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Redditor Berated For Refusing To Follow Sister’s ‘Pretentious’ List Of Dogsitting Instructions

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It’s not uncommon for dog owners to treat their dog not simply as a pet, but as a full fledged member of the family.

But there are those who believe that pets are animals, not people, and thus don’t require, and shouldn’t be treated with the same care and attention as human beings.

Redditor EnvironmentalDraw945 certainly felt this way and their opinion didn’t change one bit after watching their sister’s dog for the weekend.

But after being scolded by their sister for the manner in which they looked after her dog, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole”, (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:

“AITA for letting my sister’s dog be a dog?”

The OP began his post by openly expressing their opinion on how their sister treated her dog, and how dogs should be treated in general.

My sister (30) got herself a dog for her birthday in October. “

“He’s a large shelter dog.”

“Since she’s single with no kids, she completely spoils this dog.”

“I got nothing against it but a dog is a dog.”

“She constantly makes excuses that she can’t do this or that or this cause of the dog.”

“For example, we signed up for a painting class.”

“The class was from 3pm to 6pm.”

“She didn’t stay for the full class for she had to get home to her dog.”

So, the OP was less than thrilled when their sister asked them to watch her dog for the weekend, and became even less excited after reading their sister’s list of rules.

“Anyway last weekend, she needed to out of town for work.”

“Because it cost too much board him for two days, she asked if I would watch him and she would pay me Monday.”

“I said fine.”

“The dog came with a long list of ‘instructions’ which I thought was very pretentious.”

“-No people food.”

“-Don’t leave him outside.”

“-Plug in his heater for him at night.”

“-Two walks, an hour of play.”

“-Be sure a certain squeaky toy was in his kennel at night.”

“The list went on.”

“Again this a dog, not a baby.”

“I put the dog in my back yard and pretty much forgot about him.”

“I made sure he had plenty of food and water though.”

“He mostly ran around, barked and dug a hole which I didn’t mind.”

“I even tossed him a couple bites of chicken which he loved.”

After reuniting with her dog, the OP’s sister was less than thrilled to learn that their sibling ignored every single rule she left them with.

“My sister picked him up Monday.”

“I called her Tuesday to ask about the money and she went off on me. “

“Somehow she found out I just left him out in the yard all weekend (I dunno how but I suspect a family friend told her).”

“She said she wasn’t paying me anything and I wasn’t going to watch the dog ever again.”

“She later sent me a copy of a vet bill cause of fleas.”

“Dogs get fleas.”

“I am refusing to pay cause her dog got to be a dog for a weekend.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular issue by declaring:

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

The OP found little to no support from the Reddit community, with everyone agreeing fairly unanimously that they were, indeed the a**hole for the way they treated their sister’s dog.

Just about everyone agreed the list the OP’s sister left them with was more than reasonable, and if they weren’t willing to follow those rules, particularly when they were being paid, they shouldn’t have agreed to watch the dog in the first place.


“The list you provided does not seem that atrocious.”

“No people food – This is sensible.”

“Not all ‘people food’ is good for dogs, and depending on how it’s fed, this can encourage bad behavior like begging, and jumping.”

“Don’t leave him outside – There’s lots of great reasons for this, like the dog getting loose, getting fleas or ticks, weather, strangers interacting with the dog in a harmful manner etc.”

“Plug in his heater for him at night – This may be a bit much, but hey, who doesn’t like to be warm at night.”

“Two walks, an hour of play – Oh no! “

“She wants to make sure the dog gets adequate exercise and stimulation.”

“How dare she.”

“Be sure a certain squeaky toy was in his kennel at night – Dogs have preferences like people do.”

“If a certain toy helps him settle at night or keep him occupied until you’re up to let him out in the morning, why not?”

“You were hired by your sister to do a particular job, which was dog-sit to her specifications.”

“You didn’t do that job and even left the dog with fleas.”-0biterdicta.


“If you can’t respect someone’s rules, don’t lie and say that you can.”

“You know why your sister didn’t want her dog to be given ‘people food’? Here’s why:”

“A lot of ‘people food’ can make dogs sick.”

“For some foods like onion and garlic, the effect builds up over time.”

“So the dog might seem fine and then suddenly become very, very sick with something like organ failure which is expensive or impossible to treat.”

“Giving dogs ‘people food’ teaches them to beg.”

“Your sister doesn’t want her dog barking/whining at her every time she eats something.”

“Dog food is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs.”

“If you feed them a bunch of random scraps, they might stop eating their dog food because they’re no long hungry.”

“Then they can develop nutrient deficiencies.”

“Alternatively, they could be consuming a lot more calories than they need and become overweight which has serious health implications.”

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but do you know why your sister didn’t want you to just ‘leave the dog outside and forget about it’, as you said you did?”

“Here’s why:”

“The dog could have escaped and been hit by a car.”

“The dog could have eaten something toxic (many common plants are poisonous to dogs).”

“The dog could have gotten injured.”

“The dog could have developed bad habits like barking continuously or digging.”

“Maybe you don’t care, but maybe your sister wants her yard intact.”

“Or maybe she doesn’t want to get evicted because her dog barks too much or lose her renter’s deposit because of all the holes in the fence.”- mr_mini_doxie.


“None of those are unreasonable things to ask of a PAID dog sitter.”

“Id be pissed too.”-CutesPDX.

“If you weren’t willing to actually take care of the dog, why did you offer to do so?”

“YTA.”- GlitterSparkleDevine.


“No one forced you to watch the dog.”

“If you weren’t going to do it the way she wanted, then you should have refused.”

“At the very least, you shouldn’t have left him outside the entire time, knowing how she feels about the dog.”

“How would you feel if you loaned someone your car, and they brought it back dirty, with trash inside, scratches on the seats, and put a lower grade fuel in it than you had instructed, simply because they thought you baby your car?”

“The dog is her property.”

You don’t get to tell her how she should care for it.”

“You don’t have to like it, but it’s really not your business.”-Red-belliedOrator.

Regardless of how the OP felt about the way their sister raised their dog, it’s hard not to be surprised that they wouldn’t have taken more care watching the very same dog they know their sister adores.

Here’s hoping this doesn’t cause a permanent rift in their relationship.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.