There’s a certain level of responsibility that must be taken in caring for a living creature. If you aren’t ready to meet it, it may be best you aren’t the one to take care of it, whether it’s a puppy or a child.
But can you compare how someone treats a dog to how they would treat a human? Redditor throwawaypuppymaster did, and is now wondering if he did the right thing.
The original poster (OP) took his question to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to be judged for his actions.
“AITA if I tell my wife I don’t want to have kids because I don’t think she can look after them well.”
His situation was:
“I’ve (32M) been married to my Wife(29F) for about 7 years. We have discussed having kids before but we always said to wait a couple of years until our careers were more stable.”
“We’ve been enjoying our child-free lives but about a year back, we decided things were going pretty well for us and thought it’s about time we had our baby (working from home also frees up alot of time for extra-curricular activities) We haven’t had any luck so far but we’re having the ‘when it happens, it happens” mentality so we’re not rushing anything.”
“Sometime around Oct last year, Wife suggested that we should get a puppy.”
“We’re both animal lovers and we though it was a great time since both of us would be at home and we could watch over and house train it. We got the puppy and we both love him dearly.”
“But ever since we got him, I’ve had to bathe, feed, and clean up after him. Don’t get me wrong, she helps out as well but I would say it’s in a 90/10% ratio.”
“It gets extremely tiring after awhile and sometimes I just want to kick my feet up, have a nice beer and watch tv without being interrupted with ‘Hey, the puppy just peed! Can you come clean it up!’”
“It carried on for a couple of months and a couple of nights ago after a long zoom session for work, I exploded and told her that she needs to do her share of looking after the puppy and I’m tired of being the one who does all the work.”
“She told me I was being calculative and trying to under mine her. I told her that its clear that I’ve been doing all the dirty work and all wants to do is play with the puppy.”
“This is where I might have gone too far. I told her if I cant trust her to look after our puppy how can I trust her to look after a baby.”
“If we had a baby, I won’t be able to take cleaning up after him all the time and she had to do her share as well. If she was going to act the same way, I would rather not have a kid.”
“She screamed at me, burst out into tears and left the house. She has been staying at her parents for a few days now but things don’t really seem to be improving.”
“Her parents are telling me it was a horrible thing to say as a looking after a puppy is not the same as a baby and that she would make a great mum and that I should come over and apologize to make things right.”
“Personally, I feel like it was harsh yet I had to make a stand. I wouldn’t know what to do if a baby comes along and she continues acting the same way.”
“So reddit, aita for the way I acted?”
On the AITA board, people are judged using these acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
A lot can be said on the difference between caring for a puppy and caring for a baby, but in the end, OP was judged as NTA.
“Coming from someone who does have kids…NTA.”
“Her response is typical of someone who lacks insight and objectivity. Yes, a Dog and a Child are not the same, but people who act this way often carry it into parenthood.”
“If you asked me, you dodged a bullet there.”
“Do NOT reproduce with this person if you want equality in a relationship.” – EyMyGuy
“NTA, yeah it was a harsh thing to say, & in the future you need to talk about this sorta stuff rather than holding it until you explode.”
“But your logic isn’t exactly off the mark, a puppy is a hell of a lot easier to care for than a human.”
“So if she’s doing close to nothing & relying completely on you, & you may not have the time to do the same for a child, then I’d just reiterate what I started with – that you should communicate these things earlier to avoid a blow up situation.” – tightlittlelucy
“NTA it’s true, looking after a puppy is nothing like looking after a baby. looking after a baby is so much more demanding and difficult, and it’s insane to want to have one if this is how she raises a puppy” – rye-dread
“NTA. Why do her parents believe that “she would make a great mom” when she has a living, breathing creature in her care that she’s NOT taking care of?”
“I have had dogs and I now have children.. If she can’t deal with the puppy going potty on the floor then she can’t deal with a baby. My 2month old has had a poo explosion THREE TIMES TODAY!” – PolitePineapple
That’s not to say there weren’t dissenting opinions. The topic actually led to a lot of debate on caring for a human versus caring for an animal.
Some people are just built different.
“YTA. Kids and pets are NOT the same.”
“My husband looks after our 11yo dog, always has because I’m not that keen on looking after her. We have 2 kids under 3 and I do the lions share of the work and our kids are kept happy (meh, reasonably), clean and fed at all times because they’re our kids. It’s not a fair comparison at all.”
“It’s like saying you should’t have a pet because you don’t look after your lawn, ridiculous.” – rebelmumma
“She committed to something and then she straight dropped the ball, wether or not good with dog = good with baby is ultimately irrelevant. She took on a dog knowing what that would entail.”
“As for ‘you shouldn’t have a pet because you don’t look after your lawn’ that’s oversimplified.”
“If someone pushed for a lawn, talked about how amazing it would be, how now they have the time to really make a lovely lawn, and then.. They don’t do anything for upkeep?”
“They see a weed and instead of pulling it themselves they go to their partner and say ‘Hey, there’s a weed in our lawn.’ It starts to look shaggy? ‘Hey, our lawn needs to be mowed.’ That says something about a person.” – L41NEchroma
“It’s normal (or at least should be) to discuss division of labor before having a child. While pets aren’t comparable to babies, it is a little taste of the responsibility required.”
“She’s showing you two things here. One, that she expects to do the fun stuff and not the work. And two that she doesn’t communicate.”
“There are tons of reasons why she might not be pulling her share with the dog, but she just gets defensive and runs off to her parents.”
“That said, I would prefer to change a diaper to picking up dog poop. Gagging or being grossed out by poop doesn’t mean you’ll be a bad parent.” – primroseandlace
“But at the same time OP is not properly communicating, since he said nothing for months and then exploded.”
“Also, no ones potty trained this dog in MONTHS of owning it? Both are being bad dog owners there.” – tanyas_dusk
From here, OP’s path isn’t very clear. On one hand, he can apologize and assure his wife that he didn’t mean it, but it sounds like that’s not the case.
On the other hand, he can stand his ground, and try to convince his wife that he needs help with the puppy and the eventual baby.
Whatever he chooses, hopefully things work out for this couple.