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Woman Balks After Boyfriend Calls Her ‘Heartless’ For Refusing To Accept Puppy He Gifted Her

Man holding puppy
Inti St Clair/Getty Images

Dogs are man’s best friend, right?

Well, only if you want the dog.

Redditor _magic_angel_ likes dogs, but not for herself.

So when the Original Poster’s (OP’s) boyfriend got her a surprise puppy, she was… nonplussed.

This led her to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for advice.

She asked:

“AITA for not wanting a gifted dog?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“My [30-year-old Female] fiancé [32-year-old Male] just gifted me a puppy on Sunday.”

“Whilst that sounds adorable, and I’m sure a lot of people would love that, I’m not happy about it.”

“Firstly, I’m not a dog person. I don’t hate dogs. I’d just rather love them from afar.”

“Secondly, we live in an apartment and already have a kitten that will be one next month.”

“Thirdly, he asked if I wanted a puppy, I said no. He got it anyway as a ‘gift’ to me.”

“Fourthly, we can’t afford it!”

“He’s now calling me heartless and mean for not wanting his gift.”

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s cute; however, I feel manipulated/gaslit and think it’s a huge decision that should have been made together.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:


“He wanted a puppy but not the responsibility. This is not a gift. This is a chore.”

“He put the bills and the work on you for him to have something to play with if he feels like it.”

“You told him no. This is very obviously a very selfish thing to do.” – CakeEatingRabbit


“‘he asked if I wanted a puppy, I said no, he got it anyway’”

“There is something deeply wrong here. You are not the problem.” – diminishingpatience

“Dogs are not gifts. They are commitments. And in most cases, an over a decade one.”

“He was completely irresponsible, immature, and sly. It’s unfair to you, but frankly, in this situation, the worse off is the dog.”

“That pup is quickly learning about the world, fears, and feelings. He’s risking messing this pup up.”

“Choosing a dog is a big deal to determine if your lifestyle suits that dog. It should be carefully considered one.”

“Plus, what does it say about his respect for you that he can make such a huge potential 15-year commitment on your behalf without asking and calling you the cruel one.”

“NTA. Your fiancé is and questionable.” – Nessa-E

“Don’t marry this man. Get out whilst you can.”

“He has no care for the dog. You, on the other hand, are clearly empathetic and sensible. You need to rehome the puppy asap. Then leave.” – Fit-Champion5567


“you said no. what’s the point of buying a gift someone doesn’t want anyway? that makes no sense. Can you gift chores too? lol.” – Quiet-Dimension3795

“NTA – that doesn’t sound like a present for you at all. And him calling you heartless for wanting the dog to have a loving home is a massive red flag. As is ignoring your direct wishes.”

“Is this a pattern of behavior? If so, are you sure you want to marry this man?”

“It seems like you might be walking into a life of, at best, ignoring your wants. At worst, gradually escalating abuse.”[deleted]

“NTA. He is manipulating you. He wanted the dog and went ahead and got it anyway.”

“He probably hoped you’d fall in love and change your mind, but since you haven’t, you’re now ‘heartless’ and ‘mean’.”

“You’re not heartless and mean. You set up clear boundaries, and he ignored them.”

“I’d seriously look at the rest of the relationship. If he’s willing to try and manipulate you over this, he’s more than capable of doing so in another area.” – silkenwhisper


“Why do people still have to learn that PETS ARN’T GIFTS, for crying out loud?”

“Only, and really ONLY, if the person you are getting a pet for explicitly stated that he/she wants a pet AND you know what kind of pet AND you know the person is fine with the pet and can care for it, it might be ok to gift a pet.” – Dimirosch

“NTA, this is a very manipulative and irresponsible gift. He gave it to you, so it’s your responsibility to look after it.”

“He’s putting you in the position of being “heartless” if you are ungrateful, yet owning a dog is a huge long-term responsibility, not something that you should take on without serious forethought.”

“You don’t say what kind of dog it is, and you don’t know if it will be a suitable breed for an apartment/ a resident cat/ your lifestyle.”

