Those of us who have pets and love our pets understand, unfortunately, that there are some people who simply don’t see what we see in our furry companions.
But one young woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit discovered some people who dislike animals can take that dislike to a very dark place.
Redditor c**kwithout-c-**-k was in a difficult position with his neighbors, who thought they would take matters into their own hands.
The Original Poster (OP) was later unsure of how to respond to their demands.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for ‘cursing out’ my neighbor in front of her kids?”
The OP has had a dog for the past 12 years.
“I’m a 21-year-old female, Mickey is a 12-year-old Akita that I’ve had for all twelve years.”
“For some context, I live in a residential neighborhood that was recently gated off. I walk Mickey every day.”
“By the time I turned nine, he was too big for me to take on walks, so I trained him to walk in front of me on our walks. He only walks about 10 feet in front.”
“Mickey has never been away from me for more than 24 hours.”
A new family in the neighborhood didn’t appreciate OP having her dog.
“A bit ago a family moved in a few houses down. There’s the mum (M), Dad (D), and twin children.”
“D watched me walk Mickey and thought he was a stray.”
“I explained how our walks usually go and thought that was that. It. Was. Not.”
But the OP underestimated how much the family disliked her dog.
“Four days ago, I came home and Mickey was not in my yard.”
“I freaked out because he’s always there.”
“I went through our neighborhood, posted in every ‘Missing Pet’ Facebook group I could find, and posted in our neighborhood group chat saying he was missing.”
“Fast forward to yesterday, by now I am going out of my mind. I finally decide to go door to door, and after a few houses, I’m at MD’s place.”
“M opens the door as D is coming in from the kitchen. I explain to M that Mickey is missing, and she offers sympathy.”
“As I’m getting ready to leave, D joins the conversation. He immediately says, ‘Baby, tell her about the dog you found.'”
“M goes on to tell me how she found a dog wandering around IN MY YARD, OPENED THE GATE, AND TOOK HIM OUT.”
“At this point, I’m not even registering the fact that she removed my dog from my property, I’m just excited because I think she might have him somewhere.”
“Before I can ask, she explains how she GAVE HIM TO ONE OF HER FRIENDS because she thought he was a stray.”
“I explained that it was my dog, and she (somewhat reluctantly) gave me a name and address.”
“I go over there and am met with a mother and 2 kids.”
“I tell this mother (TM) that the dog she got is my dog, and show her pictures of him. She doesn’t argue or anything and I load him into my car and drive home.”
The issue unfortunately didn’t stop there.
“This morning, I get a message. It’s a screenshot of a mom group on FB.”
“M and TM are going back and forth saying things like, ‘How would she think taking a dog from a kid is ok?’ and my personal favorite, ‘She’s had enough time with him, she should let others have a turn.'”
“They had manipulated the story so it looked like I took their dog, and there were other moms criticizing.”
The OP then confronted her neighbors.
“P**sed off, I went over to M and D’s house and shouted at her.”
“I’ll admit that I did say a few curse words, but it was generally just me saying things like, ‘You’re acting as if he’s a toy people can take turns with!’ and ‘He was on my property!'”
“I’ve been called an a**hole by M (again on FB) for ‘cussing me out in front of my kids’ and ‘causing emotional stress she’s not fit to deal with.'”
“I kinda feel like an AH because I could’ve just let it pass without saying anything, and I might have actually let a few curse words slip in the vicinity of children (although I’m 95% sure that school-age kids are in face to face school in my area.)”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
A few were incredibly peeved by the neighbors’ behavior and the Facebook group.
“Seriously! Holy heck, who does this!!?????”
“‘She’s had enough time with him, others should have a turn??’ What’s next – she decides she’s had enough time with her kid and wants someone else to be the parent????” – KeepLkngForIntllgnce
“How could you ever be the AH here? She committed theft. File a police report and say you’d like to press charges. The Facebook convos should be more than adequate for evidence. NTA.” – TheRestForTheWicked
“NTA. M sounds insane. Who takes a dog from someone else’s yard and gives it away? Wtf? And acting like they’re owed “a turn”? That’s super weird.” – lihzee
Some said the OP needed to report the neighbor to prevent incidences like this from happening again.
