For a lot of people, names are really important and play a big role in a person’s identity.
But these names aren’t just important to people, but to our animal friends, too, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Fatal_Foxtrot had a dog that he loved, and he found it amusing that a new neighbor’s child in town shared the same name.
But when the neighbor insisted that he change his dog’s name, the Original Poster (OP) could not believe the neighbors were making an issue out of a child and a dog sharing the same name.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not changing my dog’s name when my new neighbor’s child had the same name?”
The OP had a dog named Charlotte that he loved.
“I (36 Male) am the owner of a Great Pyrenees/Australian Cattle Dog mix named Charlotte (6 Female).”
“I live in a lower-middle-class suburb in an unspecified state in the United States. I have lived here for about a year now, and I let Charlotte out to go potty roughly six or so times a day.”
“It’s always the same routine: I open the back door, Charlotte runs outside to pee and patrol the yard (apparently it’s a Pyrenees thing), and she doesn’t typically come bounding back to the door until I poke my head out and call her name.”
Recently, a second Charlotte moved to the neighborhood.
“About a week or two ago (maybe longer if I didn’t notice), new neighbors moved in across my back alley.”
“I had no intentions of interacting with them whatsoever, like ever, except today when I was executing the last step of Charlotte’s aforementioned potty protocol.”
“I stuck my head out and called her name, but this time, alongside the familiar sounds of my dog galloping up the porch steps, was an adult human voice shouting something along the lines of, ‘WHY ARE YOU CALLING MY DAUGHTER?'”
The OP was weirded out by the neighbor’s reaction.
“At first, I thought it might just be my new neighbors getting into a spat, until a couple of minutes later, I heard pounding on my front door.”
“I opened the door to an angry man about twice my size glaring me down. He said something like, ‘Why the eff are you calling my daughter into your house?'”
“I responded, ‘Your daughter’s name is Charlotte?'”
“He just kind of kept glaring at me.”
“In the absence of a response, I followed up with, ‘Charlotte is my dog’s name, dude.'”
“He rolled his eyes at me and said I ‘better’ change my dog’s name because he doesn’t want his daughter (2 female) getting confused and running into my house.”
“I told him that was not going to happen because not only did my dog have the name first, but we also lived here first.”
“Plus, I don’t like strangers making demands of me before even attempting to be polite.”
“What I DIDN’T say but really wanted to say is that teaching his child stranger danger is his responsibility, not mine.”
The situation did not end there.
“He called me stupid and said that a human child obviously has priority over a dog for a name.”
“I shut the door in his face and stared at him through the peephole for a moment before he eventually walked back to his house.”
“This last potty break, I went out with Charlotte and stayed in the yard with her until she finished her business, but this guy just kind of stood in his yard with his arms crossed and glared at me the entire time.”
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 simply shook their head and found this to be a non-issue.
“Nah, you’re good. My aunt and her neighbor both have dogs with the same name; my aunt got a puppy and named it, and a new neighbor moved in just two houses up the street with a dog of the same name. It’s been a nonissue. It’s a name.” – KayJayOhh12
“NTA. I can understand why that dad was upset the first time around. It was a normal mistake until he talked to you.”
“I don’t know much about dogs but I assume your dog is a safe breed. The best thing to do would be to invite the new neighbor’s dad and his daughter over so she can meet your dog and understand that they share a name. That when you are calling your dog, you are not calling her.”
“Two is a bit young, but it shouldn’t take her long to learn.” – GFVeggie6
“You are not obligated to rename your dog. Continue with your usual routine. If their daughter were to come over, you just don’t answer the door, or you simply tell her to go back home.”
“You can get a restraining order or file a report if that neighbor harasses/threatens you.” – LoveBeach8
“NTA. This is one of the dumbest requests (demands?) I’ve ever heard. Sorry to say, but these neighbors are going to be in trouble. Just don’t give in to any temptations to escalate a feud with them. Carry on your business as usual and try not to let them get under your skin.” – BlueStarrSilver
“Dude, if he comes back around, I’d say: ‘If your two-year-old gets out of your house, across the alley and into my yard or front porch without you noticing or intervening because I called my dog… that seems like a big parenting ball drop on your part.'”
