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Life Lessons From a Split-Custody Dog
But what happens to these dog-babies when the young couples don't marry and have actual-babies? What happens when the couples break up? Marisa Meltzer and her boyfriend found themselves in this predicament when they split up, and decided to share custody of their dog, Chauncey. Meltzer writes for GOOD about how at first it worked out perfectly -- they lived across the street from one another and shared the dog. The dog was well-cared-for and happy, and Meltzer could sneakily keep tabs on her ex. Then her ex-boyfriend moved in with his new girlfriend, across town. Meltzer writes, "Only when Kevin stopped turning up in my apartment each afternoon was I able to understand that putting someone else’s needs first—the dog’s—required me to more closely monitor my own needs, too." Sharing the dog kept the two linked, which as anyone who's ever had an ex knows is part-nice and part-exhausting. But in the end, it was the dog's needs that allowed Meltzer to move on. She couldn't moon over her ex's new life. After all, she had a dog to take care of.
What a lucky dog-baby, first of all, to have people who love him so much. And also: how lucky we pet-owners are, to have these sweet animals around, teaching us lessons in forgiveness and moving on, helping us to practice varying emotional states, and being gracious enough, even after they've gone from being dog-babies to just plain dogs, to snuggle our feet on chilly evenings.
Loving Our Pets
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