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Woman Bans SIL’s Family From Her House Over Comments They Made About Her ‘Stupid’ Dog

Dog lying on woman's lap at home.

Dogs are a huge lifelong responsibility.

They have to be walked outside for the bathroom and their exercise.

There is no doggy litter or playpen that suffices.

And they are often the pet that needs the most training.

But for many, they are more than worth the extra work.

Not all people get that.

It’s ok. Everyone doesn’t have to be a dog lover.

But non-dog lovers can get very ornery when people pay their Fido too much attention.

Case in point…

Redditor Still-Orchid-7754 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for deciding my S[ister] I[n] L[aw] and family are no longer welcome at our house?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Background: In September 2021 my (now) Fiancé (M[ale] 34) and I (F[emale] 29) got a dog.”

“We were living next door to my I[n]-L[aws] at the time (on their property) and it had recently been proposed that the condo above ours be rented out by my Sister-in-Law (Pam) and her family.”

“I was not a fan of this proposal and did not see myself living in some sort of commune with my partner’s entire immediate family, as I perceive them as very dominant and controlling.”

“Back to the dog – my In-Laws said that was fine, as the current renters above us already had a dog and they wanted to be fair.”

“Shortly thereafter we get a call from Pam chiding us for getting a dog without ‘consulting her.'”

“This confused everyone and led to a huge argument, in which it became clear, that she is scared of/disgusted by dogs.”

“We ended up buying our own home nearby to circumvent all of this family drama and are happy here.”

“The issue with the dog has still caused drama because we are not allowed to bring it to any family functions that she attends.”

“We try to be forthcoming and understanding, as we do not think everyone needs to have the same affinity for animals.”

“Fast forward to recently: Pam asks, why we don’t put more effort into hanging out with her and her kids.”

“I say it’s because it is very hard to coordinate a dog-sitter on the fly and would be easier if she could imagine meeting us halfway by accommodating our lifestyle, as we try to accommodate hers.”

“She said no because she is now traumatized after losing a child to an infection during the last weeks of pregnancy and having to accept that our dog has a place in the family but her child doesn’t.”

“We don’t quite understand this, but don’t want to argue/be insensitive about trauma, so we took her by her word.”

“At the last meeting, she said she would like to be invited to our place more often and asked her daughter (4) if she would like to visit us.”

“Her daughter said, ‘Only if that stupid dog isn’t there.'”

“I kind of just sat there, waiting for her to correct her daughter for being derogatory but she sort of seemed to sit there with a satisfaction, as if this proved her point, that even her kids are terrified of animals and therefore must be accommodated.”

“I felt so disrespected and felt like my safe space was under attack and left this meeting saying that they are no longer welcome in our home and that all meetings will have to take place somewhere else. “

“My In-Laws think I am taking it too personally and being too extreme.”

The OP was left to wonder:


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. I almost think you’ve tried to be too reasonable with irrational people and they see your niceties as weakness and are honing in on them.”

“SIL has seen you get a dog sitter for events and not force the issue of acceptance.”

“She’s going to eventually want you to get rid of the dog if you continue to give her ground.”

“Draw a line. You’ve made accommodations, you’ve made compromises but no more.”

“They have to accept you have a dog and he is a living creature with needs, and while that might not be their life choice it is yours.”

“SIL’s choice was to raise a bratty kid (not the kid’s fault) that wouldn’t be your choice).” ~ opheliasdinosaur

“NTA. OP, you can also try contacting your local ASPCA or Humane Society, or private shelter to see if there is an Animal Behaviorist/Psychologist on staff who may be available (for a fee/donation) to assess and give you some private classes in behavior modification.”

“That’s what I did with my last dog, and although there were still a few certain situations where we couldn’t take her, overall, it was really beneficial.” ~ AffectionateYoung300

“NTA. SIL does not have automatic visitation rights to your house.”

“I would recommend further training with the dog however because it is going to be very socially limiting if you cannot do anything without the dog/a dogsitter.” ~ Fearless_Spring5611

OP answered…

“Thanks for your response.”

“It is already very socially limiting. We are working with a trainer but take the responsibility for the animal we committed to very seriously.”

“It is easier because most people just come to our house to hang out or invite us over along with our dog.” 

