The woman felt guilty after calling her sister-in-law out … but once some internet "experts" got involved the whole situation took a turn
A woman has taken to the internet for advice after an argument with her sister-in-law.
The dispute, shared to an anonymous forum, seemed highly relatable to many in the Reddit community, who had some strong opinions on the situation.
The majority of armchair experts on the thread called into question some key details in the sister-in-law’s story.
Read on to see why.
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AITA For telling my SIL that if her service dog can't ignore children he isn't a SD?
OP began by giving some background on her family situation.
“I have two kids, 11M & 9F. My sister in law has a Service Dog who has been with her for about six months now (he is 18mo),” she explained.
“It was my son’s birthday party last weekend, which she was at, and obviously had a whole ton of young boys running riot around my house. My daughter also had two friends over (younger siblings of the boys) as well as our pets,” the poster continued. “All in all there was nine children, three dogs and a cat causing chaos. At one point one of our rabbits escaped and was running around too.”
“My SIL’s dog couldn’t cope,” she wrote. “He was so excited and wasn’t paying any attention to her. My daughter and her friends said hi to him but otherwise left him alone. He was losing his s–t the whole time and my SIL had to leave.”
“My son was a little upset but overall didn’t mind, just asked that she could come over for a mini birthday,” OP said. “Yesterday was that ‘mini birthday’. It was much quieter, just the family, and the dog was still losing it. He was jumping around and she wasn’t able to control him. She had a flare up which he ignored.”
He told me he understood but that it’s a bitchy move to not even try to apologise.”
“She got quite frustrated and asked my children to leave the room. They did and he finally calmed down. They came back in and he got excited again,” OP went on to explain. “The kids weren’t comfortable so they went to play and we had a conversation. I basically said if she can’t control him I don’t want him in my house. She replied that he’s a service dog and goes everywhere with her, so I’d essentially be banning her.”
“I said that he was a s–t service dog as he’d ignored her flare up and wouldn’t listen,” the mother wrote of the argument. “She then blamed my kids, saying my daughter had got him excited last time and now he thinks that kids mean ‘playtime’.”
“I told her that if her service dog can’t ignore children while working he’s not really a service dog,” OP wrote. “She got upset and left, saying she was uncomfortable with me. Later on my husband pulled me aside and asked me to apologise because I’d hurt her feelings. I said I didn’t think an apology would be worth it because I’m not sorry – I meant what I said. He told me he understood but that it’s a bitchy move to not even try to apologise.”
“She then texted me and said that he had a ‘situation’ with a child when he was in training, but she is paying out money to get him retrained. I don’t know what the situation is but I do feel bad. I think she was trying to use my kids to socialise him and it hasn’t worked and I feel much worse,” she concluded, adding, “I haven’t yet responded, because I do still somewhat stand by what I said, but I also feel awful about making her feel so insecure.”
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How Redditors Reacted
While it was unclear what country OP was writing in from, many on the thread argued over whether or not there truly was such a thing as a “certified” service animal in the US.
Despite that point of contention among the commenters, it was pretty unanimous that OP was definitely NTA (not the a-hole).
“NTA your are absolutely right it’s not a service dog,” one popular comment read. “They are extensively trained and extremely expensive. It sounds like she got a dog and someone train it and is calling it a service dog. 18m old sounds kinda young also.”
OP reacted to that comment (which was hard to miss as it had more upvotes than the original post), writing in reply: “Yeah to be honest I’m not sure where she got him. She was talking about wanting one and then like the following week he was in her house lol.”
Another noted, “That’s not a legit SD. It takes a while to apply for and be approved for a certified service dog. Then it needs to be sourced, have its temperament gauged, and have an opportunity to be matched with its new owner. Not to mention the cost for the dog and its intense training, or, getting approved for a SD provided by a non-profit.”
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Yet another commented, “Sounds like she just got a dog from a breeder/trainer.”
Of course, as noted above, there were those who questioned the validity of any certification at all, such as this comment: “‘Certified service dog’ isn’t a thing. There’s no government authority certifying trainers or dogs. And it doesn’t matter whether the dog went through one of those expensive SD schools where the owner has to train with the dog or not – they are dogs, not robots.”
While one commenter wanted details on the owner: “Is she disabled? Is the dog trained to assist with that disability? If the answer to both is yes, it’s legit. Is it still a service dog? No, because it can’t do its job anymore.”
Sounds like she just got a dog from a breeder/trainer.”
Others noted the hoops you have to jump through for some of these animals, with one Redditor noting: “So was this animal sourced from an accredited kennel with a certification in training service animals? Or was this a puppy she just took to obedience school and figured ‘good enough’? If the former, I’d want a refund. If the latter, well that’s on her. Either way, she is aware the dog has issues with stimulation. How the absolute hell did she think a child’s birthday party was a good place to take it?”
Another added on, quite verbosely: “Most reputable service dog training services take 2 years MINIMUM. And most of them won’t have the future handler training them, because then the trainers would be training the handlers to be trainers, and then the dogs as well. They go through a period after their training where they are familiarizing themselves with their new handler, and that does come with training, but it’s not the same as the extensive training that the trainer did with the dog. And by then, the dogs are most definitely socialized.”
“The SIL asked the kids to leave, she didn’t take the dog away to calm down,” the Redditor continued. “If this dog had an issue with kids during its service dog training, and that issue wasn’t able to be corrected, no reputable service dog company would have allowed the dog to pass the certification and allow the dog to be adopted as a service dog. […] The homeowner has every right not to allow a hyperactive dog in their home.”
What do you think?
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