It’s 2023, and we’ve come along far enough now to understand that food allergies are no joke.
But some people still fail to appreciate how serious food allergies can be for pets, as well, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor watermusicman had an elderly dog who she loved dearly and was working through an extensive food allergy test and elimination diet to figure out what was making her sick.
When she had friends over for dinner, the Original Poster (OP) was furious when one of her friends fed her unapproved food, which compromised the entire food allergy test.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking out my friend and ending the party after she fed my dog a ‘treat’?”
The OP dearly loved her elderly dog.
“I (28 Female) always knew that when I could live alone, I wanted to have a dog.”
“When I moved, I had that opportunity in the form of a relative’s pet that needed to be rehomed.”
“She was already very old (13), deaf, and generally needed a lot of attention.”
“It’s been a year and I love this f**king dog. She truly changed my life. I am absolutely an annoying dog mom.”
The OP was working through an extensive food allergy test with her.
“She is also very allergic to SOMEthing that her vet and I are trying to figure out what.”
“It manifests in dry flaky skin that she will itch hard enough to bleed.”
“We’re trying a food allergy trial. This means she is on a very specific diet of a prescription dry food until a trial period of eight to nine weeks is over. If she does get something off-menu, we have to start the trial period over.”
“Most of my friends know this because I always complain about how expensive the food is.”
The OP recently hosted a party with her friends and, of course, her dog.
“Cut to the party: I invited a few close friends around to my place for a holiday shindig. Living far away, work, etc, usually keeps us apart, so I was super excited.”
“I ordered us McDonald’s (we all agreed beforehand to split a big order because why the f**k not) and made a ton of jokes to my dog about how ‘None of it is for you young lady!’ in front of everyone.”
“I’ll admit this was a thinly veiled reminder for everyone else, too. The food comes, and we’re all having a good time.”
But one of the OP’s friends made a terrible mistake.
“I stepped away to find my friend (25 Female) dropping a piece of fish filet for my dog to gobble up in the kitchen.”
“I freaked out and asked her what she was doing.”
“Again, my dog is deaf, so she just kept pawing my friend for another piece, which she gave her, saying, ‘But she’s so cute! A little piece of fish can’t hurt!'”
“I’ll admit it, I kind of lost it. We were six weeks into the trial, and now I would have to start all over, buying so much more expensive food.”
“I’m sure I yelled and cussed at her. I don’t really remember. I saw red.”
“I do remember telling everyone that I’m sorry but I’m too angry to enjoy or host a party right now and asked everyone to leave. I told them to also feel free to take the remaining food and not worry about paying for their shares since I’m the reason the party is ending early.”
The OP’s friend later didn’t accept her apology.
“The next day I apologized to my friend for yelling.”
“She seems very hurt and isn’t very open to continuing the conversation. She says she honestly forgot and didn’t see the harm.”
“To be fair, fish was on the list of things I don’t suspect she is allergic to, and may have mentioned that to the group.”
“Also, my dog is on other medications that stop any harmful reactions to off-list foods. At most she’ll get flaky skin, but not super itchy or upset stomach or anything.”
The friends were divided over what happened, as well.
“My friends overall seem pretty split.”
“Half the group thinks I’m justified and aren’t upset with me ending the party, knowing how much I care about my dog.”
“The other half thinks I’m overreacting over a piece of fish.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed that the OP was turning a piece of fish fillet into a huge deal.
“ESH but leaning YTA. If it’s this important to you, the onus is on you to make the rules surrounding your dog and food perfectly clear. Thinly veiled isn’t enough.”
“She certainly shouldn’t have done that for a litany of reasons, but it’s up to you to protect your dog.”
“As a self-proclaimed ‘annoying dog mom,’ there’s certainly a chance your friends have started to tune you out when you bring the dog up and maybe that’s why she didn’t remember your rules.” – rainboypeonies
“YTA. You said, ‘I’ll admit this was a thinly veiled reminder for everyone else too.'”
“You should have said, ‘Guys, she’s old, she’s sick, and she’s on a special diet. Please don’t feed her anything at all, no matter how cute she looks, no matter how she begs, OK?'”
“See how easy that is and how it would avoid the entire problem? And would also let people know to pick up anything that gets dropped immediately, not leave food on the coffee table, etc.”
“As a dog owner, I know it’s my responsibility to tell people, not their responsibility to decipher my hints.”
“Here’s a hint: attempts to avoid ‘conflict’ by ‘making a huge deal of hinting something but never actually saying it’ tend to lead to much bigger conflicts. Citation: your post.” – cent1234
“Allowing yourself to get so upset over the actions of one guest that you treat your other guests this badly is wrong.”
“If your dog’s diet needs to be controlled at this level, why on earth didn’t you lock the dear thing in a room away from all the people with the food? Dogs beg for scraps. It’s how they survived with people for millennia. It’s your dog, so it’s your responsibility to police his food, not your guests.”
“YTA.” – grckalk
“YTA. Your friend was out of line, but in your story, you say ‘most’ of your friends knew (but not all? It doesn’t appear clear here) and that you made a ‘thinly veiled’ comment about the dog not being able to eat McDonald’s. These don’t constitute clear communication, in my opinion.”
