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Deaf Woman Balks After Friend Calls Her Out For Using Dog As ‘Servant’ To Help Answer The Door

Woman with her Golden Retriever
Lucia Romero Herranz/EyeEm/Getty Images

Most of us can agree that animals are awesome, and having at least one pet in the home is a wonderful game-changer.

But it’s especially wonderful when that pet is more empathetic than the average, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor day6fan, a deaf woman, was so pleased to discover her Golden Retriever’s affinity with letting her know when someone rang the doorbell or knocked.

But when her friend criticized her for taking advantage of her dog, the Original Poster (OP) wondered how good of a friend she actually was.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for kicking my friend out after she said I was treating my dog like a ‘servant’?”

The OP had a bit of an adjustment period after moving into her new house.

“I (27 Female) recently moved into my new house. I have a Golden Retriever named Nala, and she is the sweetest.”

“I’m Deaf, too. That bit is important.”

“When I moved in, I had a bit of trouble having flashing light doorbells put in, and there was a while I had to go without. My friends and family know to give me a call when they drop by instead of ringing the doorbell, but unfortunately, I have missed many a package this way.”

But Nala was amazingly able to help her out.

“For some reason, Nala caught onto this. At one point, she began letting me know when someone was at the door.”

“She’d do this in multiple ways. If I were in the living room where I can see the front door, she’d go and paw at the door, or if I were upstairs, she’d come and gently headbutt me to let me know someone was there.”

“It took me a while to catch on to what she was trying to do, though.”

“And now, even though I have my doorbell installed, she still does it. I did not teach her how to do any of this. She just decided to help me out, lol (laughing out loud).”

But one of the OP’s friends was not so keen about the arrangement.

“I brought a friend over for the first time recently. This is the first time she’s met Nala as well.”

“The first thing she commented on was how I named her Nala because apparently everyone and their grandma names their golden Nala. ‘Lion King’ was my favorite movie growing up, sue me.”

“Then I showed her a video of Nala pawing at the door because it got a bit awkward after that comment. It’s usually a great icebreaker.”

“She laughed and thought it was cute. I showed her another one. She asked me why Nala was doing that, and I explained.”

“She didn’t say anything for a minute and then said, ‘So, she’s basically your servant? Is she just here to get the door?'”

The OP was furious with her friend.

“I was thoroughly done with her judgmental a** by that point, and I just asked her to leave.”

“She left, but she did message me afterward, saying I was rude as f**k for kicking her out after she traveled all the way to see me, and that how else was she supposed to think of my dog with videos like that?”

“Also, I’ve been having issues with this friend (stuff like backhanded compliments, her trying to stir up drama between mutual friends by lying, etc.) before.”

“That day was supposed to be for us to patch things over, but that didn’t work out, clearly.”

“She knows I have a dog and that Nala isn’t a service dog. A service dog wasn’t my intention when getting her, but. uh, Nala’s clearly decided otherwise.”

“AITA for kicking her out?”

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 with the OP sending her friend away.

“NTA. Maybe you should get Nala to show your friend the door.” – DrOogieBoogie42

“She clearly doesn’t understand dog psychology. From my interpretation sounds like the ‘friend’ needs to learn that not every thought or opinion needs to be voiced. Think my choice of dog name is overrated or cheesy? Fine, but keep it to yourself.” – ReadingSad3238

“NTA, First, it is a behavior your dog developed on its own and not a result of training. Second, telling you someone is at the door is roommate behavior, not servant behavior.”

“If you were living with a human and they didn’t let you know there is someone at the door for you because they didn’t want to be your servant, that would get pretty tiresome pretty quickly.”

“Lastly, Service dogs exist because some dogs are really good at it and like what they do. Your friend was rude first, so your reaction was proportional.” – BiscuitFPV

“Let’s say OP DID train her to do that. Who the f**k cares?! Service dogs ARE actually a very legit thing. They aren’t abused or exploited.”

“What the ‘friend’ said was so stupid and out of line. It’s not like the dog is doing a dangerous or life-shortening task. She’s not a canary in the coal mines. She simply alerts her person when someone is at the door, and she probably ADORES being able to help her.”

“I used to work with a toddler/preschooler with type I diabetes. Sometime in the first year after his diagnosis, their dog started acting up in the middle of the night. One night she just would NOT settle down. They tried letting her out to pee, they made sure she had water, gave her a treat, etc., but she would NOT leave the parents alone.”

“Finally, dad decided to go up and check the little boy’s blood sugar, and he was absolutely bottoming out. They had to use a glucagon injection to raise his blood sugar level, and that’s how low it was. (Meaning food/juice wouldn’t have been enough help fast enough.)”

“Dogs are f**king amazing, and they love their people. If they can help their people, they will, and they will be proud of it. OP’s friend is the AH, for sure.”

“Whether OP trained the dog or the dog learned on their own, neither is a bad thing.” – 217EBroadwayApt4E

“You’re kidding. Nala sounds like an absolutely brilliant bada**! She taught herself how to have a job. They LOVE having jobs!” 

“You are NTA, but this alleged friend certainly is. Imagine virtue-signaling outrage because a dog has a job. Bloodhounds and cattle dogs must really chap her a**.” – katsmeow44

Others questioned how good of a friend this person was. 

“It’s hard to believe that she could so quickly assume that because she sees one behavior of your dog that is the entire only reason you have the dog. I can’t get my head around it.”

“Even if you had deliberately trained your dog to help you in that way, that wouldn’t be bad. Does she think service dogs for the blind are being abused and that their owners have no relationship with their dogs outside of that service?”

“INFO: When you say, ‘I was thoroughly done with her judgmental @ss by that point, and I just asked her to leave,’ it sounds like what you would say after someone had been judgmental about a lot of things up to that point, but the way you tell the story it’s as if she said one weird judgmental thing and you immediately asked her to leave.”

“Was she judgmental about anything else? And as weird as her question was, did you at any point try to answer it?” – bigcup321

“I picked up on that too and assumed this friend has said judgemental things in the past. Because why be done with these two comments and call her judgmental? The friend had to have done this before, and OP either makes excuses for the friend or doesn’t want to really accept the friend doing this.”

“To me, OP is NTA, but I do wonder if maybe the friend was asking like Nala is a service animal and worded it differently.” – Tamtam92

“Your ‘friend’ doesn’t sound like a friend at all. In fact, she sounds like a high school mean girl.” – PunkSpaceAutist

“NTA. How else is she supposed to think? How about thinking that this dog is more than a dog? Somehow this dog realized that its owner had a disability and found a way to help with that. Out of LOVE.”

“This is actually one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. Your friend trying to turn it into some sort of animal exploitation story is twisted and awful. It speaks volumes that she would immediately go there as opposed to seeing this sweet animal as anything other than a caring friend. Actually kind of gross.” – OutrageousLuck4231

“NTA. A lot of dogs actually love working, which is why they’re called working dogs. Also, d**n, has she never heard of a service dog? You can decide how you want to move forward with the friendship but I wouldn’t.” – Ok-Astronaut-2837

The subReddit was completely appalled by the ableist qualities of the friend’s comments about the OP’s relationship with her dog and what Nala may have learned on her own. They argued that her Golden Retriever was much like a person’s emotional support animal, which often adapts its behaviors to match the needs of its owner without any training at all.

Even if the friend was trying to make a joke about the Golden Retriever’s appearance in the videos, they argued that the friend should have been more mindful of what she was saying and how the joke would not land well with her deaf friend.

As for kicking her friend out, the subReddit was unanimous on the OP kicking the friend out of her house and right out of her life.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.