. He's not big on surprise. Is the picture becoming more clear?

The neighborhood where we are renting while our house is being built has plenty of kids. Last year, we didn't have Marlowe. We took Rosie to our friends' house and stayed until 10 PM. Halloween wasn't a problem.  But this year, our friends have added a wonderful rescue bulldog to their family. And that dog loves people, but is not fond of other dogs. We can't bail on Halloween this time and go there.

I am throwing it out to you, friends. What do I do with a dog who goes bonkers when people knock on the door and a cat who has his own special set of issues? I've been worrying about this for a week. My only solution is to have my husband hold the dog all evening and me answer the door with my kitty in my arms. Halloween is not a pet-friendly holiday, I'm sorry to say. All suggestion would be much appreciated!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about going to a pet-friendly hotel for the evening?

I wouldn't want to go to the door with the cat in my arms on Halloween for fear the kitty would freak out and run outside.

Another option might be to turn the main lights out and retreat to a back room with the animals. Kids don't usually knock if most of the lights, especially the hall light are on.

Kristina

Anonymous said...

Take your treats to a neighbor and place a note on your gate or door stating that your treats are next door. Take Rosie and Marlowe into your back room and play with them. They deserve the best

Ria said...

Talk to your vet. We had to tranquilize our dog every 4th of July because the fireworks scared her so much one year that she actually chewed her way through the wood door.

Aurian said...

I would agree with Ria, ask your vet for sedatives for the evening, and the idea of just make it appear you are not at home is a good one as well. A note on the gate, "due to sick kitty not celebrating this year", will probably work as well, and perhaps you won't get "tricked" either.

Nancy said...

We are in somewhat the same position as you, although our two year old dog, Patrick and our 15 year old cat, Lacey are healthy, our dog is very territorial and quite a barker. Lacey has two safe rooms where she hides out. I've been handing candy out for fifty years, one way or the other. (I did give our candy to a neighbor to hand out one year.) Now though, I don't get around as easily as I used to and my husband doesn't want to get a chill in our October weather. We're going to turn the porch light off as we did last year and carry on as usual. It feels right. For years the neighborhood has been aging, with the senior citizens opting out of the custom, so that I felt we should give the kids one more house to go to. Suddenly, there's a huge influx of young people with children, so it's up to them to carry on the tradition if they want to and I'm fine with that. We may give the two kids we know a big candy bar before the fun starts.

Nancy Malven said...

I agree with turning out the lights. I would never give my dogs a sedative or tranquilizer, especially one with seizures.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks everyone. I am taking notes. Unfortunately the only pet friendly motel is about 200 miles away. Even the closest interstate is a good thirty miles from here. But it is beautiful where will live when our house is done with lots of clean air, so I am not complaining!

Toye said...

Put a little candy in a bowl on the front porch with a note asking not to ring the bell. Refill the candy every once in awhile (cuz if you put it all out at once, little kids cannot help but take 4 or 5 pieces at once, but if there is only a little candy in there, they will restrain themselves for the most part) and if it's possible take the animals to another part of the house--bedroom, basement, something like that. Also, sedation might be the way to go for the animal that doesn't have seizures. I sedated my cat on a 12 hour car trip. It was best for all involved.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Toye! I was thinking about the honor system with the candy. Never tried it but I might have to. Yes, poor Marlowe already takes meds. The dog, when we were in our home, wanted to go to sleep by 7PM in our utility room but her whole routine has been shattered here and this entire neighborhood is like a dog park without leashes or people holding the leashes. The animals just roam. AND BARK all night. I have some herbal calming medicine and might use that on Halloween.

rgp1950 said...

In my daughter's neighborhood some people sit outside and handout candy. Most of them are dressed in a Halloween costume, but not all of them.

Leann Sweeney said...

I seem to leaning toward the outside approach. I really like to see the kids!

CCL said...

rgp1950 beat me to it! I was going to say, weather permitting, sit outside and pass out candy. We hardly ever get ghouls at our house, which the dogs appreciate. The number of houses on our rural road doesn't make for a high return-on-investment. lol

Leann Sweeney said...

We probably won't have any trick or treaters once we are in our new home. The driveways that go down to the lake properties are quite long and DARK. This is probably the last year we will be handing out candy so I might as well embrace it, right?

Vicki said...

If you REALLY don't want anyone knocking on the door/ringing the door bell, put up a barricade so they can't get ON the front stoop/porch. Rope across the opening, wet paint sign, bowl of honor system candy on the sidewalk on a table in front of the barricade. That way you are being nice yet totally protecting your pets.

Leann Sweeney said...

If we can figure our a way, we might be able to do that. Thanks Vicki!

Rachelle21 said...

Since we have a cat that loves to sneak out, I have had to put him in another room or hold him when I open the door.When Solo was alive, he loved to put on one of his coats or sweaters and go visit the neighbors with me. He was a toy poodle and loved people. I have sat outside if it was warm enough.

Leann Sweeney said...

I will have to hold Marlowe, for sure. Putting him in the other room is such a break from routine for him I am afraid it might trigger a seizure. It is such a delicate balance with him. As for Rosie, well ... she is a lost cause. LOL. There is no stopping her from barking and since we have been here in a neighborhood where she watches dogs running up and down the street off leash without "parents" she has gotten much worse about the barking. It's as if she wants to point out to me just how wrong it all is. :-)

Barb S said...

We have 6 border collies and have had more or less that many for over 20 years. On Halloween, we take out the glass/screen in the outside storm door and pass the treats through the opening. Never lost a dog yet, but a few surprised kids!

Leann Sweeney said...

That's a great idea, Barb!

Mary Ann Schlacks said...

If i lived closer I would let you stay here with your pets. We don't get trick or treaters for some reason. I have decorations and candy ready. Not sure why our neighborhood has turned out this way, but it is sort of sad. Our grand-doggies were here for July 4th and one of them was not happy with the neighbors with really loud fireworks.

Leann Sweeney said...

Our neighborhood in Texas was like that. We hardly ever got any trick or treaters, but I got my fill of kiddos at the elementary school where I worked. But here? There are LOTS of kids. I don't even know how much candy I should buy.

SueAnn said...

We moved to a different type neighborhood years ago, and had lots of kids for Halloween too...we had no idea how many- but we did know it was for 2 hrs. We bought 4 gigantic bags of candy....figuring 2 bags per hour! They were gone in a little over an hour! we turned out the lights and that was that. We sat outside on the porch too, because we had similar problems with pets..and it was easier on them, and us- no bells ringing, strangers at the door- their nerves and ours, were not challenged! One year it was cooler, we wore a coat..small sacrifice for and hour our so..for the kids..and the pets! Like you said, this will be your last year- enjoy it! We moved...and have not had to worry over this for almost 3 yrs...we did our bit for about 30yrs..no regrets!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks SueAnn. Guess I better stock up on candy!!!

Book Dragon said...

I'm wishing you luck! We've been attending a party for the last . . . 10? 15? years and most of the kids are gone when we get home. The still ring the bell if they can see the TV glow :-( And the older kids knock really loud!

I don't think I'd open the door holding a cat if I'm also going to hand out candy. I'd be afraid of them getting out. Of course, my black cat has been on house arrest since Wednesday just in case.

I like the screen door idea, going to a motel and the barricade ideas. I'd put up quarantine signs (due to sick kitty works - or scaredy cat) with a note that the neighbor has extra from you.

Leann Sweeney said...

I LOVE the idea of a sign telling kids the neighbor has our candy because we have a sick kitty! Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Don't turn on your lights. The kid get plenty of candy. Yes, you like giving it but you have to deal with your animals.