Man with small baby can't get support for his anti-dog vacation stance: 'Trip may fall apart'
Plenty of people are right now planning spring and summer vacations — but a man with a baby is garnering a bunch of "thumbs down" reactions on social media given his announcement that he does not want to join a long-planned family vacation if his brother comes along with a dog.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, wrote the man, 33, in a post on Reddit, he "would go on family vacations with my family," which includes a brother and sister in their 20s, he said.
"These occurred about every other year," he said.
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He went on, "For a multitude of reasons, we haven't done a trip since 2018. I am married and we have an 18-month-old. My sister has a boyfriend, and my brother has some sort of terrier" — but no girlfriend that "I know of," added the man, who goes by the user name "VacayThrowaway70707."
He said his brother now "has morphed into a self-described ‘dog dad’" and "seems to rarely do things without the dog. We live in the same city, but different areas, and we don't see him all that much."
The 33-year-old said the dog is "too friendly for me and I can't speak to how it behaves over multiple days or around babies."
The man explained that his parents have booked a beach house for the extended family in Florida — and they'd like the whole crew to show up.
"In a few weeks," wrote the man, "the deadline for a full refund for canceling is coming up and my parents need to know if we are in."
The man said he and his wife live in the western part of the United States, "so we'd be flying. I found out my brother plans to bring his dog. My parents aren't thrilled about it but ‘it is what it is’ — those are my parents' words."
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The man went on that he's not a dog person and that he actually "despises them on airplanes. I do not want to travel with the dog (tentatively we are on the same flight)."
He also said, "I do not want to stay the week in the same house as the dog, I do not want activities based on being dog-friendly, and I do not want the dog around my son."
He said his parents have chosen to stay out of the dispute and would prefer that the brothers "hash it out."
The man wrote that he "broached the topic with my brother. Essentially he isn't flexible on the dog, it is his family, and it is a family vacation."
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The Reddit poster added, "He says my 18-month-old will be far more annoying and loud than his dog."
The brother, he noted, "seems firm on this, and I'm ready to pull out of the trip. If I don't go, the trip may fall apart."
The man then others on social media for their thoughts — and whether he'd be in the wrong if he backed out of the trip and wound up ruining the vacation for the entire family.
To date, the post has gotten over 9,000 reactions and more than 4,500 comments.
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Fox News Digital reached out to a psychologist for professional insight into the family standoff.
Dr. Jayme Albin, PhD, a clinical psychologist based in New York City, said, "I think the ‘Sex and the City’ episode made clear that people who are married with babies don’t trump those who are single and without children in families."
She also told Fox News Digital, "It seems like this sibling with a personal preference — or lack of preference for dogs — is trying to dictate the rules of the trip. It also seems like he’s making a lot of assumptions without talking to his brother."
Dr. Albin added, "In cognitive therapy, this is called mind reading and catastrophizing. As relationships and families develop and take on children spouses and pets, new boundaries and arrangements need to be met — and it’s not fair to always default to the [older] parents to referee these things."
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She also said, "These two siblings should have a conversation to discuss sleeping arrangements and family outings, etc., so that everyone is happy."
One commenter on the Reddit platform didn't mince words in a message directly to the original poster.
"A baby is a far more inconvenience than a dog," the person wrote. "You can leave a dog home alone for a few hours if people want to eat at a nice restaurant. It's rude to bring a baby to a nice restaurant — they have bedtimes, and they scream at movies."
This same person went on, "Kids are awesome, but you're on a different planet if you think the vacation is going to revolve around the dog. It's going to revolve around your baby."
Someone else had a different take: "If you don’t want to be around the dog, don’t go. It is that simple. Make plans to visit your parents another time when the dog will not be there. Bail now, saying that this isn’t a good time. Do not discuss it further."
Another Reddit commenter, however, was not buying that argument.
"I'm not sure that's so," wrote this person. "The way he sets this up makes it sound like he's bashing his younger brother for having a dog but no girlfriend, as if bringing a girlfriend instead of a dog would be totally acceptable to him."
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This commenter went on: "The vibe [from the original poster] is that of an a-----e. [He] sounds like he has a bit of a superiority complex about how a man should live."
This same commenter added, "Quite frankly, the dog being there is not an inconvenience for anyone but his brother, if at all. The baby? Well, that will likely inconvenience everyone, but God forbid we mention it. We're missing information here."
The same person further said, "He seems to believe his way of thinking is infallible."
Another commenter could barely hide the impatience with the original Reddit poster: "Children that age [18 months old] need naps and frequent meal times. You’re limited in activities, and they tend to throw tantrums. To think that the dog is the inconvenience in this situation who can be left on his own for a few hours is bananas."
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Yet another commenter sounded this note: "I’d much rather be on a holiday with someone else’s well-behaved dog than an 18-month-old no matter how well-behaved. I am a mother and small dog owner who knows both can be a pain in the a-- for varying reasons from time to time."
Still another person dished this out about the original poster: "I have a really hard time trusting people who don't like dogs. I have most often found them to be incredibly self-centered and just yucky in general."