Not everyone is destined to be a pet owner.
As adorable as they might be and as much as we all might imagine ourselves holding a tiny, cutie-pie puppy or kitten, they’re often far too much work for some people, and they don’t stay so adorable and small forever.
But some people respond terribly to the news that they’re not ready to care for another living thing, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Key_Barracuda_5919’s dog had recently had puppies, and she was excited to gift one of the puppies to her nephew once the puppies were old enough to be weaned from their mother.
But when her nephew turned around and tried to steal one of the puppies in a plastic bag because he didn’t want to wait anymore, the Original Poster (OP) knew that he wasn’t a good fit.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to give my nephew a puppy after he attempted to steal one from me?”
The OP was excited to let her nephew adopt one of her dog’s puppies.
“My (25 Female) dog, Dove, just had puppies. She’s a Golden Lab.”
“I promised my nephew, Dion (10 Male), that he could have one of the puppies when they are ready. He was so excited.”
But Dion soon proved that he was not fit to be a dog owner.
“So last week, when Dion and my sister came over, he asked if he could see the puppies, to which I said yes. He went in to see them.”
“My sister and I were catching up. Then we heard Dove barking, which alerted me to go check on Dion and Dove.”
“Dion was standing in the corner with his hands behind his back. We could hear a puppy’s muffled cries, and I pulled him forward and found he had put the puppy in a plastic bag.”
“I told him off and asked him what was he doing.”
“He started crying and said he wanted the puppy now and that he was taking this one home.”
“I told him, ‘No, you already know that they’re too young and that they needed their mother’s milk.”
“Dion had a tantrum. My sister had to take him home.”
“Dove was understandably agitated and has since been wary of who comes near her pups.”
Dion’s mother showed a surprising lack of accountability.
“I had decided over a couple of days that I didn’t trust Dion to have one of them. So when my sister came to visit, I told her that I didn’t want to give Dion one of the pups after what he did.”
“She got upset with me and said it was a mistake, and he learned his lesson.”
“I said he didn’t even apologize!”
“She said, ‘What for? The puppy was fine.'”
“I got angry then and said, ‘What if Dove hadn’t alerted us? The puppy could have died!'”
“She said I was going to break his heart if I went back on my promise.”
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, but that’s my final decision.'”
The OP’s sister and others lashed out at the OP.
“She left angry. I’ve since been getting people on my back about breaking my promise and that I’m a liar.”
“I even got a video message of Dion crying and calling me names.”
“I’m starting to feel bad.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that the nephew and his mother would not be good dog owners.
“NTA. ABSOLUTELY NOT THE A**HOLE.”
“You don’t put a living animal in a plastic bag.”
“You cannot reasonably expect to receive a dog if you tried to steal it previously (You can’t shoplift from a store, get caught, and try to remain in good standing as a customer), and the same thing applies here.”
“It’s your choice what happens to the puppies and your choice who you sell them to. Not her.”
“You’re not a liar. Had Dion not stolen the puppy, hid it from you, and scared the momma, you would’ve kept your promise. However, the situation changed, and therefore, the promise is void.”
“I’d keep a good eye on your pups to make sure she doesn’t try and take one for themselves.” – corona22extra
“If a child doesn’t know not to put an animal in a plastic bag, that child is not (even with parents’ guidance) fit to be a dog owner. That child would put the dog in so much danger.”
“And the number one responsibility for a person who rears puppies is to make sure they go to homes that will care for them properly.”
“If his mother doesn’t understand that and why the child is not fit to be an owner, that just means she is not fit, either.”
“If I had a child who did that, they would never get a living animal, and when they were 15, I would make them volunteer at a shelter.” – SaintAnyanka
“If the sister can say, ‘What is the big deal?’ to her son almost killing a puppy, she is not fit to be a dog owner either. Let alone just supervising a kid as a dog owner.”
“Kids can be id**ts, but if you cannot rely on the parents to care about the puppy, that is not a safe home.” – consider_its_tree
“A 10-year-old putting a puppy in a plastic bag is insane. Most 10-year-olds are in fifth grade and about to enter middle school. They’re getting crushes. They’re starting to be (well, some) allowed home alone for a short time or cooking without help.”