Reddit continued…

“I had a rescue with a similar trauma.”

“It took a few years for him to feel comfortable alone.”

“You’re doing good by working with it instead of against it- it takes longer and is a little inconvenient but it actually helps on a deeper level than just ‘Oh leave him alone he’ll be fine.'”

“SIL needs to get a grip and stop reading the echo chamber of the pet-free comment sections.” ~ MortynMurphy

“And the 4-year-old is obviously just repeating her mom’s feelings about dogs and has probably basically talked herself into believing she also hates dogs.”

“Will cause more harm than good if/when she encounters one and screams about it which will startle the dog and might actually cause some real harm.” ~ KetoLurkerHere

“Have you thought about a friend for your dog?”

“My boy had severe separation anxiety, I couldn’t even pee without him being in the room with me.”

“Getting him an older dog buddy and very slowly leaving him for increasing amounts of time, means I can now leave them alone for a few hours.”

“By slowly, I started putting my coat on, leaving the house for 20-30 seconds, then lengthened it to a minute, then a 5 min walk up the street.”

“It took a few years but having another dog really helped calm him and he is never alone.” ~ Crafty-Gardener

“Look for a behaviorist — it’s a vet who combines the medical side of vet care with training.”

“Most trainers are not equipped to handle a dog with severe anxiety and reactivity.”

“Your vet could probably make some recommendations as they can be tough to find.”

“It’s a specialty practice.” ~ benji950

“NTA. I have so many things as a reply to your SIL but none of them is nice.”

“So I am just going to go with this: next time she brings that up I would say ‘You are welcome to come but the dog stays, if it suits you-fine if it does not-thug life, we can hang out in public places.'”

“‘However you will not be welcomed back in my life if you keep insulting my dog and my decisions in life.'”

“‘If you mind the dog-don’t come, there are plenty of other options and my home is obviously not suitable for you.

“‘I will not change my life to make it suitable for you as I do not owe you anything.'”

“I bet she will have some toxic reply as she clearly is on such a low level that she is willing to induce fear from animals to her own children to prove a point however that will only allow you to go low or no contact.”

“Which would be great in the long run as she will never stop pushing the limits as long as someone is willing to compromise and then even more so until she gets her own way.” ~ Nobody-One

OP came back with an Update…

“Our dog is a rescue and cannot be left unattended, which is what makes the planning tricky on our end.”

“Yes, we have tried working with a trainer on this and no, it has not helped.”

“Yes, I am aware that bringing your dog everywhere is not the ‘standard social protocol.'”

“I tried to convey as much in this post, but just in case that wasn’t clear…”

“I don’t expect everyone to accommodate me with my pets.”

“But that also means I might not be able to make it to social events or accept invitations.”

Reddit continued…

“It sounds like you are handling this the best you can.”

“I also adopted a dog that ended up needing much more attention than usual and had aggression issues around some other dogs.”

“When we got him, he was emaciated, very weak and docile.”

“The rescue thought he was a Golden Retriever/Lab mix.”

“I had him DNA tested and it turned out he was a German Shepherd/Chow mix and with very strong protective instincts.”

“Once I got him healthy (he gained 20lbs of muscle) he was a force to be reckoned with!”

“And like I said he was very protective of me, my husband, and even our cats and our other dog.”

“I worked diligently with a trainer, and all that came of it is that I found a really good harness that gave me complete control over him.”

“But I always had to be situationally aware of other animals and even people around him.”

“And I had only 1 person who could care for him (other than my husband) if I/we were out of town.”

“All this to say NTA! Your home, your priorities!”

“And I completely understand you made a commitment to that dog and are going to do the right things for it.”

“I applaud you!!” ~ 2K9Dare

“NTA. I don’t even care if my dogs can be left with somebody else, they are family members and I have nothing to do with people who are openly hateful towards them.”

“Not wanting a dog or not being the biggest fan is one thing, but expressing hate is a deal-breaker, the same as it would be if somebody had an issue with another member of the family without provocation.”

“I wouldn’t even want my child around such an influence.” ~ Ok_Homework_7621

Well, OP, Reddit is with you. You’re being a responsible pet owner.

And you’re not the one making demands or asking for favors

It sounds like your SIL could benefit from some therapy.

Maybe her brother could mention it.