“Or you could suggest he bring his daughter over to meet your dog, so he can explain the dog has her name too and if she hears you call, you are talking to your dog. Though, that sounds like an offer you make to a not-a**hole rather than this guy.”
“NTA.” – LimitlessMegan
“NTA. This person just sounds like the most entitled moron.”
“Regardless of who lived there first or who had the name first, to demand someone change their dog’s name (a name they would already have learned and be familiar with) is both ridiculous and so disrespectful.”
“Make sure to keep a close eye on not only your dog but also your neighbor. It sounds farfetched, but, if he’s wild enough to knock on a total stranger’s door and start an argument, then he’s likely crazy enough to do all kinds of things.”
“Keep an eye on your yard and your precious Charlotte when you let her out to make sure he hasn’t left something out there that could harm her. Also, keep an eye on him and his child if you see her and record any interactions because he could try to imply you’re luring his child to your place again in the future.” – SapphyreStarsgil
“NTA. Is there any chance you can get Charlotte to come in by whistling and/or patting your leg?”
“The neighbor is a raging a**hole who doesn’t deserve to ‘win’ in any way, but I’m trying to think of a way to keep your dog safe before he escalates.”
“Also, what the hell would this guy have done if you had your own kid named Charlotte?!” – Dragoncelica
“WHAT? NTA, Charlotte is not an especially uncommon name, and human Charlotte is bound to come across other human Charlottes in her life. Not to mention canine and feline Charlottes, and also dessert Charlottes.”
“I’m slightly concerned about his parenting skills if the only way he thinks he can ensure his kid’s safety is to try and enforce a Charlotte-free zone around his house…..” – ZippyKoala
“When my daughter was 10, we moved into our current home.”
“One day, I was out in the backyard, and I heard someone calling, ‘Molly, get in here!’ (not my daughter’s real name).”
“I was so confused!! Then they said it again, but more like you would call a dog, ‘Come, Molly. Come on, girl!'”
“The dog has the same name as my daughter. I laughed so hard.”
“It was an understandable moment of confusion and then laughter. It never needed a moment of anger or, dare I say, territorialism like this was.”
“NTA.” – Moon_Ray_77
“NTA. Your dog has had the name for longer than he has lived there.”
“I also have two friends with daughters called Charlotte, although both girls are now in their 20s. Actually, there are two women that I know. The third is a neighbor in her late 30s.”
“What if you had a four-year-old daughter called Charlotte? Would he have tried to insist that YOU changed your daughter’s name? Or if it was your wife’s name? It would be just as risky for you to call your daughter/wife to come in for tea as it is for you to call your dog in.”
“He must learn to live with the fact that other creatures (dogs, cats, or children) may have the same name and teach his daughter that.” – Future_Direction5174
Others joked about taking Charlotte’s name a few steps further.
“NTA. Double down. Get another dog and name it his wife’s name.” – SilliestSally82
“Spectacular. Then get a chihuahua and name it after him.” – Chalkarts
“I can hear it now. ‘Entitled Neighbor! Stop eating Charlotte’s poop!'” – MmeXL
“This doesn’t end until OP has the dog equivalent of his neighbor’s entire family.” – ScootyPuffJr1999
“lol (laughing out loud), I’m trying to AVOID trouble with this jerk! But now I kind of wish I wasn’t because this is a hilarious idea.” – Fatal_Foxtrot (OP)
The subReddit could not help but roll their eyes at this situation and reassured the OP that he was not in the wrong for not wanting to change the name of his middle-aged dog. The dog was older than the daughter and had lived in the neighborhood longer than her.
But it was also important for the neighbor’s daughter to learn that other people would have her name without trying to steal attention from her or create a dangerous environment for her.