by Christopher Sharp
Acouple has been left confused after one of their neighbours started a petition to get rid of their dogs so their children could play in their garden. The strange dispute was recalled by a user on Reddit who explained how one peaceful agreement turned into a bitter saga.
The 36-year-old man took to Reddit to explain how he recently bought his first house with his wife after they searched for a home with a large back garden.
When they found the perfect house and moved in, they were greeted with all the usual warm regards and welcomes by their new neighbours. These same neighbours also asked if their children could play in the back garden.
The user wrote: “The previous owners of our place were an elderly childless couple who were well known in the area for basically being grandparents to everyone and the husband had built multiple tree houses and bridges in the trees for kids to play in.”
From here things took a turn from the kind to the chaotic to the strange.
The man explained: “The property is fully fenced but has three swinging gates into it. When we first moved in we were approached by the next-door neighbour who very politely asked if her kids could keep using the backyard to play in.
“We agreed that it was OK so long as she understood that if her kids got hurt it wasn’t our problem and we wouldn’t be supervising kids playing or anything.
“She was fine with that and seemed very appreciative and brought over cookies and juice when she came over to watch her kids.
“Word went around and eventually we had around a dozen kids coming by each week, some supervised, some in groups of two or three, but everyone was polite and tidy so we didn’t really care.”
Things changed for the couple after Christmas after his parents went into a retirement home and could no longer care for their beloved hounds, an 11-year-old Belgian shepherd and a 12-year-old German shepherd cross who gave them to the man to look after.
He said: “The problem started when a lady we didn’t know showed up at our house and started screaming at my wife, apparently her six-year-old had come home with his friends and they had dog poo smeared all over their hands.
“She basically told my wife that if she didn’t get rid of the dogs then her kids wouldn’t come over anymore and she’d press charges for endangerment. My wife basically told her to go away and that it wouldn’t have happened if she’d been supervising her child.
“The woman left and came back with a petition and around six signatures for us to get rid of the dogs.
“We told her to go away and that kids were now no longer welcome. We locked the gates and put signs up explaining and left it at that.”
The man added: “Several of the nice neighbours have come by to beg us to change our minds but we don’t want to risk it and we don’t have the time to supervise the kids so the gates stay locked.
“We are now arguing with a couple of people who feel it’s unfair that the entire neighbourhood is tarred because of one person’s actions.”
The man is now wondering whether his actions were too harsh and Reddit users took to the comment section to make their views known.
One wrote: “I would just explain to your good neighbours that it’s a decision you had to make to protect yourselves and your dogs and it would cause way too much trouble if you let some children in and not others.”