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'WIBTA for telling my friend I won’t pet sit because of their strict rules?'

'WIBTA for telling my friend I won’t pet sit because of their strict rules?'


"WIBTA for telling my friend I won’t pet sit because of a 'stipulation' her husband made?"

I (30f) have a friend (30f) (I’ll call her C) who asked me to watch her and her new husband’s (30M) (I’ll call him D) pets (2 cats, 2 dogs) from the 22nd to the 27th of December for them to spend time with his family.

D’s mom bought plane tickets for them to visit for Christmas and D had planned on having one of his friends watch the pets. Apparently, D and this friend had a falling out over League of Legends and he burned that bridge with a very vicious comment.

C asked me if I would be willing watch the pets for them for the same amount they would have paid the other friend ($500). C also offered to cover my gas since I live about 40 minutes away without traffic but would usually be around 1-1.5 hrs due to traffic.

I agreed to help pet sit under the impression that I would be going back and forth from my house to hers. I asked to meet with the pets before and get any information I needed in their care etc. so we set a date to do that about three weeks before they left.

We met up and I made lots of notes and also wanted to meet her husband so he knew who was taking care of his pets and house while he was away. It was while I was on this visit that I learned that they wanted me to stay at the house overnight while they were gone and be at the house a good part of the time.

They were willing to offer their food and use of their entertainment services on their tv. This was fine with me as I thought it fair and such. Now I had only been dealing with C up to this point and I barely met her husband for 2-3 minutes for the first time ever, since he was asleep til noon and was focused on building furniture that just came in when he was awake.

Now things went downhill this afternoon because C wanted to talk since she was having anxiety about leaving her cat that she brought into the relationship. She has been at home with all the pets since she quit her job earlier this month and even before that would visit and let them out during lunch which is also something D would do as well.

To help quell her anxiety, I talked with her and got the last bit of info she wanted to relay. One was a stipulation D wanted to tack on which was me not leaving the pets more than 3 hours.

I had already moved my work schedule for both my jobs to accommodate for me staying overnight to watch the pets. However, I was under the impression that I would be able to leave the pets for a relatively normal amount of time that I would need to leave my own dogs alone for when I have work (4-6 hrs minimum).

When I told C that I had planned to spend time with my SO’s family on the 24th and my own family on the 25th but would be willing to limit it only to my family’s Christmas since I knew that would be a bit too much time for both over two days.

And 3 hours would not be enough time for presents, food, cleanup, dessert, and the 2+ hours needed to travel from their house to mine and back for my family Christmas.

Since it was his stipulation, she needed to talk with him about it but knew he’d be mad because I couldn’t say yes to his “stipulation." My friend said she would just stay home with the pets which she knew would upset her husband as well.

She texted me about an hour later telling me he was mad and would “allow” the 6 hrs I estimated but would take off $50 and wrote things that were obvious things I would do taking care of the pets as if I didn’t have enough sense to do them in the first place.

Now this upset me since me spending time with my family on Christmas should not be a point of contention and wanting to be honest about the amount of time it should take should not be up for debate.

If this was such an important point, it should have been mentioned when I was getting all the other information and not days before they leave. I originally planned to counter since the amount I would be paid per hour would be $3.47 and so for 6 hours to be deducted it would be about $20.

And just say he could take that off, but honestly his disregard for me wanting to celebrate with my family while he goes to visit his own is just really unrealistic. So would I be the a$#le for telling them they need to find someone else?

Here's what the top commenters had to say about this one:

Status-Pattern7539 said:

NTA. Beggars can’t be choosers. You were already over accommodating. “I’m sorry, but this was not what I originally agreed to as a favour to you. I am not sacrificing time with my and my SO family during the holidays bc your husband has extra unfair stipulations. Due to this, I think it’s best if another pet sitter is found."

Glassgrl1021 said:

NTA Just cancel. They are being choosing beggars thinking they can pay you less than $4 an hour to watch 4 pets over a holiday. They should be kissing your feet, not making your life difficult. I can almost guarantee you will do or not do something minor that he will be angry about and want to dock your pay further when he returns.

Ok-Map-6599 said:

NTA. D has created this dilemma for himself. If I were you I would just walk away from the whole deal. If treating people like trash is so important to him, he'll find himself without anyone willing to help him.

