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Teen who almost killed dog says mom is 'ruining her life' by making her pay vet bills.

Teen who almost killed dog says mom is 'ruining her life' by making her pay vet bills.


Choosing a punishment that fits the crime can be difficult with teenagers as you can no longer put them in a quiet corner for 'time out' or take away their favorite doll for a few days...

Nothing can sting quite as much as the words of an angry teenager directed toward their parent. So, when a conflicted mom decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her daughter's mistake involving their dog, people were quick to help deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for making my 15-year-old daughter get a job to pay for our dog’s vet bills?

I have 3 daughters, Phoebe (19), Allie (18), and Janie (15). We also have a 2 year old chiweenie (chihuahua wiener dog mix), Pebble.

We were in the middle of a heat wave 2 weeks ago with temperatures hitting 107. Small dogs are more sensitive to heat so we don’t let him go to the backyard for long periods of time and the deck is off limits because there’s no shade on the deck.

The problem is Pebble loves the deck because he can watch the cars, people walking on the trail behind our house, and he can see our neighbor’s chickens.

Janie doesn’t have first period and doesn’t leave for school until 10 a few days a week. Both Allie and Phoebe leave between 9-9:30 so it’s Janie’s responsibility to make sure Pebble is inside, the fans are on, and he has water.

2 weeks ago in the worst of the heat wave, Pebble was crying at the deck door. Janie got annoyed and let him go on the deck. Then she left for school and forgot him on the deck.

Allie came home a few hours later and started looking for Pebble. She found him passed out on the deck and called me sobbing. I left work early, took him to the emergency vet, they treated him for heat stroke.

He had to stay at the vet for a few days and Allie was inconsolable while he was gone. She was constantly crying, she wouldn’t eat or leave her room, and she had a panic attack every time the phone rang because she was terrified that it was the vet telling us that pebble was gone.

Pebble made a full recovery but now we have an expensive vet bill and Allie still has extreme anxiety around losing Pebble. Janie’s upset because Allie hasn’t spoken to her since she forgot Pebble on the deck and Phoebe rarely speaks to her and doesn’t hang out with her anymore. Janie was upset about Pebble when he was in the vet but now she’s very nonchalant about what happened because he’s fine.

My husband and I have been talking about what to do with Janie. We decided on making her get a job to pay for Pebble’s vet expenses (close to $2,000 after insurance). Janie’s very upset about it because she has to quit swim team to get a job and says that we’re ruining her life over a mistake.

Now I’m starting to wonder if I’m the as*hole for making her quit swim team to get a job. Also, she can’t get a job after swim season because soccer season starts right after swim season. Then after soccer season she has softball season then summer training camps.

This is some hardcore parenting, but at least getting a job is good for teenagers regardless of whether or not they almost accidentally kill their beloved pet dog...

Messing up her sports schedule is an unfortunate sacrifice, but maybe she could find a new passion while working at the nearest chain restaurant? Completely neglecting your pet is a serious mistake and she was old enough to know better. Plus, understanding how much medical bills cost (even for a teeny tiny animal) isn't a bad lesson to learn before you get kicked off your parents' insurance.

Of course, people were eager to weigh in on this parenting drama. Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say:

47Harpys said:

'We are ruining her life over a mistake' a mistake that nearly killed a family member. NTA. She knew the routine and knew better than to let the dog out onto the deck in the first place. It doesn't matter how 'annoying' he was - you do not gamble your dogs safety for some peace.

TinyManatees said:

Why not compromise with having her volunteer for animals that have been hurt/neglected when she's not actively participating in her sports/doing homework etc. She'll learn the hard way what happened behind the scenes because of her actions more so than she would paying $2000

QuackLikeMe said:

NTA. You’re not “ruining her life over a mistake.” She let the dog out on the deck, which she knew she wasn’t supposed to. Then she left the dog out there and could have killed him.

Even if it was an accident, accidents have serious consequences. It’s not right that everyone else pays for her mistake (you parents financially, her sister emotionally, pebble physically) while she is living a fun life like nothing happened.

goaskalexdotcom said:

Maybe an unpopular opinion here but YTA. She’s 15, her pre frontal cortex hasn’t fully developed. YOUR family dog, that YOU as an adult agreed to keep as a pet, is YOUR responsibility at the end of the day.

Yes, she should learn to care for this living creature but it’s obvious that she didn’t do it on purpose and she feels terrible about what happened. Now you’re going to punish your 15 year old CHILD because you gave her too much responsibility? Were you forgetful, overwhelmed, and flustered at 15? I think you owe all of the kids an apology for your mistake.

Fuzzy-Constant said:

Mild YTA. I would have her get a small part-time job like tutoring or babysitting that could work around her swim team and let her pay just a portion of the vet bill. The point is to teach her accountability, not to be punitive.

So, there you have it!

While the opinions were slightly mixed here, most people agreed that these parents are doing the right thing by making her feel the consequences of her actions, but perhaps making her quit her sports schedule is too much. Especially when you factor in how much guilt she's getting from the sisters--she's probably already learned her lesson. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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