Animal lovers: I’m going to spoil the story for you — the dog is okay! But the story is a bit upsetting; I actually exhaled “oh NO” while I was reading it the first time. u/aitavetcost wrote into the AITA subreddit wondering if she was a jerk “for making my 15-year-old daughter get a job to pay for our dog’s vet bills?” after the kid seriously injured the dog.
Here’s what she wrote:
I have 3 daughters, Phoebe (19), Allie (18), and Janie (15). We also have a 2 year old chiweenie (chihuahua wiener dog mix), Pebble.
OP has three girls and a dog. They were in the middle of a horrible heat wave with temperatures hitting 107 — way too hot for a dog to be outside.
We were in the middle of a heat wave 2 weeks ago with temperatures hitting 107. Small dogs are more sensitive to heat so we don’t let him go to the backyard for long periods of time and the deck is off limits because there’s no shade on the deck.
But the dog loves outside, as dogs do. OP’s youngest daughter is in charge of making sure the dog is indoors with fans and water before she heads to school.
The problem is Pebble loves the deck because he can watch the cars, people walking on the trail behind our house, and he can see our neighbor’s chickens.
Janie doesn’t have first period and doesn’t leave for school until 10 a few days a week. Both Allie and Phoebe leave between 9-9:30 so it’s Janie’s responsibility to make sure Pebble is inside, the fans are on, and he has water.
Pebble took to crying at the door one day last week, so the daughter let him out… and forgot him.
2 weeks ago in the worst of the heat wave, Pebble was crying at the deck door. Janie got annoyed and let him go on the deck. Then she left for school and forgot him on the deck.
OP’s middle daughter found the dog passed out on the deck; they rushed him to the emergency vet and had to stay for a few days.
Allie came home a few hours later and started looking for Pebble. She found him passed out on the deck and called me sobbing. I left work early, took him to the emergency vet, they treated him for heat stroke.
He had to stay at the vet for a few days and Allie was inconsolable while he was gone. She was constantly crying, she wouldn’t eat or leave her room, and she had a panic attack every time the phone rang because she was terrified that it was the vet telling us that pebble was gone.
The middle daughter was absolutely wrought with worry, but Pebble made it! Of course, the vet bill is insane and the girls aren’t talking to Janie.
Pebble made a full recovery but now we have an expensive vet bill and Allie still has extreme anxiety around losing Pebble. Janie’s upset because Allie hasn’t spoken to her since she forgot Pebble on the deck and Phoebe rarely speaks to her and doesn’t hang out with her anymore. Janie was upset about Pebble when he was in the vet but now she’s very nonchalant about what happened because he’s fine.
OP decided to make Janie get a job to cover the vet bills. That means Janie has to quit her athletics to get a job. So OP wasn’t sure: is she an asshole for this?
My husband and I have been talking about what to do with Janie. We decided on making her get a job to pay for Pebble’s vet expenses (close to $2,000 after insurance). Janie’s very upset about it because she has to quit swim team to get a job and says that we’re ruining her life over a mistake.
Now I’m starting to wonder if I’m the asshole for making her quit swim team to get a job.
Also, she can’t get a job after swim season because soccer season starts right after swim season. Then after soccer season she has softball season then summer training camps.
Here’s what Reddit said:
One user wrote in, “NTA. She knew the routine and knew better than to let the dog out onto the deck in the first place. It doesn’t matter how “annoying” he was – you do not gamble your dogs safety for some peace.”
Another agreed, “Putting aside my own feelings about dogs, I feel this is the most appropriate response. She should have to do 200 hours of volunteer work taking care of animals so that her consequence relates to the behavior. She may gain a passion for volunteering and animals also!”