Commenters on a viral internet thread defended one homeowner who recounted their “petty” reaction to a rude and hypocritical remark muttered by their next-door neighbor.
In a Reddit post published on r/pettyrevenge, Redditor u/cjanes96 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said they accommodated their neighbor’s unruly dogs for years before one brazen comment changed that in an instant.
Titled, “my neighbor cursed me for using my own yard. well I’m going to use it even more.” the post has received more than 12,000 votes and 97 percent upvotes in the last day.
Beginning with the explanation that they live in a townhouse with their husband and two dogs, the original poster said their neighbor owns four “loud and reactive” dogs that “charge the fence whenever they see someone on the other side and bark constantly.”
Noting that they have hesitated to use their own backyard because of the dogs, the original poster also said they previously kept their own dogs away from the neighbor’s in order to avoid conflict but detailed the recent events that sparked a change in strategy.
“When the neighbors dogs [would] come out I would bring my dogs inside but it would still mean a minute or so for their dogs to calm down,” OP wrote. “I would let my dogs back outside to play when the neighbors go back in. This was no big deal to me.”
“Now cue [Sunday]. The neighbors let their dogs out, they react, I bring my dogs in. Same old routine,” OP continued. “Except my neighbor curses me under her breath [saying] ‘keep your f**king door shut.'”
Following their neighbor’s assertion that they should keep their door shut and presumably never allow their dogs to play in their backyard, the original poster said they implemented a plan to regain control over the neighborhood dog dynamics.
“I’ve started to be a bit petty,” OP wrote. “When the neighbor lets their dogs out, I stay out and play fetch with my dogs while her animals are going apes**t.”
“My dogs love it because they are getting more exercise than before,” OP continued. “It’s only been three days and my neighbor is exasperated and has to chase her dogs around the garden.”
“I fully expect to enjoy my yard to the fullest this summer,” OP concluded. “‘ll probably put up a visual blockade so her dogs can’t see mine to be nice but I’m not going to restrict my well trained animals for her untrained ones any longer.”
Dogs—described as man’s best friend—can sometimes cause more conflict than camaraderie.
In all types of living arrangements, from apartment complexes to standalone townhouses like the one described by the original poster, dogs are a point of contention between neighbors for a myriad of reasons including cleanliness, noise and safety.
Noise, barking specifically, is the most common dog-related complaint and the issue has only been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the mass migration of former office workers into work-from-home situations.
But because noise complaints are directly related to dog training, or the lack thereof, neighbor-to-neighbor confrontations are often uncomfortable.
FindLaw, an online resource for legal information, reports that if complaints about a neighbor’s pets extend into long standing issues, local laws enforced by police and animal control can come into play, as well as nuisance laws filed by disgruntled residents.
Legal action, however, is not always necessary and in some cases the best response to a dog owner’s irritating actions is to imitate the behavior.
Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors applauded the original poster for their reaction to their neighbor’s remarks and remained adamant that OP is well within their rights as a homeowner to let their dogs spend as much time in their backyard as they please.
“Nothing petty about it,” Redditor u/51225 commented. “You have every right to use your property as you see fit.”
“I wouldn’t bother putting up anything to keep her dogs from seeing your dogs unless you don’t like listening to her dogs,” they continued. “As for telling you to keep your [f**king] door shut, I would have more than a few choice words for your neighbor.”
In the post’s top comment, which has received more than 4,000 votes, Redditor u/CindySvensson echoed that sentiment.
“Don’t waste money on their dogs,” they wrote. “She is the one who needs to spend some money or time on training.”
“You already gave her two summers,” they added. “You deserve to keep every penny.”
Newsweek reached out to u/cjanes96 for comment.