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Woman Called ‘Selfish’ By MIL For Refusing To Give Her Partner’s Autistic Brother Her New Puppy

A young woman playfully caresses her puppy

Everybody (well, mostly everybody) loves a puppy.

They especially love to show them off to friends and family.

But what happens when someone claims to feel a deeper kinship with your fur baby?

Case in point…

Redditor Minute-Shop1802 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 not giving my puppy away to a kid with autism?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I 22 F[emale] have three dogs, one of which is the puppy in question.”

“I recently got him.”

“We traveled out of town with him to see my in-laws and my B[est] F[riend]’s autistic nephew were there.”

“He immediately took to my puppy, and they spent most of the trip hanging out.”

“His mom and M[other] I[n] L[aw] said they’ve never seen him take to an animal like that and that he and my puppy have something special.”

“Well, when we were leaving, he had a complete meltdown because he knew we were taking the puppy.”

“His mom suggested we could let him stay and get a new puppy, and MIL agreed.”

“I said absolutely not because he’s mine, and I picked him out.”

“If they want him to have a puppy, they can go get him one.”

“They said it’s not that easy as my puppy is calm, and they took to each other, which they did, but still he’s mine.”

“My boyfriend told me on the ride home his mom was saying a lot about me being selfish and cruel and he was wondering if we should’ve just left him.”


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. He’s your dog.”

“He’s not your MIL’s dog or your S[ister] I[n] L[aw]’s dog.”

“Being autistic is not a magic ‘everything I see belongs to me’ card.”

“This was a completely unreasonable request.”  ~ _mmiggs_

“No, it could definitely be a meltdown.”

‘Autistic people are inherently anxious people; we don’t handle unexpected changes well.”

“Given the attitudes of these parents, I can almost guarantee you that neither of them bothered to explain that the puppy was visiting for a set period and would have to go back home after that.”

“Kid genuinely believed the dog was there to stay, which means he’s not just having a meltdown because his world has unexpectedly changed in a way he wasn’t prepared for.”

“He also feels that he was lied to about it!”

“I’m also willing to bet that he might have even started to accept that the dog was leaving but was understandably upset and needed to be alone to grieve.”

“But wasn’t allowed to leave the room to do so because Mommy and Daddy going through the entire ritual of ‘saying goodbye’ was apparently more important than the fact that their son just lost his first best friend and needs some alone time.”

“All that pressure builds up, and you get a meltdown.”

“Kid is grieving, the kid feels lied to, the kid is overwhelmed and needs space to process this whole mess but no one is letting him have that space.” ~ VGSchadenfreude

“Yes! I am sure that MIL and his mom did not explain that the puppy was only visiting, and that is why he was so upset.”

“It is also possible that, after they started thinking that OP should give them the puppy, they could have even also said things like ‘Oh look, you love puppy, would you like to have this puppy for your own’ etc.”

“I would be willing to bet that they did, and the boy started imagining and planning his new life with a puppy because he believed them.”

“Then it turns out they weren´t telling the truth, and he couldn´t have the puppy, causing him to meltdown because it was too much for him to handle all at once, especially in front of everybody. It is just chaos and pressure inside his head.”

“OP is still NTA, it is her puppy, but I think mom and MIL are in a-hole territory.” ~ Crafty_Dog_4674

“Speaking for myself: because ‘sounds like a tantrum’ is in the above thread.”

“I am autistic – as a child, I experienced similar situations, and there were reasons for melting down.

“It stings to be dismissed as a brat having a tantrum when it isn´t the case.”

“So I thought I would contribute from the child´s point of view why it is not a tantrum, with some possible reasons.”

“I don´t think anything I said was impossible, even if it wasn´t spelled out in the original post.”

“Of course, it could have been completely different. We don´t know.”

“But just presenting some food for thought.”

“I did not post it on the top level as a judgment but rather as a response to this lower level thread.”

