Everyone has a different relationship to animals. Some people want pets to be front and center at every party, while others prefer a pet-free space to hang out with their friends. In general, it's best to follow the lead of whoever is hosting. But not everyone likes following orders.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for not letting a service dog into his party. He wrote:
I (29M) hosted a pumpkin carving party for my friends and I this past weekend and a decision I made is causing drama amongst us. The party was indoors as it's still nearly 100 during the day where I'm at. I dislike cats and dogs, any and all. My friends know this. Primarily, I think they are filthy. I want nothing to do with them because of that.
A buddy and his current fling, early relationship girlfriend, however you want to define it showed up, she has a golden retriever with her. I didn't know this dog was coming. No one ran this by me, I would've said no. I pulled him aside and told him the dog had to go. He says if the dog has to go, she has to go, and then I have to go to. I just say, come on man, you know better than to bring a dog to my house.
He said that it/s a service animal, apparently for Diabetes. He thought it would be different. I said no, it might medically help her, but it's still a f#$king animal. He starts arguing but maintain my stance.
I offered to keep it in the garage with the AC on. He goes and talks to his girl and she looks annoyed, I felt bad about that. They opt to leave. He lets me know I'm an AH. My friends were all split on how I handled it. AITA?
ESH. I'm a service dog handler and I think everyone handled the situation poorly. You are not in the wrong for not wanting a dog in your private dwelling.
It's your right not to allow even a service dog in your private home. However, I think the way you handled the situation was poor. It sounds like you were not very understanding of the sh#$ty position that you put your friend and his girlfriend in and the way your actions probably made them feel.
Like I said, you have every right to make the decision to not allow whatever medical equipment you want in your house, but if you choose to make that decision, you need to understand that there are effects on the person whose medical equipment you're banning.
When you choose to exclude someone like that, especially on the basis of a disability that they can't control, it's understandably going to be hurtful to the person you're excluding as well as their loved ones, and you should have approached the situation with a lot of tact, empathy, and sincerity.
Based on your post, it doesn't sound like you approached the situation with any of those things and that you expected them to be cool with the way you treated them, which is unreasonable.
I also think your friend and his girlfriend handled the situation poorly. I can tell you that I would never, ever show up at someone's private home with my service dog without clearing it with the person first. Like I said, the homeowner has every right to not allow my dog there, and sometimes there's even very good reason for that, like someone in the home having a dog allergy or a fear of dogs.
And even if the person just goes "I don't like dogs and therefore don't want you here," that's their right, so I always check first and respect the homeowner's decision. The friend and the girlfriend absolutely should have spoken with you about this first. However, they were not AHs for being upset.
You told them, "My dislike of dogs is more important to me than spending time with you and more important to me than your physical safety," and while you have every right to feel that way, they also have every right to be upset by that. You can't expect that people will not have a negative reaction when you choose to treat them that way, and they are not AHs for responding negatively.
They thought you were their friend and found out that you're not (or at least not a very good one) and they were disinvited from a party in front of an audience because the girlfriend has a disability, which is a super sh#$ty thing to go through. So yeah, they're going to be upset with you about it, and I don't think they're in the wrong for feeling that way.
You both made mistakes. They should have asked you ahead of time about the dog, and you should have treated them with more empathy when telling them they had to leave and also be more understanding of the fact that you making a decision that is hurtful to others is going to have consequences.
ESH. Your friend should have said something knowing your feelings towards animals. Totally agree with that. But your whole post screams "I am a disrespectful ahole" calling his girlfriend his current fling? Don't get me started on how you talk about cats and dogs. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed the presence of the golden retriever more than yours.
NTA. If someone showed up to my home with a service dog that was not discussed beforehand I would let them know my home is animal-free and, while I understand that she may need the dog for her health it wasn't allowed in my home. I've had golden retrievers in the past. I loved them, but they shed.
I no longer love dogs like I once did, and someone else's dog's hair on my things is a no for me. Your tone may have been harsh, but showing up with an animal to your home without talking to you, and expecting you to accommodate them is an AH move.
YTA. If it's a genuine service animal for diabetes she could die without that dog. It needs to stay near her so it can alert her if she needs medicine or she could go into a coma and die. That is why service dogs are legally allowed to go into places other animals are not permitted, including restaurants.
Don't get me wrong, you are legally within your rights to refuse any person and/or dog entry to your private residence for any reason. But this isn't "is the law on my side?" this is "am I the AH" and you are.
NTA. They just showed up and expected to treat your home like it was a public space. Nervy. And very AH of them. Your "friend" should have asked instead of just springing it on you...it's like he was trying to shame you into allowing the dog and was really shocked when his attempt backfired.
If there's one thing for sure here? It's that the internet can't agree on a verdict.