“I hope screenshots were taken of the conversations, especially if they admit that the dog was removed etc” – techsupportvictim
“Screenshot all of the FB and other social media crap and take this to the police as well. This was malicious.” – Right-Mind2723
“While you are at it; padlock that gate and put up NO TRESPASSING signs!” – Ok-Pomegranate-3018
“She admitted that she went onto your property and stole your dog. It sounds like TM could even be charged with receiving stolen property because from the conversation it appears she knew what happened.”
“File a police report and get a restraining order and cameras. These people are crazy. Who knows what they’ll do next.” – Fantastic_Ad2318
“This might be the ultimate in pettiness, but I would post to the neighborhood Facebook group to let them know that the dog was never lost, it was actually stolen and to be aware that this woman may steal someone else’s pet and give it away.” – PaganCHICK720
Others questioned why the OP hadn’t done that already.
“Uhhh…. she literally stole your dog from your property. She already committed the crime. Why are you balking at this???”
“I’m getting very ‘yeah yeah I’ll do it….not’ vibes here. Protect your dog!” – alcoholic_dinosaur
“Not taking care of this NOW makes OP the AH in my eyes, too. They need to do everything they can to protect their dog!” – SenpaiRanjid
“This woman STOLE YOUR DOG! Like I don’t even know what you are questioning here!”
“She took your dog and gave it to her friend, then she wasn’t going to tell you where your dog was unless her husband stepped in. Then she spread false rumors about you on Facebook!”
“Sis, you need to press charges on this woman ASAP!!”
“Not really sure why you are second-guessing yourself here but if someone did this with my dog I would not be able to control myself! They would be lucky if I called the cops on them rather than handle things on my own.” – elvtd1
Some also criticized the OP for being “careless” in her care for her Akita.
“I mean the neighbor lady trespassed to do it. And she’s making more drama on Facebook and has an ax to grind. She could suddenly claim the dog bit her and OP would be in some shit as they could have something against her with the fact that the dogs not leashed.”
“OP definitely needs to contact the police but she can’t keep going around with her dog off-leash with these crazy people around, and unfortunately Akitas can have a reputation.”
“OP, maybe get a gentle leader.”
“I weigh 95lbs and my otterhound is built and weighs 130. She’s a hound dog and she follows her nose. When her nose turns on her ears turn off. The gentle leader goes around her snout, so I control her face.”
“Harnesses let the dog put their full body weight into pulling, normal leashes are just as hard. I always have full control of my dog. OP is going to need to show they have control of their dog with all this drama popping off. Protect your dog.”
“And it’s really not ok to walk a dog off-leash. Two months ago my neighbor was going door to door trying to find a guy who was walking a brindle pit that was off-leash. It killed her Chihuahua.”
“Neighbor is a huge a**hole but leash your dog” – Enilognewd
“Also, don’t leave your dog alone in your yard when you’re not home. Even with a locked gate, unscrupulous people with an ax to grind will find a way to screw you over.”
“Crate your dog in the house. If he’s got separation anxiety and/or destroys things, just don’t leave him alone in an area where other people can have unsupervised access to him.”
“That’s how he either gets stolen again or lawsuits happen” – Witchywomun
The OP shared an update after receiving the sub’s advice.
“PLEASE READ THE UPDATE AND ITS COMMENTS.”
“I filed a report as of ten minutes ago.”
“I will be walking Mickey on a leash as soon as it is deemed safe for him to be walked around the neighborhood again.”
“I will be stopping to pick up the cameras and a lock after my shift.”
“Thank you to everyone.”
Obviously, the neighbor was in the wrong for stealing someone’s dog and for rehoming it, let alone suggesting the OP had “enough time” with her own pet.
But as it was pointed out by the sub, these newly completed tasks the OP performed will make her an even better pet owner and will ensure the safety and happiness of her dog.