Post # 1
So I met this lady, “Paula,” a few months ago at a social event in my condo building. I don’t have many friendships in my neighbourhood but it was really nice since our dogs get along too and we started walking them together every morning. My Fiance and her husband have golfed together on and off for years and we all belong to the same country club so we do have social ties outside of where we live.
Now Paula asked me a few weeks back if we could walk their dog one evening while they were away for a golf tournament at another club across the city. This day also happened to be my dogs birthday and we got him a cake so we were more than happy to take his best buddy out for the evening and they shared the birthday cake. It was totally adorable! But Paula made a comment later that night about giving my Fiance and I a key to their place so we can walk their dog. In my head I was like “what?! how often do you expect us to do this?”
Well apparently since we have walked him once she is asking us every week. But what bothers me is we will be chatting and I think she’s asking me what my plans are for the night and when I said “oh I don’t think I’m doing much” she leads that into “Oh great do you mind walking the dog for us?” Now I feel like I don’t even want to go on our morning walks together because I fear she will ask me more favours – and I have a much harder time saying no in person vs. over text or email.
I don’t want to be super blunt or harsh since we are bound to intersect at times (and normally with people like this I think I would completely cut ties because it’s just exhausting). So how else do I deal with this? Do I keep saying “no” to all the favours until maybe it sinks in? Do I just slowly fade off our walking routine? I don’t want to make this awkward bees, help!
Post # 2
give her an invoice for your services, if she going to use you as a dog walker then expect to get paid
Post # 3
Wow she has really put you in an awkward position. I don’t like confrontation and I once was in a similar situation. I backed off for a while, got really “busy” for a few weeks. Then slowly started hanging out with her again (this was my neighbor who was too obsessive) but kept the relationship much more formal and our visits were more spaced out.
Perhaps you could try something like that? Kind of a fresh start you could say. After a break(which in your situation may not even be necessary), continue to enjoy your morning walks together but don’t ever agree to walk her dog again (just be busy) because she clearly doesn’t know how to limit her compulsive need to ask for favors.
Post # 4
Out of interest, what is it that makes you not want to walk her dog as often as she’s asking if you’re walking your dog anyway? Is it extra work or is it the rudeness of her always asking that bothers you? If the reason is the former I would just apologise and give the legitemate reason. If it’s the latter could say something along the lines of “my dog fairs better with solid routine and really benefits from the one-to-one walking time so I’m going to keeping his evening walks to the two of us but if you’re still up for doing morning walks together I’d love to still do that”.
Post # 5
cc5598: Wow! That IS an awkward position she’s put you in. Those people drive me nuts. Are you still going to be walking with her in the mornings? I wonder if the next time she asks, “what are you doing” you could leave it open ended? Like, “not sure, we’ll be in and out tonight” or something? She really really has put you in an awkward spot. It’s just not your responsibility to walk her dog all the time.
Post # 6
That’s super awkward. I’d probably say something like “It seems like you’re asking me to take your dog out pretty regularly. I don’t mind taking him once in awhile if you’re really in a pinch, but this is feeling like I have a dog walking job. I’m really happy we walk together in the mornings, but I need to just take my dog out at night for some one-on-one time.”
Post # 7
amb1030: I am definitely trying to back off! She was just away for over a week at the cottage and took the dog with her. We barely spoke during this time and when she got back last night I was immediately asked for a favour (for today!) – it’s just crazy lol. I definitely won’t agree to walk their dog again.
berrybelle: Well the thing is, I wouldn’t be walking my dog anyway. They have different schedules later in the day and she will specify when he needs to go out. So I’m making multiple extra trips plus she also asks me to feed him and he has some special food that needs to be mixed with his kibble and warmed up. It’s pretty ridiculous actually. Plus on our walks my dog is very social and will play with other dogs along the way, whereas her dog isn’t as nice and needs to be kept away from other dogs so I feel like my dog misses out on play time when they are together.
RedHeadKel: last night she asked me to walk this AM and when I agreed she immediately mentioned she had a favour to ask. So I ended up “sleeping in” this morning and missing our walk as I’m not sure how to deal with it anymore! My Fiance just says to use him as an excuse but there were a few occassions where she texts him separately after talking to me.
Post # 8
Start telling her you have plans and that you can’t help her. It’s going to probably come to that point eventually where you do have something going on and you have to tell her that you’re unavailable so if you can set the tone now that you’re not just available whenever, she will have to figure something else out. People shouldn’t take advantage like that.
Post # 9
When she offered you the key, I’d be like, “great! Here’s my key – the laundry is in the closet upstairs, and trash goes out on Tuesdays. Don’t forget to change the kitty litter!”
Post # 10
Wow that situation sucks. I used to have a relative who would only call me for favours. I just stopped contact and became busy. I would tell your Fiance that any time she texts, your official stance is one of the following:
– Might have something going on, will have to check with my Fiance
– Have a lot of errands to take care of, will be in and out
– Have to take care of a few things around the house
– The whole week seems pretty busy, don’t even know how that happened!
Basically you’re busy. If you keep doing this for her, it’ll soon become an expected routine. If she doesn’t want to walk her dog, she shouldn’t have a dog.
Post # 11
I feel like you have a few options here. You could either pull the friendship way back and become “too busy” to walk your dog with her in the morning (non-confrontational option). Or you could talk to her honestly and tell her that you’ve been feeling imposed on with all these requests to take care of her dog and would prefer she find a dog walker instead. Since she’s a neighbor & I don’t know how sensitive she is, not sure which is the better option for you.
Post # 12
You give an inch, she demands a mile! That is so not cool. How dare she go around you and text your Fiance after you’ve politely declined?
Your own dog is your priority and responsibility. There is no need for yout foster her dog. If she is unable to take care of her dog, she can hire a professional dog walker to do the task for her. She doesn’t seem like someone who loves her dog enough to make the time for him. Which is very sad for her dog and possibly explains his behavior around other dogs.
Anyways, you are under no obligation to be taking care of her dog and don’t feel guilty about saying no or avoiding her. Your life is your own life and you are not accountable nor responsible for an annoying and rude neighbor!
Post # 13
You don’t actually need an excuse. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible” is answer enough. Just put it on repeat until she gets the hint. However it might be good to remember that someday you may need her help walking the dog as well. If you think she’d be open to it, you might just discuss that you’ve noticed she’s been asking a lot more often recently and here’s the number of a dog walker who might be more helpful as she won’t have to worry about whether you make plans. Fewer bridges burned.
Post # 14
Ugh that’s so awkward and rude! The next time she asks I would say “sorry we won’t be able to tonight”. If she asks again after that I would say “hey we aren’t able to but it seems like we have both been busy lately. I use so and so as a dog walker, here’s their number for the next time you need someone!”
Post # 15
cc5598: Yikes… I think I can see why “Paula” might not have anyone else she can ask for favours…
Hope you can find a way to get the relationship to a more comfortable and reciprocal level. I think if she continues to ask then you are going to have to find a way to tell her, in person, why walking her dog in the evenings doesn’t work for you (upsets your own routine with your dog, takes extra time and energy you don’t have to spare etc.). If need be, practice what you might say a couple of times with your Fiance so that you feel prepared when it next comes up.