A Reddit user turned to the community to ask if they were in the wrong after choosing not to forgive their neighbor for treating their family dog cruelly for years.
The Original Poster (OP) has lived in the same home for 18 years, she shares neighborly proximity with a couple named Stan and Maureen, who are in their 50s.
When OP moved in, her neighbors Stan and Maureen had a dog named Ginger. At the age of 16, Ginger fell ill and had to be put down just two months after OP adopted their puppy, Savannah.
OP’s property was fenced in with a doggy door leading into it, which Savannah used to move around freely. With Ginger’s less-than-perfect behavior, Stan would remark that Savannah was better-behaved and quieter.
She Didn’t Like Her Dog
However, OP learned that Maureen disliked Savannah after Ginger’s passing, and OP tried to be understanding, acknowledging the difficulty of returning home after putting down a beloved pet and seeing a new puppy next door.
OP observed that Maureen handled the situation poorly as she frequently shouted at Savannah over the fence. Maureen would become upset even if Savannah went outside while she was out, claiming that the dog would stare at her.
Additionally, when OP’s children played with Savannah outside, Maureen complained that they were making too much noise.
She Sprayed Her Dog With the Hose
On one occasion, while OP was on the back deck with their children, Savannah was playing in the yard and approached the shared fence to investigate what Maureen was doing in her garden. Maureen responded by spraying Savannah with a hose.
In response, OP directed their children to go inside and reprimanded Maureen for her actions. Maureen claimed she only wanted Savannah to move away from the fence, but OP pointed out that the dog was simply sitting there and there were other ways to handle the situation.
They Stopped Talking with the Neighbors
Shortly after, a new fence was erected, and OP and their family ceased communication with Maureen. Even after a decade, it was evident that Maureen still harbored ill feelings towards Savannah, making remarks and even admitting to having no valid reason to dislike the dog.
OP and their family recently welcomed another dog, Harriet, into their home. However, their other dog, Savannah, unexpectedly passed away a few weeks later, which was a difficult experience for everyone.
They Both Got New Dogs
One week after Savannah’s passing, Maureen adopted a new dog, Frankie, and immediately tried to resume conversations with OP’s family, acting as if nothing had occurred.
This behavior irritated OP, as Maureen had been making negative comments about Savannah just the week before. Maureen seemed to want to ignore what had happened and move on.
Maureen always seemed to emerge outside whenever OP and her family were in their yard. This would not have been an issue if Maureen did not attempt to distract Harriet or engage her in conversation.
Let Bygones be Bygones!?
When this occurred, OP would often take Harriet for walks to avoid Maureen. One day, Maureen expressed her desire to join them on a walk, but OP was not in the mood to socialize and allowed Maureen to walk alone.
Maureen questioned OP’s anger, to which OP responded with frustration, “You were cruel to Savannah for 10 years! I’m not going to forgive that just because she’s gone and you want to act friendly now.”
Maureen tried to explain that she always resented Savannah and that OP had to understand how she felt.
However, OP argued that although it was difficult to see Maureen with Frankie after Savannah’s death, they would never yell at or spray Frankie with a hose.
Is It Time to Move On?
OP’s husband suggested that she move past the situation, as neither of them were planning on moving away. OP responded by saying that while she would maintain a polite demeanor, she had no intention of being Maureen’s friend.
OP’s husband believed that her attitude was petty, prompting OP to question if she was in the wrong.
Reddit users were in agreement that the OP was not the jerk for not wanting to be friends with their neighbor, Maureen. Maureen had mistreated OP’s dog, Savannah, for ten years after her own dog had passed away, even going so far as to spray her with a hose.
What Redditors Said
OP’s husband thought that she should be more cordial to Maureen, but Reddit users argued that it was reasonable for OP not to want to be friends with someone who had been cruel to their pet for so long. Some users even suggested that Maureen needed therapy for the way she had acted.
Reddit users also shared their own experiences with grieving the loss of a pet and dealing with neighbors who mistreated their animals. Some users even suggested that OP should use their hose on Maureen if she came to the fence.
Overall, Reddit users were sympathetic to OP and thought that they were justified in not wanting to be friends with Maureen.
What do you think? What would you do if you were OP?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.