Friend groups can quickly shatter over different philosophies around animals. While some people believe their pet should go everywhere, others crave a hang out that's animal-free. There's no right or wrong answer, just different preferences. How those preferences are made known, however, can get sticky.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for leaving dinner when his friends brought their dog. He wrote:
I (27M) planned a night out with my Fiancé (28F) and our friends (late 20s) at a trendy restaurant near where we live. Back info - we aren’t dog people. I’ve had girlfriends end relationships with me over the fact I don’t want a dog. In the topic of pets, my current spouse is very compatible. They just aren’t our thing and our friends know this about us. Like we aren’t the type to pet them all.
A key part of this story, nearly every restaurant has patios that are dog friendly while indoors is not. It is nearly impossible to find non-pet-friendly patios. Our friends however are now pet people. They got a dog over COVID. They’ve become the people that take it everywhere with them. My fiancé and I do hang out with them less because of it. We showed up about 10 minutes early for our reservation.
I intended to eat indoors. Turns out our friends beat us here. We were led to a patio table and see they brought their dog. I say no, I’m not doing this. What are you thinking bringing that? Fiance and I went inside to see if the bar had any seats, and my buddy chased us down. Explains the dog sitter fell through and the dog will just lay there and not bother us.
I don’t care, mentioned not sure why they need a sitter and we aren’t spending our meal with a dog. Told him its f#$ked up you spring your dog on us. There were no bar seats, so fiancé and I decided to leave. My buddy said I’m an AH. I told him I’m not spending time with your dog. We’ll figure somewhere else out to go. I got texts saying how f#$ked up what we did was. Am I the AH here?
How would a dog being near you inconvenience you at all? And see friends less because of it? Why are you so weird. You're the AH to cancel plans, throw a fit over something so small. Grow up.
HARD NTA, I love dogs, they are fun and great and I still feel the same way about them at restaurants as you do. I don't give a s#$t about how "nice or gentle" your dog is. It's a f#$king dog and can lash out at someone at any time for any reason, anyone who says otherwise has no idea what animals are capable of. And they are dirty animals, just gross.
A dogsitter for a meal? Insane, I'm already against most dogsitting anyway as they are an animal and can fend for themselves if needed. Just to clarify I mean fend for themselves for a few hours like handle their own food and water from a bowl with a doggie door, definitely not dawn some armor and slay the nearest evil mailman while handling a siege with no help for weeks.
YTA you don't need to pet the dog, they require less attention in public than children so your blind hatred is frankly weird and very melodramatic for a hang out session.
ESH. They know you don't like dogs and should have called you to give you a chance to back out. But, you as well - once you got there, you don't say anything about the dog having poor behavior. If the dog was going to just lay on the ground near its owners, then there's no reason not to just ignore its presence and eat dinner.
NTA. Not everyone wants to eat around a dog. In fact, I am a dog lover who is disgusted by the dog patio people who bring in an un-groomed dog that sheds everywhere, feed their dogs at the table, let them sit in their laps. And who needs a pet sitter for the duration of a dinner out? Do they also have the dog pre-enrolled in kindergarten? Have they set aside a college fund for it?
Clearly, this is a topic that inspires a whole lot of passion and not a whole lot of agreement. So we need you, dear reader, to weigh in with your thoughts.