Staying Together For The Dogs: A Poor Scheme

Pet writer Julia Szabo divorced her husband in 2001, but they lived together for eight years. "For the sake of their six dogs."

Writes Szabo, "We had raised our own six-pack of rescue dogs — four pit bulls and two mixed breeds — over the last 15 years and we couldn't bear to split them up. More to the point, neither of us wanted to part with any of them." Fair enough; these are obviously people who are serious about their pets. But eight years? And that's not all!

For the first few years after the divorce, John and I slept together in the same bed. Shocked? Don't be: Our dogs are very good in bed, and there were so many of them curled up between us, around our heads and feet (and sometimes on top of one or both of us), that neither he nor I noticed the other's existence.

What sounds like the makings of a bad rom com sounds even worse in real life - and we're not even talking about the dating hilarity that would ensue in said movie (which would, let's face it, star Sandra Bullock.)

When the two finally decided to part ways, each taking three dogs, her ex wanted her "baby," a white rescue pitbull named Angus who was, um, Szabo's "dashing, dependable date at red-carpet events." The custody fight caused her untold anguish, and then the answer came to her - and was so obvious! "I was tormented for weeks, looking for a solution, until I realized what I should do: Seek the advice of an animal psychic." Duh! The soothsayer communes with Angus and reveals "wordlessly but loud and clear, that although he loves my ex and me equally, protecting John is his duty."

I make no claims to canine clairvoyance, but I'm guessing the dog's thought's were along the lines of "Eight years? Seriously, I did not ask you to do that; don't put your issues on me, okay?" And in all seriousness, wouldn't the dogs have been stressed out by the atmosphere in the house, anyway? In one way, she and her ex seem to have been perfectly matched. It's an issue of another kind when both don't share pet mania: take a letter into Slate's "Dear Prudence" in which a disgruntled gf rants to Prudie about her steady's motor-purring cat, Sherman. Doesn't her sleep matter? She asks. Can't they kick it out? Au contraire, comes the answer: the cat's habits are too ingrained. And, one assumes, so are the boyfriend's. Here 's a case where the cat's thoughts are easy to read: Get Out. He's Mine. And I will always win.
'Til Dogs Do Us Part [NY Post]
Dear Prudence: Sleeping With My Boyfriend's Cat [Slate]