In my city there are pet sitting services you can hire. The good ones take dogs for a good walk or spend half an hour with your pet/s each day, the basic ones just come to feed and clean up messes. Since he's such a nasty and transactional person, he may be better off doing something like this.

wlfwrtr said:

NTA They altered the agreement twice since you first agreed to it, first you have to spend nights at their house and now to only leave dogs for no more than 3 hours or have a deduction in pay. What's going to be next? They trying to whittle it down so you end up paying them for the privilege. At least now you know why the first pet sitter backed out.

Laquila said:

NTA. The husband is a total dictator jerk who is treating you like some subservient of his instead of someone going out of their way to do them a huge favor. Your friend unfortunately married that jerk but that shouldn't be made your problem.

Call her up immediately and tell them no, you are not available. End the conversation if she tries to argue or guilt trip you. They brought this upon themselves with their arrogant, disrespectful behavior. It's rather telling that they can't find someone closer, like a neighbor, to watch their pets.

I wouldn't be surprised if D's had quite a few "fall-outs" with people, like the friend who was supposed to watch their pets before. Walk away from this guaranteed nightmare.

Particular-Try5584 said:

NTA. Tell them you are now unavailable unless you can meet your prior arranged engagements (or if you can blow the cash off, unavailable point blank!)… it’s not a negotiation here, they have no one to watch their pets, you are doing them a favor.

This late in the game they can’t be choosy, and you are offering them a LOT for not a lot in return (what’s the going rate for pet care? $30/day per animal at this time of year?) (And paragraphs would make your wall of text MUCH better to read).

Better-Turnover2783 said:

NTA Cancel immediately. This spells disaster. You won't have money or a friend after this. How long has she been your friend? How was your relationship before he came along? I would be too embarrassed to repeat the words he said, to my friend.

I can't understand how she hears this and actually thinks they are reasonable enough demands to relay them to you.

You are not a single teenager out for a few babysitting dollars. You have your own dogs, a SO and a family plus distance to travel in holiday traffic that I wouldn't wish on anybody.


First off I would like to thank everyone for their support and judgements. Also all the references on prices from the pet sitters was very helpful! Now, I’m sure you were wondering what I did in this situation and I decided not to pet sit for them.

I messaged my friend this morning telling her, “Friend, I honestly do not think I am the right fit for you and your husband for pet sitting now. I’m sorry, but you guys need to find a someone else. This was a difficult decision to make but I just do not feel comfortable now with the turn of events that have occurred.”

So far she has not responded. I am perfectly fine with this because I don’t think having her and her husband is something I want. I am a recovering people pleaser and really needed to know that my boundary was reasonable.

But having so much support shown really helped. I will be enjoying my Christmas, stress free with my family and own dogs. I will also be spending time celebrating with my SO and my other very supportive friends.

Some things that I also wanted to address: -I have been friends with her for about 15 years. About 11 of those have been long distance and we haven’t been that close in recent years.

She has only known her husband for 6 months and has been married for 3 of those. They did not have a ceremony but went to city hall to get married so I did not have a chance to meet him before checking out the pets.

I am worried about her being in this marriage, especially since she is pregnant and seemed to be swept up very quickly with him. I had been on alert about him since he had her meet his son on their second date which also made me question his parenting as well.

His blow up with his friend that was supposed to pet sit wasn’t over a single game but over them thinking he cheated on rank games since he did worse when playing with them and he said it was because he played with them for funsies.

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

2Whom_it_May_Concern said:

You did the right thing. A rushed marriage, a pregnancy, and a d^%$hebag husband. I don't think things are going to end well for your friend.

Robinnoodle said:

Totally understand the recovering people pleaser thing. Do try to continue to be there for your friend though. As you kind of hinted at, I don't think relationship will end well for her Husband sounds like the ah all around.

CantaloupeDouble8328 said:

NTA You made the right decision for yourself. I wish I had done the same, ended up watching my friend's dog for 3 months. Never again. I have basically gone low contact with this person because of the situation. I won't pet sit for anyone again after the most recent experience.

joolster said:

Just a thought… put them on mute or blocked now for at least a couple of weeks. Just in case they try to guilt you at the last minute.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this petsitting situation?

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