We’ve all heard about children who beg for dogs, cats, or other unique pets, swear they will take care of it, and then (lo and behold!) the responsibility falls on the parents. It’s a tale — or dare we say “tail?” — as old as time. However you say it, one mom on Reddit was not going to become a character in one of these stories. She wrote on the AITA subreddit to share that her two children and husband really wanted a dog, despite her resistance.
She finally agreed to their puppy-loving pleas under three conditions: the dog must be smaller than 60 pounds (“we do not need a mastiff”), it cannot shed, and for 60 days in a row, they have to prove that they are committed to taking care of a dog.
“They had to collect all the garbage from all the trash cans in the house and put it in the big garbage bin,” she wrote. “That was to make sure they would remember to feed a dog every day. And for 60 days they, all three of them, had to go for a one-mile walk twice a day. With the GPS route tracker active.”
If they missed a day, she said, they had to start over.
“The longest they have made it so far is two weeks.”
Two. Weeks. HA! In just 14 days, that theoretical dog would become mom’s responsibility.
“If everyone were as smart and had their sh*t together like you,” one commenter said, “there’d be a lot less abandoned pets at the shelters and neglected ones in unhappy homes.”
Well isn’t that the sad (but hopefully inspiring) truth.
This woman’s parents called her to say she was being “ridiculous” and “petty.” But since they “always side with the kids,” she was ready for their inevitable input. So she sent them a link to a reasonably-priced dog walking service in the area.
“I said if they wanted a say in the dog decision they had to agree to set up an account with that company and that I could call up the company for help whenever their precious, perfect grandchildren and son-in-law forgot to take care of the dog.”
Well played, Mom. Well played. Commenters were proud of her for telling her parents to walk the walk if they were going to talk the talk, but they also encouraged her to watch out: the grandparents may take it upon themselves to buy their grandkids a dog as a present. Oof! Don’t even get us started on how problematic that is.
Of course, her parents were not impressed with their “jerk” of a daughter, but she marked her territory. Unless they were willing to pay up, mom was not going to take their opinions into consideration when deciding if a fur baby should join the family.
After many failed attempts at the 60-day challenge, this woman’s husband finally saw that their kids were not able to hold up their end of this bargain.
“He said we needed to tell them,” she wrote. “I said that ‘we’ was one too many people.”
YES, MOM, YES! Why should you be the bad guy? *Standing ovation*
“I wasn’t the one who sided with them when I had said I knew they were not ready,” she said.
Now she’s left wondering if she’s the a-hole in this situation. No one in her family has called her that, she said, but that’s only because they say it in “much more polite terms.”
Well, Reddit users had genuinely polite terms to use, saying this woman is a “brilliant” mom with “great tactics” and “a+ parenting and life lessoning [skills].”
“I’m not sure what part of anything she did even comes close to making her an a-hole,” one person said. “This is what every single family should do before getting a pet. It forced them to think through the reality of the situation BEFORE they got a living breathing creature and then put it through the stress of rehoming it when they couldn’t step up. I genuinely cannot see how anything she did makes her even 1% of an asshole.”
Redditors were wagging their tails in agreement, pointing out how many dogs are neglected, mistreated, or rehomed because families are not prepared to adequately take care of them. In fact, between 7 and 20% of adopted pets are returned to shelters. And to any who feel this method is rough (*ahem* ruff *ahem*), they want to emphasize that this mother is “ultimately protecting a dog” that may have been uneccessarily uprooted.
Of course, this mom likely wanted to be proven wrong, but that’s not what happened. And even if the kids and their father went into this experiment with the best of intentions, they needed to be shown that dogs are a long-term commitment. And that every day won’t solely be filled with loving snuggles and rejuvenating games of catch.
“I love my two dogs very much, but they’re so much work,” one commenter said. “Picking up the dog poops from the garden when it’s been raining for hours is a special kind of hell.”
The only part of the story that did ruffle some fur is the way the woman is handling things with her husband. We are in the camp of “he needs to step up and be the one to tell the kids the family isn’t ready for a dog,” but others think that is a flawed approach. After all, it’s “HUGE” that this man acknowledged that he and the kids cannot handle a dog.
“That type of thing needs to be rewarded with positive reinforcement,” one commenter said.
With a smart bone, perhaps?
“Because if he makes a major concession like that, and you make him feel like garbage for doing so, he won’t do it again in the future and will be more likely to hide his changes of heart to be ‘right,’” they continued. “You’re in the final stretch. Do not lose the war because you want to be petty over a battle. Absolutely have your husband be the point man during this discussion, and help him lay out the grounds of what he wants to say and how he wants to say it before you both approach the kids. But at minimum, be present to give him support and show a united parental front.”
Well now we have our tail between our legs. They just may have a point.
All right, so even a non-A-hole mom may need to learn a new trick. Even still, we have give her credit for the physical and emotional toll that could have been put on her family’s theoretical dog and the dogs of others.
“I stupidly showed this post to my wife. Now my dog dream is dead. YTA just for that :).”
“Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s most ridiculous grown children.“
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