Internet Backs Man Refusing to Help Elderly Neighbor Who Threatened His Dog

A dog owner is refusing to help his isolated elderly neighbor clear snow off his driveway after he threatened to have his pet pooch taken away from him. Perhaps more surprisingly, he's been hailed online for doing so.

Loneliness represents a very real concern for many in the U.S. In a survey conducted in February by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, 36 percent of adult respondents reported experiencing serious loneliness—feeling lonely "frequently" or "almost all the time or all the time" in the four weeks prior to the survey.

Sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can be enough to break that cycle though. In a new post shared to Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" subreddit, the man, aged 27, explained how for several years now, he has helped his neighbor, who is in his 80s, by snow-blowing his driveway.

He said he had been helping his neighbor since 2015, despite the fact he is a "nightmare" to live next door to. The arrangement went well enough until he decided to get a puppy back in 2019.

The man acknowledged that while the dog initially "barked a lot" they spent lots of time training him and now "he hardly barks at all."

When the dog does bark, the man says he always tries to "shut it down quickly" and has checked with his other neighbors to see if they think he barks too much.

"They have all said that he doesn't at all," he said. The only exception is his one elderly neighbor who has complained about their dog ever since they got him and calling the owner and his partner "incompetent assholes" and "f*cking losers" over their treatment of the pet.

Things came to a head over the summer when the elderly man told him their relationship was "no longer friendly." Worse, he also threatened to report them to the homeowners' association to see if they could force him to "get rid" of their dog. "I'm pretty sure they wouldn't make me get rid of him, but that did really make me angry," the man wrote.

Regardless of this, when the elderly man got in touch to say he was "going to breakfast with his friend and needed his driveway snow blowed so he could get out" the man told him that since they were "no longer friendly" it would cost him $200 to do his driveway.

When he refused to stump up the cash, the man told him he "wouldn't do it." Though the man said he feels "great," the elderly neighbor was apparently left furious while the man's partner has since suggested he may have been out of line.

But while his approach may have been drastic, it has been firmly endorsed by other users on Reddit with the post earning over 16,000 upvotes and a flurry of comments backing the man refusing to help the aging local resident.

TheTARDISranaway wrote: "People need to realize being old isn't an excuse to behave like an a**hole. Would you feel bad if he was in his 20s? Nope." Xaiires agreed: "He said your relationship was no longer friendly or neighborly, I can't imagine doing anything for free after that."

Compensate1995 commented: "He can't guilt-trip you into snow blowing his driveway. You don't need to work hard and unpaid for someone like that." Evlokadottr said the man was right not to help his neighbor given how his dog had been treated. "A person's dog is their family," they wrote. "Don't threaten someone's family and expect free labor from them."

"The way he has treated you over his dog is appalling," Sunshineonstimulants said. "Rewarding behavior like that by doing him any favors will not help anyone." A user by the name of Allhailthedestroyer went further. "If someone threatened to report me in order to get rid of my dog, they'd be lucky if the only thing I did was refuse to snow blow their driveway," they said.

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

This isn't the first time a dog has proven a bone of contention for neighbors. One family recently found a way to infuriate the internet after offering up a controversial solution to the problem of their barking canine.

It's not all doom and gloom of course. One elderly man went viral after striking up a sweet friendship with his neighbor's dog.

An elderly man and a dog.
Stock images of an elderly man and a small dog. A man has been backed after refusing to clear snow off his 80-year-old neighbor's driveway. Creatista/TheDogPhotographer/Getty