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Woman Refuses To Let Neighborhood Boy Near Her Dog After Overhearing His Plans To Steal It

Angela Auclair/GettyImages

They say kids say the darnedest things. And while that may be true, not everything that comes out of their mouth is cute.

But to what extent should adults really take what a child says seriously—especially when it’s something that is harmful in nature?

That’s what Redditor lrhun—a dog owner—dealt with after overhearing a neighbor’s kid declaring something she found to be disturbing.

So she turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA For refusing to let my neighbors’ kid interact with my dog?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I need to explain some context, so bear with me.”

“I have an Australian Shepherd who loves attention and wants nothing more in life than be spoiled rotten by every human being. And most of the time I’m okay with that.”

“Except with a boy, about 11 or 12 years old, that has started making really uncomfortable comments.”

“I walk my dog daily and most of the time neighbors pet her. Since [the pandemic], I have asked people to not pet her or get too close since social distancing is a must for me.”

“My neighbors’ kid hasn’t taken this well and every time I ask him to please respect our space, he gets mad and says things along the line of how he would care for her better or how she loves him more.”

“One time he even commented, and this is an actual quote: ‘Then just give her to me. I am better for her than you.'”

“Again, this is a child talking to me, an adult woman. Well, this has been going on for a while and the comments kept happening. For the most part I ignored it as a spoiled child. Seen them a lot at work.”

“That was until I heard him from my window talking to his friends about how he was planning to steal her while I was out for groceries because apparently I’m a bad owner for asking people not to pet her while I social distance.”

“That was the end of the rope for me and I went to my neighbors and talked with them. Both the parents were incredibly apologetic and told me they would talk with their son.”

“And then the grandma got involved and yelled at me. According to the grandmother, I was a horrible person denying a boy his dream dog. And if I was a better person I would give her to him. That someone like me couldn’t possibly understand the bond of a boy and his dog. This went on for a while.”

“This is the part I think might be the a**hole. I looked at my neighbors and basically said that I did not want their kid or anyone in their household to interact with me or my dog again. And if their son did anything to my dog I would be contacting the police.”

“I know he’s a boy that’s probably infatuated with a pet, but my dog is really important to me. She’s not just my companion, she’s to a point my lifeline.”

“It’s not the boy’s fault his grandmother is… well, Karen. A part of me thinks I am in the wrong by basically telling them I’m ‘blacklisting’ them, but at the same time, I think this kid has a toxic obsession with my dog.”

She updated the post with some clarifications.

“I noticed a few questions I should answer real quick to give a better idea:”

“I use a short leash to walk my dog. This is for safety as she used to pull a lot as a pup and where I live there’s some car traffic. She has enough to be able to walk comfortably without pulling, but not enough for people to pet her without being in my personal space.”

“I rent a small one bedroom, so I have no yard or porch. This keeps things relatively safe about her being outside my view.”

“I have no problem in general with people petting her in normal situations. Right now, since I’m not fully vaccinated and a lot of people in my area refused to take proper precautions due [the virus] (not opening this debate, to each their own), I’ve taken the personal decision to ask people to NOT pet her.”

“Once I’m fully vaccinated and health risks are lower, I have no problem going back to people interacting with her. She’s very friendly and I’m proud of her being this way.”

“So, am I the a**hole?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.

“NTA. This kid burned his bridge and I’m floored that any adult would take his side. I hope you have cameras in case he tries to do anything stupid.” – privacyishard

“NTA. No one can understand the bond between a boy and someone else’s dog, nor should they be asked to.” – TallCombination6

“NTA. Your dog is your dog, period. Dogs are not public property, so no one has any right to invade space, guilt trip you, none of it.”

“Add in the comments about taking/stealing her… even more so.”

“You tried talking to the parents, and that backfired with the grandma yelling. I think it’s fair to set boundaries as well as expectations around what will happen if they’re violated.” – winchester6365

“And get cameras. If he threatened to break in to steal the dog, he clearly doesn’t understand boundaries very well.” – OwnBrother2559

“NTA – boy is severly out of line and has no respect. I’d be legit worried he’s going to do something. That’s YOUR dog not his.”

“And grandma acts like you’re DENYING HIM HIS DREAM??? UHHH you’re not his parent. Why don’t the parents let him have a dog of his own?!?!”

“This is crazy. But should not be ignored. With comments from grandma, who knows if they’ll be in cahoots. Def set up cameras or something along these lines.”

“I wonder what kind of person this brat will turn out to be.” – DarcellusWallace

“NTA at all – it’s YOUR dog. End of.”

“And the crazy grandma should be saying ‘look kid, it’s her dog’ and not be kicking off at you.”

“Denying the boy his dream dog? Why doesn’t she get off her ass and take him down the dog rescue center and get him his own dammed dog then? Instead of supporting his plans to steal yours?” – PAUL_DNAP

“NTA. His grandma should buy him his dream dog if she thinks it’s so important for him to have one.”

“It creeps me out when anyone, adult or child, starts talking about stealing things because they are told no.” – Malachite_Macchiato

“Nta, protect your dog. When you started saying that the parents were apologizing I was confused as to where the child’s entitlement came from and then grandma opened her mouth.”

“The good news is hopefully it’s not to late for the child to lose the entitlement (provided he stays away from grandma) but for grandma I’m afraid it’s a lifetime disorder.”

“My dog is also a sweet loving dog who loves attention, and the biggest worry I have is that one day someone is going to want to take her from me (the joke I tell my self is they will return her in a day she is alot to handle in a small package) and I especially get nervous around kids because she is a lovely dog and kids don’t really understand that you can’t have something just because you want it.”

“Except this kid isn’t a little kid he is 11 or 12 and he should know right from wrong, and if he doesn’t then it’s because he wasn’t taught it, and sadly you might just have to be the one who does.”

“So hopefully your dog is chipped, you pay special attention to this kids interaction in the future, and send the police to his and now grandma’s door if your dog goes missing.”

“Unfortunately one downside to having a dog that is adorable and friendly and everyone wants is you have to be on the lookout for people who would steal your dog.” – Candy2228

Overall, Redditors backed the OP and suggested various options to ensure nothing happens to her precious companion.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo