January 11, 2024 at 9:36 am

Frightened Sister-In-Law Wants Her To Board Her Dog For Christmas, So She Tells Her To Find Somewhere Else To Spend The Holiday

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

This is going to be one of those fairly rare, actually tough questions on Reddit.  There’s some background that really matters, so make sure you read it closely!

OP’s sister-in-law grew up in foster care and has some trauma surrounding big dogs.

My (30f) brother “James” (34) is married to Sylvia (33). Not sure if this is relevant but Sylvia is saying it is so I’m including it – she grew up and aged out of foster care.

Sylvia has trauma relating to large dogs and as such is petrified of my dog. He is a very large rescue dog.

We are working on retraining and socialising him, but so far he’s been fine around most people. She knows all this but she is still scared.

Now that OP is hosting Christmas, it’s become a sticking point for them both.

Me, my husband, James, Sylvia, and my parents were meant to go to my parents house for the holidays but unfortunately they had issues with their plumbing and their house is now Unheated so they are staying with me and my husband and the celebrations are now at our home.

This has upset Sylvia because she won’t be comfortable staying in the house with the dog.

They have discussed several options, but the bottom line is that OP feels more responsibility toward her dog than her SIL.

She suggested we send him to a boarding kennel for the holidays, which I am unwilling to do. He is not good with new environments, or unfamiliar men, and the house is his home, I don’t see a reason to remove him from the environment because if Sylvia’s issues which have nothing to do with him.

The family was split on this and arguing in the group chat, and Sylvia sent a message saying that as family, we should accommodate her.

I replied saying I have a responsibility to my dog, that I adopted my dog, not her, and that if she can’t deal with it then she needs to spend the holidays elsewhere.

That said, the language she used really upset her SIL and her other agrees it could have been handled better.

This kicked off an argument because Sylvia said I was weaponizing her background, which I don’t think I was.

My point was that I accepted responsibility for my dog, for his well-being and his comfort and frankly, the safety of others around him, I have no such responsibility for Sylvia.

My mother is saying I shouldn’t have used those words as I should have known it would be triggering for her. My dad is on my side.

James is now saying Sylvia doesn’t feel welcome at Christmas, even though I’ve told him she is very welcome to come to the home as is, I’m just not removing the dog.

AITA for making that point to her?

Does Reddit think the SIL’s trauma deserves more consideration? Let’s find out!

The top comment is still hoping they can come to some kind of solution.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person doesn’t think this is a fair ask of a host.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Some don’t think they’re treating the SIL’s issues fairly enough.

Source: Reddit/AITA

But this person thinks OP has offered very reasonable accommodations.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And someone has got to be on the dog’s side, too.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This one is tough, I think.

I hope they were able to work things out.

If you thought that was an interesting story, check this one out about a man who created a points system for his inheritance, and a family friend ends up getting almost all of it.