A woman went viral after sharing a “creepy encounter” with her neighbor while on a walk with her dog.
In the post titled “AITA for ‘threatening’ my new neighbors with my dog?” the anonymous Reddit user, who goes only by u/mydoghatesyou917, said her male neighbor was acting strangely before attempting to grab her dog’s leash during a walk.
The post in the “Am I The A**hole” forum received more than 11,500 votes and 1,300 comments in less than 24 hours.
In the post, the Redditor, 28, explained that she recently moved into a suburban neighborhood. She said it was just her and her dog Oaken, a Dutch Shepherd that was trained as a Personal Protection Dog (PPD).
Personal Protection Dogs are highly trained and capable of perceiving threats and protecting the owner, family, or home. These dogs are often trained at tracking and protection work and are responsive to their handler, according to California attorney Kenneth M. Phillips.
Dutch Shepherds are known as one of the best protection dog breeds due to their high intelligence and guarding nature. They are used by various police departments around the country and are commonly trained to be Personal Protection Dogs.
In the post, the Redditor explained that she was a runner and that she always brings her dog with her. She wrote that one evening she was running with Oaken in a neighborhood park. She explained that it was starting to get dark and she had her AirPods in when she noticed a man riding his bike on the trail.
She wrote that he waved her down, said he dropped his keys and asked if she had seen them. He proceeded to ask her if she had a light because he thought he might have dropped them in the grass. He also asked if she lived in the neighborhood, which house she lived in, and if it was nearby.
“Basically anything to keep us there and keep talking,” the Redditor wrote. “Not scary, but annoying with a definite hint of creepy.”
Redditor u/Mydoghatesyou917 wrote that “after he forgot his initial story,” the man said he would be “so pissed” if he lost another AirPod because that was his “third pair and they’re nearly 300 bucks a pop.”
She wrote that as she moved to leave, the man stood in her path and began asking about Oaken. She explained that Oaken was not growling or reacting to the man at this point and that he was doing “exactly what he was trained to do.”
The Redditor said the man asked to pet Oaken and she said she’d rather he didn’t. He began saying that he loved dogs and she again said no. She said that as she started to walk around the man, he tried to grab Oaken’s leash.
The post explained that Oaken began to low growl, show his teeth, and back away from him. She said he didn’t bite or “snap” and that they were able to leave.
“The encounter was strange enough I posted in the Neighborhood app,” the Redditor wrote. “Nothing accusing the guy of attacking us or anything over the top like that, just that my dog and I had gotten stopped by a stranger out running and a reminder not to grab at a person’s dog or dog leash without permission.”
The Redditor wrote that the man’s wife apparently read the post, recognized it was about her husband and began telling neighbors about the “aggressive attack dog.”
The post continued: “I’ve now gotten a letter from the HOA and apparently the next homeowner’s meeting has breed-specific bans on the agenda.”
She wrote that she thought Oaken’s response was “appropriate and controlled” given the situation and was feeling “sad and disappointed” that her new neighbors had the wrong impression.
“I’m not out to terrify people,” u/mydoghatesyou917 wrote. “AITA for posting what I posted to the Neighborhood app and apparently starting a feud with my new neighbor? Was I wrong for calling out Park Guy publicly?”
Quickly after the post was published, users began writing comments in support of the Redditor. Some users even said she should try to get a police officer to attend the HOA meeting and explain what worrying behavior looks like.
“Suggest that the police give a presentation to the HOA on personal safety,” one commenter suggested. “Have them give tips on how to spot potential criminals and how to act when confronted by one.”
“Ok that thing about him changing his story from ‘my keys are lost’ to ‘my earbud is lost’ is actually terrifying,” another comment read. “I am so glad you had your good boy with you.”
Other users pointed out that the conversation had many red flags and that the man was acting creepy.
“He WAS a threat, he threw some major red flags,” one user commented. “[T]hat man was either there to attack you or steal your dog, his wife is just trying to change the narrative to make you look like the attacker rather than the rightful victim.”
The user also said that the Redditor should attend the HOA meeting and defend Oaken’s actions.
“Tell them everything that happened,” the comment continued. “If he doesn’t want people to think of him as a creep and danger to women he shouldn’t act like one.”
In an update, u/mydoghatesyou917 said she would definitely contact an officer regarding a report.
Newsweek reached out to u/mydoghatesyou917 for comment.