Dog ownership is no small thing.
It's lots of fun, sure, but it's also time-consuming, expensive and a huge responsibility.
It's definitely not a fit for everyone.
So what do you do when you agree to take in a friend's dog on a temporary basis and then that friend just... never comes back? That was the heartbreaking question a guy recently posed to Reddit and the discussion that ensued was pretty much a master class in why dog ownership is not to be taken lightly.
Reddit user OJOIJK posted his problem to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit, a place where folks can post their dilemma and have strangers apportion the blame based on the following categories:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
The Original Poster (OP) titled his post, "AITA for giving my friend's dog up for adoption?"
"My friend had a dog and he left it with me when he moved to another town, saying he would come back to get it once all things are settled down."
"From before the pandemic till it's almost over, for 4 months after he moved and he still had no intention of coming to get it. He kept coming up with excuses, the pandemic his favourite among all. He couldn't make a trip here to collect his dog when he even went further to visit his girlfriend's parents, as shown on his IG."
link i see you GIF by Rhett and LinkGiphy
This guy's not a very good liar, is he?
Unfortunately, things get worse from here...
"I am not a dog person, I like cats instead of dogs but prefer no pets at all. For 4 months I have been cleaning up after this dog who just doesn't behave. He destroyed my things and always did business in funny places, also liked to growl at night for some reason. Maybe it was because I work long hours and could not take it out for walks."
"I know it may be my behaviours that led the dog to misbehave but come on, I did not ask for this. I could tell that we are both miserable, the dog slightly less so as he seemed to be very attached to me, which was quite sad because the feelings weren't mutual."
So OP did the difficult but what he felt was the right thing for this poor doggo...
"I warned my friend that if by May he still wouldn't come to collect his dog I will give it away. He promised to come and get it but as usual, came up with an excuse, saying his girlfriend caught a cold and he wanted to self isolate, nice timing again."
"I posted the dogs details on an adoption site and last week and today, finally got the poor thing adopted. It was for the best as I am a bad owner and he deserves a better human, I may also finally get some peace in the house. I told this to my friend and he completely blew up on me on the phone."
oh come on over it GIF by VH1Giphy
This dude is something else.
"He claimed that he thought I was joking when I warned him and now he wanted his dog back, what about self isolation again I wonder? I may update this later as it just happened but AITA?"
OP's guilt is understandable, especially since nearly 4 million dogs end up in shelters every year, according to the ASPCA. So what was the right thing to do?
Luckily, OP's fellow Redditors were swift and clear in their adjudication of this one.
"NTA, you told him plenty of times to come get his pooch and he just ignored it..." --simm07
"Most dog owners I know would bring their dog as the first thing because it is not home without them" --Whenitrainsitpours86
"... If he actually loved his dog he would've gone as soon as possible. Dogs are family, you don't leave them behind." --sydneyunderfoot
"NTA If it were me in that situation, I would just ask the address and drive there. But I agree with you if he makes time for his girlfriend more then his dog, I would look for someone else to take care of it." --MSJunderscore
And many applauded the OP for giving the dog what is probably a better home than the one he left.
"NTA. Despite your lack of affection for dogs, you seem to care more about the dog's wellbeing than the actual owner. It's a crappy situation, but you made the best choice possible." --strike_match
"It honestly kind of sounds like the friend was trying to get rid of the dog. That would put him in the straight a**hole territory. Not everyone loves animals, it's just a fact. You shouldn't get one before you're absolutely certain you want to have one. Under the circumstances, I think you did a very good job OP. NTA at all." --interesseret
"NTA for giving the dog a better home and you did give your friend plenty of chances to get his dog..." --kittytigris
"NTA for doing the right thing as long as you know he has a good owner. A little the a**hole for not taking the dog on walks for so long. It's behavior was definitely due to lack of care, dogs are very effected mentally by being cooped up and lack of mental stimulation. The friend is definitely the biggest A though. A decent dog owner wouldn't leave a dog with someone not knowing they are being taken care of properly, or dump them with someone." --Srirachaballet
"You gave him a fair warning and multiple chances to collect his dog. The dog was also being destructive in your home. You never wanted the dog. And didn't like the dog. He's lucky you kept him as long as you did. The dogs probably alot better off now as he clearly wasn't making any effort to look after or care for his own dog." --Smellycat12323
"You might not have liked the dog... But you did more for its welfare than its owner did" --brumguvnor
So there you have it.
Justice has been served. Here's hoping the doggo is happy in his new home, and that his former owner just sticks with goldfish going forward.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
The book Hey Little Rockabye: A Lullaby for Pet Adoption by Grammy and Academy Award winning singer and songwriter Buffy Ste. Marie is available here.