“My sister started a dog walking business at this age to buy stuff and would walk smaller dogs for the neighbors alone for like 10 dollars an hour.”
“To be THAT old and still so mentally immature and never to have been taught (or didn’t care enough to listen) not to put living things in plastic bags is borderline neglect to me. What is going on here??” – wheredMyArmourGo
“I just asked my 11-year-old whether he would (a.) Pick out the puppy he wanted and tell the owner so she could save it for him, or (b.) Pick out the puppy he wanted, put it in a plastic bag, and then try to steal the puppy.”
“He 100% looked at me like I was insane for even asking the B part, and said, ‘Obviously not the second one, who does that?'”
“So… If my 11-year-old can see how utterly f**ked this situation is, Dion most likely also understood it was wrong (hence why he was hiding the puppy behind his back).”
“Sister is coo-coo-bananas if she thinks trying to emotionally manipulate OP by sending that video message is going to have the desired effect.” – YearEndPanic
Others agreed and pointed out that the nephew wasn’t being properly raised.
“It’s really f**ked up that the sister took a video of her kid crying and calling OP names to send to OP to emotionally manipulate OP into giving up!? This sister is BONKERS.”
“I know that I certainly would not give a puppy (nor future birthday or Christmas gifts) to a niece or nephew who has been videoed calling me names after trying to steal (and potentially kill through suffocation/neglect) a live animal from me. P**s on that.”
“This right here makes me wonder about the sister’s mental capacity and sanity if she thought a stunt like that was a good idea and was going to work. Crazy!”
“Yes, OP, you are most certainly NTA. I wouldn’t trust that kid with a goldfish.” – AThompsTX
“Also, the mother claims the child is terribly distraught over not getting the puppy, but then wants to put the child into a situation where the child is very likely to kill an animal they’ve bonded to unintentionally. She doesn’t think that’s going to be traumatizing?”
“Giving animals to children who are not developmentally ready to keep them alive is not just animal abuse, it’s also child abuse.” – syboor
“What’s the sister’s logic in sending the video? She must cave and give him whatever he wants when he has a tantrum. So she thought it would work on OP. Stellar parenting.” – seemebeawesome
“How does a video of him CALLING YOU NAMES improve his case? I’ve never understood this. Dudes who have just been turned down for a date do it, too, sometimes. Like, you’re proving to me that I made the right decision here. It’s not persuading me to see that you’re actually a nice and normal person to suddenly go ballistic on me at being told that I’m just not feeling it.”
“The nephew has those same vibes. If he’s a nice, normal, responsible child, why is his response to being told ‘no’ to start name-calling? Is that supposed to make OP think, ‘Oh, wait, I totally should give you my puppy, you’ve made me see the error of my ways by calling me a selfish gross pile of turds.'”
“There’s no thought process here, just an entitled jerk who isn’t used to being told ‘no’ and therefore needs to be told it more.” – PlanningVigilante
“This kid has not been properly raised to regulate his own emotions, to accept ‘no,’ or likely to even take care of himself. Let alone another living thing.”
“A puppy is a huge responsibility. A child who cannot be patient enough to wait for a puppy to be weaned, is not going to be patient enough to potty train the puppy, to socialize the puppy, to exercise the puppy, or to be a responsible pet owner.”
“A Lab is a big dog with a lot of energy. A kid who cannot show the level of responsibility that a dog needs, has no business owning one. That dog will be locked outside after the new toy phase wears off.” – chop1125
The subReddit was collectively appalled by how the nephew had treated Dove and her puppies, how his mother responded, and how the nephew continued to behave. They were lucky that Dove and her puppies were okay, and that Dove had been restrained enough only to bark and not do more.
It was clear that the nephew had more growing up to do before he could care for a dog. B
eing unable to regulate his own emotions and work through rejection after a terrible act was a solid sign that he would not be able to provide for another living thing, especially after it stopped being a shiny new toy to him.