“A lot of people choose their pet dog based on how cute it is and how it will add to their Instagram feed; I believe strongly that you should figure out what kind of owner you would be so you can pick a dog that you can look after responsibly.”

“Eg, I wouldn’t be a good owner to a dog that needs a lot of grooming or a small yappy dog, but I am an excellent owner to a dog that needs to be walked twice a day on schedule.”

“Also, it seems like your boyfriend wants the dog but not the responsibility. He wants the fun but not the serious conversation – so he has definitely sidestepped all the mature approaches by making this a ‘gift’.”

“When the dog is hard work or trouble, it will be your dog. You haven’t had a chance to prepare or figure out how to work your current schedule around the dog’s needs.”

“I would suggest rehoming the dog as soon as possible so it has minimal disruption. You might need to rehome the boyfriend too if he has such little respect for your relationship as a partnership.” – DrunkOnRedCordial


“What kind of idiot gives someone a living being as a gift when they are not 100% sure the recipient wants it?”

“The kind of idiot that does want the animal as a gift for himself, that’s who.”
– PrudentVermicelli69


“Animals are not a gift! Never.”

“Furthermore, you told him that you didn‘t want a puppy. He obviously doesn‘t respect your wishes and opinions.”

“This is a major red flag, and a poor little soul will suffer because the puppy wants love and bonding, and now they have to be rehomed and wait for love.”

“Also, don‘t let him pressure and guilt-trip you to keep the puppy that you do not want and that you cannot offer adequate space and financial stability.” – InkedAlly

“Yeah, no.”

“Raising a puppy is a lot of work and exhausting even if you chose to get one, but being forced into becoming a pet parent against your express wishes and then being shamed for objecting is an AH move by your fiancé.”

“Has he explained to you why he disrespected your wishes? Is it that HE wanted a puppy and thought you couldn’t say “No” if he gave you one as a gift?”

“Is this the first time he’s blatantly ignored your wishes? If I were you, I would not let this one go and insist on getting to the bottom of his reasoning and his intentions.”

“And you should give the puppy back, for all the reasons mentioned and the fact that you simply don’t want one. In any case, NTA.” – HappyAndYouKnow_It

“You need to get rid of that dog. If you don’t want a dog, then you’ve got a long 10-16 years of obligation and commitment to wade through before you’re free again.”

“I like my dog, but there are times that I can’t wait for her to pass on so I can sleep in in the morning or go somewhere overnight. And they’re not cheap to run – food and vet bills add up.”

“Get rid of the dog asap.”

“NTA” – NotTrynaMakeWaves

“You need to give it back! This is shameful behavior on his part.”

“A. Not respecting YOU! and B. You will not like this dog that is needed. Dogs have a keen sense that will know you don’t love and care for him.”

“This makes me furious! NTA!” – Nitropeanut3


“But this is a red flag (one I wish I had paid more attention to when it happened to me, so….)”

“Pets are a major household decision. Two yes, one no, when you’re living with a partner.”

“Because literally no matter what kind of pet it is, there is going to be some level of responsibility on both people to care for the animal.”

“Even “low-maintenance” animals often aren’t, not if they’re being properly cared for.”

“And even “low-maintenance” tasks can be draining when added to an already-full plate of someone who didn’t want the d*mn animal in the first place.”

“And a dog is one of the highest-maintenance animals you can get. It’s basically a toddler. For 15 years.”

“My husband, before we were married, once brought home a pet I didn’t want, and it was absolute torture for years.”

“It was a very high-maintenance pet, and most of the maintenance fell to me because he traveled for work a lot at the time.”

“I should’ve seen that for the red flag it was, and it’s taken us a very long time even to begin to work through the carelessness and selfishness this represented on his part.”

“Your fiance wanted a dog, so he got a dog under the guise of a gift. That’s manipulative and sh*tty. Sort this before you get married, or don’t get married.” – shell37628

As Sia would say, “Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas.”

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)