Dogs are wonderful creatures.
Obviously, every dog is different just like people are and some will rub you the wrong way.
What happens, though, when a friend in desperate need asks you to care for a dog that you flat-out do not like?
That was the issue facing a Redditor and Original Poster (OP) when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
The user, who has since deleted both their username and the post, asked:
“AITA For not adopting my dying best friends dog and buying a puppy from a breeder instead?”
OP began with grim news.
“My best friend is dying of cancer.”
“He could pass away any moment.”
Puppies always help, right?
“Today, I was visiting and showed him a picture of the German Shepard puppy I just put a security deposit on. It will be ready to take home in 4 weeks.”
“I’ve always wanted a German Shepard puppy, so I was excited to show him the pictures—and I thought maybe the pictures would bring him at least a moment of joy—even if the moment was fleeting.”
“But instead of sharing my excitement, things became awkward.”
“After a few minutes of awkwardness—I asked him what was wrong.”
“I was blindsided by his response.”
“He said that his cousin, who was supposed to take his 2-year-old Pug named ‘Horace’ could no longer take him and I could save a lot of money by taking his dog.”
OP then got specific about Horace…
“I looked over at Horace and he looked backed at me.”
“Well, he tried to look at me—but he’s got one wondering eye that pretty much is always looking towards the ceiling.”
“I could feel his glare with his good eye though.”
“Horace is not a good dog.”
“This is not me being an a**hole—this is simply me knowing Horace.”
“He’s a little sh*t and on top of that—he sh*ts in the house, and he tears stuff up.”
“He’s always yapping.”
“He’s always wanting something.”
“He doesn’t even know what he wants. He literally just wants to want something. Nonstop.”
“He was never properly trained.”
…and the breed in general.
“Overall, I’m not a fan of the ‘Pug’ dog breed.”
“Their faces look like it’s been hit with a shovel.”
“They are always gasping for air with their eyes bulged out as if they are stranded without a space helmet in the Martian atmosphere.”
“I told my friend, ‘No, thank you. But, I will try to help you find him a good home.'”
‘”Really?’ He says. ‘Are you f-ing kidding me? You’ve known Horace since he was a puppy. “’
‘“I know, that’s why I don’t want him. He’s just—not a good dog.”’
‘“Wow. You are such an a**hole.’ My friend says.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: YTA
Commenters were concerned for the dog.
“Please contact a pug rescue and tell them of the circumstances.”
“They will reassure your best friend they will find a loving home for their Puggie” ~ Proud_Pug
“There are LOTS of people out there looking to adopt a pug, especially a healthy 2-year-old.”
“I hope Horace finds a good home with people who will love him and train him properly.” ~ citoyenne
“If their friend is in the US and in hospice care, they should tell the social workers.”
“This is something they frequently help the family with.”
“My mom is a semi-retired social worker, and they are basically there to support the family through this very difficult time:”
“What they are feeling, end of life planning, placing pets, trying to figure out the right people to contact, finacial aid, like, you name it, and they will do their best to make it happen or at least find the right people that can help the family.” ~ Rdbjiy53wsvjo7
Sometimes how you say it can be more important than what you say.
“Yta not for saying no but for not approaching it with more compassion.”
“I realize he caught you by surprise, but he’s probably really, really worried about Horace’s future.”
“You should tell him that your lifestyle is incompatible with Horace’s needs but that you will do everything that you can to help Horace find a Person or persons who will love him in a way that you can’t.”
“Someone out there will adore him, and as his best friend, you can reassure him that you will look out for Horace when he’s gone.”
“Make a dying man happy, please.” ~ whynousernamelef
“I’ve found that when someone puts me in an awkward position with a question like that, it’s ok to say:”
““I hadn’t considered that, I need to think about it, I’ll let you know in X time’ and you agree on what is a reasonable timeline to make such a decision for both parties.”
“It shows you’ve given it thought and gives you time to formulate a potential ‘no’ compassionately.
“I understand the time pressure with a dying friend, but you’re still under no obligation to make a major decision with such pressure.” ~ tipsykilljoy
“Came here to say this. Semi-YTA.”
“Your best friend doesn’t want you to take the dog. They want peace of mind.”
“Since these are your BFFs dying days, all of these worries become big worries.”
“Say you will take Horace and take care of him until you find him a good home.”
“It’s your best friend!! Who tf cares if you like pugs or not.”
“I said ‘semi’ and that IMO the best thing to do if you don’t want to adopt the dog permanently.”
“I think the best thing to do is to tell him that you will gladly take the dog while you find him a good home.”
“I think saying to a dying man that you ‘don’t want’ their beloved dog because ‘yeah, they just aren’t a good dog’ is an a**hole move.”
“People have very strong feelings about their pets, and I can see the BFF taking offense to this response.”
“A better response would have been:”
“I know Horace since he was a puppy, and I don’t think we’re a good fit, but of course, I would take him while I find him a home that is a good fit for him.”
“And reassure him that you will do your best. No one is forcing a dog on anyone but surely… you could do your bff that favor?” – zucchinidonut
Many pointed out OP’s misunderstanding of the dog breed he owns now.
“LOL – you sweet summer child… “
“You are in for quite a surprise when you bring that German Shepherd puppy home if you have a hard time dealing with Horace.”
“That said, ESH. You are not obligated to take someone else’s dog.”
“I don’t like Pugs either – too many health issues and not something I’d want to take on.”
“However, you could have dealt with it in a kinder way, given the situation. Your response was definitely a-holeish.” ~ Jonquil73
“I get not wanting Horace, but German Shepards are high energy high needs dogs.”
“OP is in for a shock!” ~ Fianna9
Not everyone felt that OP was out of line.
“Unpopular option here- NTA.”
“The OP said that they would help find the dog a good home, and I think that’s the best scenario.”
“You wouldn’t want your dog to go to a home where it is unwanted.”
“I think it’s better for everyone in this situation if the dog is rehoused where it will be loved and appreciated.”
“If the OP does not want the dog- they should not be forced to take it or seen as an AH.” ~ shitpoet99
“You’re allowed to want whatever dog you want.”
“People on here saying, ‘You should’ve given this perfect, diplomatic answer!’ are sitting behind their phones with as much time in the world as they want to come up with a response, not being blindsided by a dying friend.”
“Your friend is also concerned about what will happen to his dog.”
“He wasn’t graceful in his approach, but… You know, he’s dying.”
“I’m willing to cut him some slack.” ~ d1rkgent1y
“Yeah somehow being direct and speaking facts makes you an A H?”
“Totally agree with your answer. Adopting a dog is like choosing a partner for many years.”
“Everyone is better off when you choose someone you truly want.”
“OP wants a specific breed, great!”
“People attacking OP like ‘omg you’re in for a ride bc it’s a puppy or it’s a specific breed’ maybe haven’t calculated that when it’s something you want you have more patience for it?”
“NAH” ~ YDKftw
Dogs are as unique as people.
I’ve had dogs that were kind and calm and others that were hyper and destructive.
None of these dogs were bad. They just required different levels of attention and different kinds of care.
Just like people.
The problem here wasn’t declining the offer – you have to have a partner – animal or otherwise – that compliments you and who you compliment.
The problem was the cruelty that came with OP’s refusal – telling a dear dying friend that their beloved animal wasn’t good enough to be cared for.