“People aren’t the owners of your dog, and other people may forget or not connect the dots about the details of your dog’s health. It was your job to spell it out clearly.”
“To me, if you wanted to be clear, you could have included a note in your invite for people to not feed the dog, could have posted a note on your door, and could have made a very clear and explicit announcement to the guests at the party explaining why they shouldn’t feed the dog.”
“You could have also kept the dog in another room. I get being mad at the friend and situation, but I think you overreacted at the moment by yelling and kicking out your guests, including ones who hadn’t fed the dog any fish.” – Fluffy_Letter_8318
“Sounds like you’re looking for validation for treating your friends poorly. The only real question here is whether you still want to be friends with them. If it was an honest mistake, then you went overboard big time. Your friends are people, too; they’re not perfect. S**t happens.”
“I think YTA here because you made everyone leave, and you spoiled the whole night. This would only be reasonable if the dog were ill. You’re going to lose those friends if you continue to treat them this way, so you may want to seriously consider whether you value their friendship.”
“Also, don’t be vague about your intentions. If you don’t want people feeding your dog, say that explicitly. Leaving little ‘hints’ is not good enough. Learn to communicate your needs better.”
“And no, don’t assume that everyone knows proper pet etiquette.” – Epoch_Unreason
“Your friends all traveled from ‘far away,’ and you just punished everyone by kicking them out? You don’t remember how you reacted? McDonald’s. Arrange another party and see who shows up. YTA and I think you know it.” – mr_stivo
But most understood how important the dog and her allergy testing was.
“NTA. You don’t feed another person’s dogs without permission. Ever. For the last two years of my dog’s life, she was on an extremely strict diet. Anything outside of this diet gave her pain and unending diarrhea. On top of that, she was incontinent due to her conditions, causing muscle waste.”
“I do want to add that there are some grains and proteins that dogs often can’t tolerate. Mine was VERY allergic to anything corn or poultry. Like even a whisper of those two ingredients would for sure give her an eat infection, but if it was enough, she would get a skin infection.”
“I am so sorry you had to backtrack (mine also did the food elimination diet via the vet but it was a bit different than yours). Plus I know their fish is breaded and fried, so it could have still affected your food trial.” – Pristine_Pie2294
“NTA any sensible person would know not to feed other people’s pet without first clearing/ checking with the owner.”
“Anyone else saying YTA clearly doesn’t have a pet of their own that they’re responsible for.”
“And all this even before adding in the fact that you’ve mentioned/ talked to your friends that your dog is on prescription food/ elimination trial. Your friend was and is and AH.” – Just_nosying_around
“NTA. So all of those friends that disagree with you and it was just a piece of fish send them the bill for the expensive dog food. My dog has to have special prescription dog food that’s very expensive. And if my friends did something like that, I would give them the friggin bill, or tell them to hit the road and never come back.”
“That is not something you feed to a dog regardless of McDonald’s. French fries, maybe their fish sandwich, absolutely not. You’re six weeks into a nine-week trial, and now you have to start all over again.”
“I think you need an itemized bill from the vet on how much it’s going to cost you and how much you already paid so they get the point of why you were so upset. I’m pissed off for you just reading what happened.” – Winter_Dragonfly_452
“While NTA, she should have made an announcement, all it takes is a dropped piece of food for the whole thing to be over. Speaking as someone who has a cat and has gone through this process, you don’t take chances, so a party with food was super risky. People have lives, they don’t remember your pet is dealing with x or y and blah blah.”
“OP’s friend is still the shole for feeding someone else’s pet without asking, especially since it was hidden away. I think she did it on purpose because OP said none was for her and she ‘felt bad.’ That’s a HUGE red flag for me, OP; I would highly recommend evaluating this friendship. She’s probably already paying the victim if she’s the sort of person I think she is.” – Zygomaticus
“It’s NOT about the fish. It’s about the trampling of your clearly stated boundaries. NTA.”
“Send ‘friend’ a bill for the next six weeks of special dog food. State that you know she won’t pay it, but she should understand what a ‘little piece of fish’ will cost.”
“Hell, take a snap of it and circulate it in the ‘friends’ group. “This is what it costs when you feed a “little piece of fish” to an elderly dog who scratches until she bleeds.”” – DuckDuckWaffle99
“I would send them a text, ‘That fillet cost me <the-cost-of-six-weeks-food>.’ They need to see actual numbers and realize how much expensive it is, and that’s why OP (not a billionaire) was so angry. When you lose a significant amount of money because of the carelessness of people, it’s understandable you might also lose your cool and temper.”
“NTA and all friends who disagree with OP are AH.” – Important-Stomach977
The subReddit was just as divided over this situation as the OP’s friend group.
While some understood where the OP was coming from and felt the friends should have been more careful and considerate, others argued that everyone’s behavior at that party was the OP’s responsibility. The OP should have put her dog away for the party to protect her from eating food that was accidentally dropped off a plate, let alone food that was willingly shared, maliciously or not.