Hell hath no fury quite like a clash between an inattentive dog owner and a dog hater.
When someone who lets their dog off-leash, allows them to jump up on people (without consent) or generally doesn't pick up their poop crosses paths with someone repulsed or annoyed by dogs, things get tense quickly.
AITA for flipping out on a dog owner for ruining lunch?
This happened about an hour ago at the time of typing. I have a 3-month-old and my wife is still on maternity leave. They came to visit me at work and brought Chick Fil A for lunch.
There is a canal area that has half a dozen decent-sized grassy areas with benches. There is a walking path along it that gets a decent amount of traffic. We find a completely empty grassy area with a bench.
There is no one around and it's really nice out. My kid is sitting in the stroller just being chill. I'm talking to both my kid and wife while we are eating. My kid starts crying and I pick him up to soothe him.
I see an over 50 guy walking by and he is eyeing us. Figured he was looking at my kid since he was crying. When all of a sudden a maybe 5 pound unleashed dog comes up and licks my wife's ankle.
This scared the s**t out of her. We are not exactly dog friendly. Neither of us grew up with dogs and have zero interest in owning, let alone interacting with them. Then a second small dog walks up to us.
I turn to the guy and say get your dogs away from us. He just looks at me with this dopey look on his face. So I say it again. He half heartedly tells the dogs to come to him.
They don't listen to him. I'm like come on man, get your effing dogs away from us. We are eating lunch and don't want them around. My kid is still crying. My wife asks him to get them away too.
He says to me 'You don't like dogs?' I'm just like no, I don't like dogs, I also hate bad (I used a worse word) owners like you that don't leash their dogs and let them rudely walk up to people. I don't want your dogs around.
He tells me I don't have to be so rude. I responded back with you are the effing prick that decided to let your dogs occupy the same ten square feet as us despite there being other areas to go.
If you wouldn't have bothered us, I wouldn't be flipping out on you. He looked shocked that someone didn't adore his dogs and walks away muttering at me under his breath. So am I the a**hole?
Edit: This is not a dog park, or even a regular park. Just an area with multiple grassy areas. There is a lot of signage to pick up poop and leash your dogs.
People quickly shared their hot takes on the dog drama.
NTA. Leash laws exist for a reason. Not everyone wants dogs in their space, people have phobias, and allergies are a thing so for multiple reasons it’s irresponsible to have them off leash without knowing if they’re dog friendly.
The fact that you had to ask multiple times and he seemed bewildered that he was in the wrong is aggravating and you’re not obligated to be nice to people who don’t have any respect for others in public.
NTA. He needed to have his dogs leashed. You have no idea if they have food aggression or are friendly or not. Absolutely hate irresponsible pet owners who do this.
NTA. Most places have leash laws. You did ask nicely, like 3 times. A good dog owner would have pulled their dogs back after the first time, good dog owner wouldn't have needed the first time because they would have them on a leash.
NTA. Everyone should be able to enjoy public outdoor spaces. This is exactly why leash laws exist. Not everyone likes dogs or wants them around them. It doesn’t matter that his dogs weren’t aggressive.
They invaded your personal space where they were not wanted nor welcome. But you had to tell him THREE TIMES to get his dogs away from you. If he had hastily apologized and grabbed his dogs, would that have resolved the issue for you?
People comparing this to you being a sh***y parent in the future are wild.I’m a parent as well, and I’m absolutely bewildered by some of these comparisons. No, I do not expect people to tolerate random toddlers interrupting their meals.
Part of job as a parent is teaching my kids how to conduct themselves in public places. Wandering up to other diners is absolutely not acceptable behavior, and I have never seen it happen in my many years eating out at restaurants.
Cherry picking or inventing bad behavior that OP has never even had a chance to engage in to justify a Y T A verdict is beyond.
ESH. The dog owner shouldn't have the dogs off leash in an area that's not designated as such, but the way you handled the situation seems very aggressive and AH-like.
Maybe he didn't look shocked because you didn't adore his dogs, maybe he looked shocked because it sounds like you completely unloaded on him.
I get that being a parent is stressful and exhausting (oh believe me I know), but that doesn't excuse you from abusing some dude.
And of course, the dog owner needs to take more responsibility for his dogs and be more aware that there are quite a few people out there who aren't comfortable with dogs.
What is up with people comparing dogs to children?! Like, no, absolutely not. No one has severe allergies to people, which is what kids are, they are actual human beings.
A toddler can't run up and do serious physical harm to your body. Your 'dislike' of small children is nothing compared to the fear of someone who has trauma from a past dog attack. Stop it.
NTA. The number of times my dh has been bitten by unleashed dogs as he's walking through the park ( not a dog park) on his lunch break, with stupid owners gushing over what a 'sweet dog' he usually is, and 'he never does that!', is enraging.
Put your dog on a f**king leash! I don't care how nice you think your pet is, it's still an animal. Animals are unpredictable. And yes, I own a dog. He is part of our family and more important to my kids than I am.
But I still keep him on a leash on public trails and parks!
NTA for yelling at this guy, he deserved it! But Y T A for eating Chic-fil-A.
ESH. He is obviously TA for having off-leash dogs that don't have flawless recall. Yelling profanity in a public area made you TA too.
You’re an a**hole. Not necessarily the asshole of this story, but an a**hole none-the-less. The guy should have had his dogs on leash, you know that, we know that, not sure how you would ever think anyone would side with him.
That being said you did come at it aggressively for being two small friendly dogs. Not saying the guy was in the right, but your attitude definitely didn’t help the situation.
It seems that most people side with OP about the dog owner needing to leash his dogs, but people are still divided on whether OP is still an AH.