Divorced Dad Does – Sharing the Dog

I love my dog! My dog is actually my birthday dog we got when I turned 40 years old. She is a small 15lb terrier that can trail run with me all day long. She hops in the car when heading to Tahoe and loves to be outside chasing whatever she can find. But sadly when you get divorced, who gets the dog?

I decided to write this today because I am alone in my house without my favorite companion. My daughter requested that I drop her off at Mom’s house the other day and I could not refuse. But man…not to be a jerk but I was trying to figure out a way to “forget” to drop her off. Am I being selfish….probably. Today I have this feeling of loneliness because she is at the Ex’s house and not mine.

For over 6 years since being divorced our “my” dog has gone back and forth between homes. There is no real schedule like the kids have but I probably get her 65% of the time. But lately my Ex stopped working and now the requests are happening more and more. The kids love the dog too….and of course they are one of the main reasons she goes back and forth between houses. But in the end….she is mine and I hate not having her around as I work from home. She gets me out of the house for walks, takes naps with me, barks every day at the mailman and its nice having another living thing in my home when by myself. Its not like I talk to my dog or anything….but I kind of talk to my dog.

When we first started out we were going to share the dog 50/50. But over time the Ex, who has a somewhat busy social life along with changing jobs a couple of times, the dog was mine. Somehow when her life changes, my time with my dog changes. I am not one to create drama and I just go with the flow, but there might be a breaking point in the future if this keeps going. When getting divorced, you have to share/split a lot of things. In California its 50/50 and we used a mediation lawyer to write up the paperwork. I was fortunate in my career to retire early and YES half of that went a way. The funny thing is its not losing a small fortune or even material things that I cared about. But the dog….come on…cut me some slack. Let me have one thing that’s mine. Its funny the things that bubble up over the years after a divorce. You would think there is resentment, bad feelings or whatever down the road but its actually the small things that you truly care over time. Beside having my kids with me as much as possible, and I am lucky I get them a lot! Man’s best friend seems to be the other biggest concern post divorce.

If you are in the process of divorcing take note that the family pets have to be considered just like the kids. At first you may not really care or vice versa but I almost wonder if there should have been some type of actually notation about who/what/where the family pet(s) will go and stay. There is a lot to deal with when divorcing. Money, Kids, House, Wills, Furniture etc… But make sure to include your dog (or cat) or you might be sitting alone typing about missing your dog in a blog someday too.


One thought on “Divorced Dad Does – Sharing the Dog

  1. This post touched my heart and I’m sorry that you don’t have your adorable dog more often because that bond you have with her is important, especially when you’re feeling alone. When my ex and I split up, he walked away from us all, including the pets. (We had cats) Although I think it’s different with cats vs dogs and moving houses. Dogs seem to adapt better. But he chose our cat so it’s weird that he didn’t want anything to do with her.


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