When one dog owner brought his anxious pup to a busy mall, it caused a situation that left a mother mad, and the pet-person fuming. Now, it's causing a debate online about who is at fault.
In the Reddit group t r/AmITheA**Hole — a subreddit where users submit stories involving a confrontation so the community can vote on who is in the wrong — user u/chocegg20 says their dog is very anxious around people, so they take the pooch to a nearby mall that allows animals. To them, it's a way to get the animal accustomed to people walking by, but every once in awhile the pet owner needs to let passersby know the dog isn't very good with people yet. Unfortunately, one child, who was aged somewhere between six or seven years old, caused the dog to bark, scaring the kid causing them to fall over. According to the writer, the mother of the child wasn't paying attention, but when the grade-schooler started crying, her parental instincts kicked in.
"She says 'Control your stupid dog, look what it did to my kid...You need to train effing your dog' and she just keeps getting mad, yelling and cursing at me while her kid is throwing a fit," writes chocegg20 in a post we edited for stylistic purposes.
The user then responded by telling the mother that she needs to pay attention to her child when she's out and she should talk to the grade-schooler about how to approach animals in a respectable way. However, when the writer told his mother about the incident, she said they should have apologized.
Now, they've taken to Reddit to see who is at fault, but the results aren't very definitive. As of this writing, the group has not made a formal decision, however, the comments seem to lean toward everyone involved being wrong. The users point out that while the mother should have a little more control over her child in a public place, bringing a dog to a high-anxiety situation isn't a smart idea.
Regardless of who is right here, this is an excuse for parents to talk to their kids about how to approach animals. While we like to think all dogs love people, we as adults know that's not the case. Children need to know that if they pass an animal, it's important to ask the owner if they can approach them and then need to do so in a respectable manner. If the owner says it's not a good idea, they also need to respect that decision. Dogs don't have the best reasoning skills, and they don't know your intention when you approach.