So it’s unsurprising that a woman, 21, who was asked to look after her cousin’s new pet for two whole months found it hard to say goodbye.
The 21-year-old then spent her own money buying the pup, named Delilah, “everything she would need” and the pair soon became inseparable.
So when her cousin announced that she was finally ready to take Delilah back, she refused.
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Explaining the circumstances in a lengthy post, she wrote that her cousin had been aware that she was not allowed to have pets in her apartment block but had adopted the puppy from a shelter anyway.
After agreeing to help her relative out, the Redditor said the cousin handed Delilah over without any supplies.
This meant she was forced to pay from her own pocket for a new “collar, leash, bed, food, bowls, toys, etc.” but, she stressed: “I don’t care because I want this puppy to be happy and comfortable.”
She continued: “After several weeks my cousin said she has found a new apartment to move into. She sends me the info to show me. It very obviously states that they do not allow pets. What the hell?” She then didn’t hear back from her cousin for weeks.
“Here we are now, about two months later,” the 21-year-old went on. “I am absolutely best friends with this dog, I love her more than anything. She is a quick learner and an absolute sweetheart. We’ve been on vet visits, I’ve been grooming her, spending my own money on everything she needs so I can take very good care of her.
“My cousin contacts me a few days ago and says she is ready to take Delilah back. She tells me about her living situation and that she is living with her boyfriend and his buddies at their place.
“To make a long story short, they aren’t a good crowd, and I didn’t think it was a good idea for Delilah to live there. I told my cousin that I was sorry but I felt uncomfortable sending Delilah there, and that I have been caring for her and spending all of my own money on her for two months and frankly, I wanted to keep her.”
The Redditor said the cousin responded by calling her “a lot of swear words” and hasn’t spoken to her since. Nor has she made any attempt to get Delilah back, she added.
She ended her post: “I’ve been getting messages and calls from other cousins and aunts calling me a thief and saying I’m a horrible person.”
She then asked fellow users of the site if she’d been an “a**hole” for not returning the dog to its original owner.
In a footnote she added: “My cousin has a track record of adopting animals and then sending them back to the shelter or just getting rid of them (I don’t know what happens to them). She’s been through multiple dogs and cats. This is why I am uneasy.
“Also I would just like to point out that I openly told my cousin I would LIKE to keep the dog. I didn’t say anything like ‘I’m keeping her and I don’t care what you say’ or anything like that.”
The post was swiftly met by hundreds of comments, with readers divided over her handling of the situation.
“Your cousin sounds insufferable, trying to bend rules because she feels special,” one wrote. “But at the end of the day, you agreed to watch over her dog, and you’re kidnapping the dog now, so that’s clearly an a**hole move.”
Another defended the Redditor’s actions, saying: “Even when it was originally just a ‘watch my dog until I can find a place’ and then whenever she finally DID find a place, it still wasn’t pet friendly? That’s no longer a favour.
“That is someone taking advantage of the fact that they don’t have to worry about the hassles of owning a pet, and now she’s trying to get the now totally trained and lovey grown up dog (since she didn’t have to deal with the puppy) and isn’t even doing a good job of trying to do that.”
Another recommended that the Reddit user test her cousin’s commitment to the pet: “Say fine, you’ll give back Delilah when your cousin reimburses you for the still continuing expenses she left you high and dry for,” they wrote.
“Have an itemised list of her food and shots. She’ll obviously renege.”
While another thanked the Redditor for protecting the pup from a toxic situation. “Hold onto that dog,” they said.
“Keeping her away from an abusive owner is the right thing to do. Get her microchipped in your name asap. Thank you for being there for her.”