Keeping Your Dogs Through a Divorce

One of the reasons dogs are surrendered into Rescue is that the owner is in the midst of a divorce, often a nasty divorce, and does not feel up to the struggle needed to find housing that will accept the dogs. I try to get such people to recognize that in this difficult time they really NEED the steadfast companionship of their dog and that if they give the dog up, they will regret it "maybe not today , maybe not tomorrow , but soon and for the rest of your life." Here is the testimonial of someone who kept her two Bouvier through her nasty divorce despite all the difficulties and who is very glad she did so. (I have the author's permission to quote this material, but have omitted names of persons concerned.)
To Rescuers, I would point out that this is one of those circumstances in which offering the option of temporary low cost boarding for the dog(s) until the divorcing person can find a place to live can be the key to enabling an otherwise good guardianship to continue. It can be far better than accepting surrender of ownership and placing the dogs in a new home. (DO be sure to protect yourself with a good board contract that does transfer ownership to Rescue if the divorcing person is unable to resume care by some pre-agreed date.)

Keeping Your Dogs Through a Divorce

I have a 5 1/2 year old bouvier that will need a new home soon. The unfortunate circumstances around his need to be placed involve a pending divorce (one that is rapidly getting extremely ugly). My friend does not want to give the guy up, but she will be hard pressed to find a rental place that will take on a big dog (right now she owns her home, but will have to sell it in the course of the divorce), and is temporarily having to move herself and her two sons in with her parents. He is in no danger of anything..........he will be coming to stay with me.
                      -----   a Rescue person

I was in the same circumstances a few months ago.

I lost my home, my business and virtually everything except my two Bouvs due to an ugly divorce (the Judge would have given him the Bouvs too, if he wanted them). NOBODY would rent to me because of their size. I moved in with my mother and I have the Bouvs. Yes, its uncomfortable for them as they went from having two acres of land to romp, down to a very, very small lot.

I thought about finding a home for them because of the circumstances however I am glad that I didn't pursue it. Too many changes too quick come with divorce (especially with an unexpected divorce). Sometimes we don't think very clearly and we may make decisions that we will regret down the road. Parting with my Bouvs would be most "difficult" but I realized that after 25 years of marriage that although my husband no longer loved me, the Bouvs still love me. In fact it was the Bouvs that gave me a reason to get up every morning and function. I will do and continue to do whatever is necessary to keep them.

I hope that your friend thinks very hard about giving her Bouv up on a permanent basis at this time. Maybe finding a foster home would be a better idea for her to consider right now if she can't keep her Bouv at her parents. I wish I could help her out as I know exactly what she is going through.

                      --------   a dogged divorcée


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 8/21/03 revised 8/21/03
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