Social Question

jca's avatar

If I had my friend/neighbor feed my pets when I was away on a long weekend, and I gave her some money and additional thank you gift which she didn't acknowledge, should I ask if it was acceptable?

Asked by jca (35970points) April 17th, 2012

I was recently away on a long weekend. I asked my neighbor, who is also someone I am friendly with, if she would feed my pets once. She did it twice, which was very nice. I told her just to feed them, and not to bother with the litter, so she didn’t. We didn’t discuss payment, or if she would even want payment. She did it once before for me, and she asked for souvenirs, which I had brought her back (about $50 worth). This time, as Easter was coming (and yes, she does celebrate Easter) I thought I would give her a monetary gift and some Easter stuff, which I thought would add to the fun. So I put $20 in a card, and put the card in an Easter basket with some Easter stuff and personal stuff (like bath stuff). Doing errands that day, I saw hot cross buns at the store so I bought her a pack of them, also.

I left it all with her hubby, because she was not home when I dropped it off. I know their dog was very sick and put to sleep within a few days of this, so I’m not sure if she was caught up with the sick dog issue, or if the payment wasn’t sufficient, or if she just forgot, or if a thank you gift doesn’t have to be acknowledged. However, I don’t want to ask if it’s unnecessary to ask and appear to be fishing for compliments.

What do you think?

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23 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

If she thanked you for thanking her would you thank her for thanking you for thanking her?

I would probably let this one go.

Jude's avatar

I think that you’ve done enough. :)

Coloma's avatar

I’d give it some time, she might be preoccupied with her dogs illness/death. Yes, I agree, youshould probably let it go, if she’s a fairly conscientious person I am sure she will make reference and acknowledge your gifts at some point. It’s possible her husband forgot to tel/give her the gifts too. Wait and see.

janbb's avatar

It sounds like you did a nice thing and that she is pre-occupied with her sorrow. I would leave it for now.

wundayatta's avatar

I agree. Also, if I were your neighbor, I would be a bit insulted that you felt you had to give me so much. But I wouldn’t say anything. Still, it would make me uncomfortable.

gambitking's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with simply asking if she received the gift, and reiterate your appreciation for her help. Offer condolences for the lost pet and leave it at that.

Also ask yourself if you find yourself seeking confirmation/approval in other situations in your life, as this might simply be a quirk of your personality!

jca's avatar

@gambitking: No, it’s more that I am wondering if the actual cash part was enough. As I said, I gave her $20. We didn’t discuss payment beforehand, I don’t know if she wanted or expected payment, but if she did, I am not sure if it was adequate. I want to make sure she’s happy, because if I would like her services in the future, I don’t want any misunderstandings or upsetness on her part.

marinelife's avatar

I think that amount was more than adequate.

If you give her a sympathy card for the loss of her pet, you could ask then if she got the basket..

wundayatta's avatar

Do you see this as an employment relationship or a neighborly relationship? Like, if she asked you to care for her pet, would you expect to be paid if you never said anything about it?

6rant6's avatar

You trusted your neighbor enough to ask for help – good neighboring.
She followed through, even doing more than you asked – good neighboring.
You gave her a gift in return for services, probably above the call of duty – good neighboring.
Worrying that she didn’t express appreciation for what you had done – not.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: I see it more as a friendly relationship, and if I did it for her it would be a total favor.

@6rant6: I am not looking for appreciation, I was wondering if what I did was adequate, as far as the cash goes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

After a pet dies, I really don’t want to talk to anyone about their pets or my pets. I need time.

I wouldn’t look into this or analyze this any further @jca. Clearly she doesn’t mind looking after your pets since she’s done it for you twice now.

If it were me, I’d let my neighbor know (which I have) that I’ll gladly look after their pets with no expectations in return. I happen to know animals, they happen to have animals. I’ll be neighborly to them & their pets.

6rant6's avatar

@jca You’re right, that’s what you said. I think being a good neighbor requires you to use good judgement and trust in it. If I were you neighbor, I think that asking the question you’re considering asking could easily lead me to think you wanted thanks. So. I still say, drop it.

jazmina88's avatar

I think you did awesome.
Maybe she is having issues with losing her pet.

I have ungrateful folk in my family that never say thank you. I cant stand it. But you cant change other folks.

she’ll come around.

chyna's avatar

Did she say thank you the first time you did this? If so, maybe she thought her husband thanked you or is just devastated over the loss of her pet.

jca's avatar

@chyna: Last time, she thanked me. This time no mention at all.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t have included the money. The Easter presents were a nice idea but not necessary. Good neighbours help each other because it’s what they do, they don’t have to be rewarded.

anartist's avatar

Let it go. She never asked you for money. She may even have been embarrassed, thinking you saw her as someone in need of pay for service. Besides she had the sick doggie.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think what you did in return for your neighbor’s assitance was perfectly appropriate, @jca. My guess is she is grieving for her dog. Just one thing I wanted to ask. Her husband knows who you are, right? I just thought that if he didn’t know you very well or maybe didn’t know your name, that could account for her not approaching you and acknowledging your thoughtfulness.

jca's avatar

@bkcunningham: Yes, I know them both by name and seeing them walking their dogs, stopping by on occasions to both our houses, and just from living here around 10 years so far.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think what you both did for each other was very nice. I bet she just hasn’t gotten around to mentioning she received the nice gifts. It is nice to have neighbors that help other neighbors.

bkcunningham's avatar

Don’t what? Help my neighbors and have neighbors that help me? Oh, if you could only experience my neighborhood you’d be amazed. I’ve lived here fulltime for a little over a year and I’m still awed by the wonderful people who make up this community. Not just the people on my cul-de-sac, but the community at large.

People, including myself, are helpful, friendly, cooperative and giving. Most are people who help at the drop of a hat and do so without asking anything in return. (But in addition to the personal gratification that I get when I help, it seems I always find a thoughtful note or gift like @jca offered to express her thanks, on my deck.)

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