When an emergency situation arises, people react in the moment with what they think is right. Given time to sit and contemplate, they might do things differently.
A woman who experienced a dog attack with her children is facing judgment from her husband over what she did in the heat of the moment. So she turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor ThrowRAxbh asked:
"AITA for throwing one of my twin daughters over a fence while being chased by a dog?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"My husband was having headaches so I decided to go to the pharmacy to get him some medication and I took my daughters with me."
"I don't think it was that late but it was pretty dark out. We could've took the car but the pharmacy is only a couple of blocks away from our house and the twins wanted to walk."
"Besides, our neighborhood is pretty peaceful and I thought it would be good exercise."
"While we were walking, a dog started barking and lunging at us. We didn't pay it too much because it was on a chain. We went to the pharmacy, got the medicine, and on our way back we passed the dog again."
"Again, it started barking and lunging at us. But this time, the chain snapped."
"I saw a black mass moving fast towards us in my peripheral and I just picked up my daughters and ran."
"My daughters are both five. That's like 40lbs each. But adrenaline strength is real. I used to run track in high school and college, but nowhere near as fast as I was running in that moment with two kids and a plastic bag full of medication."
"However, the dog was right behind me, and my daughter on the left side was slipping and I didn't want her to fall and get eaten/bit by the dog. We were passing a house with a fence and...I...kinda...tossed... her...over the fence into the lawn and kept running with my other daughter."
"A guy had just parked his car and got out and I started running to him, screaming, 'Help!' and he chased the dog away and walked with me while I went back to get my daughter."
"She was unhurt, but she was crying, and saying I left her and why couldn't I have thrown her sister instead."
"We get home and my husband asks what took us so long."
"I tell him, 'We got chased by a dog,' and before I could tell the whole story, our daughter blabs, "Mommy threw me over the fence!" and runs to him and starts crying.
"He looks at me, upset, and demands to know what happened. After I finish telling him, I thought he would understand, but he started saying things, like, 'What if she got hurt? What if she fell on some glass and cut herself? What if the dog stopped chasing you and jumped over the fence at her?'"
"I was already feeling guilty and I wound up, saying, 'Okay, sorry, I get it'."
"But he kept going. 'No, you don't get it'. Blah blah blah and I yelled at him, 'WHAT SHOULD I HAVE DONE THEN, HUH? AND HERE'S YOUR STUPID MEDICATION! NEXT TIME GET IT YOURSELF!'"
"I swear I was going to throw the bag at his stupid face, but they were all staring at me in shock because I'm not really a yeller and I felt bad."
"I threw the bag on the counter instead and went to our room and slammed the door."
"I did tuck the kids in for bed later and I had to apologize to them because they said, 'Mommy when you yelled at Daddy you said the s word (i.e. stupid)'."
"Anyway, my husband has kind of been tiptoeing around downstairs and I want him to come to bed already. But I know we have to finish talking about this incident and I just wanted some perspective on this."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Redditors were firmly on the OP's side.
"NTA. My cousin almost died after she was attacked by a dog at 14. Your daughter would be better off getting a tetanus shot and some glass removed from her foot in a short visit to the clinic than being attacked by a dog."
"Though, I would suggest that you let her know 'the dog was closest to you, baby, that's why I was trying to get you to safety first. If the dog had been closest to your sister, I would have thrown her'."
"Just so she doesn't think it's a favoritism thing, which it sounds like is what she took it as." ~ hazelhopeholt
"Honestly, what were the chances there would be so much glass or anything piercing nearby a random fence that she'd get seriously hurt? She was old enough to walk so she had shoes, so even if she fell on glass she would have her shoes and other clothes to offer some protection."
"A child of that age isn't very heavy so it wouldn't get hurt as badly as an adult."
"The dog mauling her was much more likely to happen and would have cause a lot more damage, if not death... Those animals have incredible jaw strength... A dog who wants to kill may not let go even if you beat it."
"I have seen a clip of a dog getting pepper sprayed, electric shocks and beaten and still didn't let go of the other dog. Throwing her over the fence was definitely safer." ~ emab2396
"Plus the poor girl was probably so scared that she landed and just froze there and cried until her mom came back. Yes, she could've broken something in the fall, but a fracture is usually less painful (and will leave little to no scarring) and much less life changing than being mauled by a dog."
"Of course ideally OP would rather have not been in that situation and had to make that choice, but I think she made the best choices she could possibly could have, and everyone turned out safe so nagging about 'what ifs' really isn't going to help." ~ spirality5
"Wow. major NTA."
"Yes, what if, what if she did get hurt? What if she se did break an arm or a leg? She would've been in a cast for a few weeks."
"What if the dog bit he arm or leg? Would he shake her whole body? Would he just hold the limb and run? Does he have the bite strength to bite her extremity clean off? If he did bite her, how muscle would she need to rebuild?"
"How much skin would she have lost? Would she need skin grafts? Would she need plastic surgery? Would she get infected? Would she be a candidate for prosthetics? Would she survive if the dog bit her head?"
"I can play the what if's game all day."
"Could she have been injured from tossing her over a fence, yes, but in a moment of sheer panic, you did what you saw best to keep your kid safe."
"You kids won't understand the reason, but you choose between two bad options, the ultimately likely safer option being throwing her over a fence."
Your husband should have some level of understanding that panic, is not a stable mindset.
"Fight or Flight kicked in for you. You flew. you were losing, you made a smart quick thinking decision that likely saved you and BOTH your daughters from severe injuries."
"OP, I'm sorry you went through that. Hopefully you and your husband can talk about it and not have everything be the what if game. You were panicked and made a immediately smart move to keep everyone safe." ~ wereallredhere
This mom had to make a split second decision. Judging her for it afterwards made her not the a**hole according to her fellow Redditors.