“Anyway, I still said NTA for OP: meltdown or not. He doesn´t have a claim on her puppy.”  ~ Crafty_Dog_4674

“NTA. Also, as someone who has cared for dogs and raised and trained them for over 25 years, a new puppy is not for autistic children.”

“I don’t know what type of autism your nephew has, but you need a specialized dog for autistic children.”

“You should tell your MIL and SIL that.”  ~ brandonbluntly

“NTA, and I’ve been in this situation before.”

“My daughter has the most lovely mini long-haired dachshund.”

“My cousin has an autistic son who is terrified of most animals, but took to him (he was a 6m puppy), and our pup, who isn’t keen on being picked up when he’s hyper, allowed him and loved him too.”

“There were things thrown out how he loved him and needed him, and my daughter was near losing a gasket listening to it.”

“We told them we are planning to stud him and that his personality is very in line with other dogs of his breed and encouraged them to look at those, but that he was my daughter.”

“Thankfully there wasn’t much pushback but man in that initial conversation moments I was so terrified where it would go!”

“The best thing they could do is find a rescue he can interact with dogs with and see who’s a good fit.”

“We did that for our oldest and found a rescue mix who just gravitated to him and is his pup thru and through.”  ~ mamawheels36

“Besides they treat the puppy like a toy.”

“It was just pure ‘Oh the nephew wants it so you should just give it to him and buy another one from the store’ without thinking about if SIL can provide everything the puppy needs and how will the other dogs that OP will react.”

“Animals are not things they are family.”

“And yes the nephew needs to learn boundaries and the meaning of NO even if he has a mental disability.”

“OP NTA.”  ~ DivineJerziboss

“Some people don’t understand that when a person takes in a pet, they bond with it.”

“And it bonds with them. Asking most pet owners for their pet is darn close to asking a person for their child.”

“Boyfriend is obviously like his mother and sister, thinking of pets as possessions.”

“I don’t know that I would trust him around the puppy or around any of my stuff in general.”

“I grew up in a family that was like this too.”

“I can promise you if my cousin had gotten attached to my dog, my mother would have forced me to gift it to him, without question.”

“NTA – OP watch your boyfriend, chip and register the puppy in your name, and if you don’t live with your boyfriend make sure his access is as limited as possible.”

“I would also watch for SIL or MIL to ‘visit.'”

“They don’t seem to understand that saying ‘no’ to an autistic child is important and that they need to learn and respect that term.”

“If they want him to bond with a dog they should take him to local shelters. I’m sure if they expose him to a variety of dogs he will find another that is patient and he will bond with.”

“But asking others for their animal and expecting it to be handed over sounds like something from the middle ages when a prince saw a horse that he wanted so the queen demanded it be surrendered to her child immediately, or heads would roll.” ~ False-Importance-741

“A puppy is a living thing that is a member of the household, not a f**king teddy bear you can replace with an identical copy off the same manufacturing line.”

“If your MIL asked you to hand over your child to your SIL because your child befriended hers, you’d call her crazy.”

“This is more like handing over a child than handing over an object. NTA.”  ~ Kittenn1412

“NTA. Make sure your puppy is microchipped because I can see your boyfriend ‘giving’ your puppy to his family and trying to gaslight you into accepting it.”

“Or telling you it ‘ran away.'”

“Have all of the puppy’s adoption papers and save all of its vet bills to show the police when you inevitably have to press charges for theft.”  ~ mycatsitslikeppl

“NTA. IF they search I’m sure they can find a calm puppy for him as well.”

“It’s just lazy to search for a bit, and also probably used to trying to give him everything that he wants as to prevent meltdowns.”

“But a dog is not an ice cream you can just give away whenever.” ~ MousingJoke

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You love your dog.

Don’t feel guilty about refusing to give it away.

Fur babies are an important part of the family fabric.

Just giving them away is not a “request” anyone should make of others.

This sounds like a messy situation.

Stay strong.