If you peruse the internet, you’ve likely seen last month’s viral post about a Roanoke, Virginia man given an ultimatum by his girlfriend ~ “It’s either me or the dog!” His choice? Well, he did what any young, red-blooded American male with a hot girlfriend would do… he posted an ad on Craigslist explaining his girlfriend did not like his Beagle, Molly, so he had no choice but to rehome her… the girlfriend, that is! (Read the post at http://www.woofipedia.com/articles/10752-his-girlfriend-told-him-to-get-rid-of-his-dog-craigslist). So what would you do if you were in the same situation?
According to an AP-Petside.com poll from 2011 in which 1,501 adults nationwide participated, 84 percent of those surveyed said they would choose their spouse or significant other over their pet, while 14 percent would choose their cuddly companion and give their human partner the boot. The survey also revealed unmarried pet parents are more likely to choose Fido or Fluffy over the person they are dating or living with (25 percent of those unmarried versus only 8 percent of those who are married), and women are more likely than men to choose their precious pet over a partner (40 percent of women versus 26 percent of men).
Giving up a pet for any reason can be difficult – after all, many consider their pet to be an integral part of their family. Personally, I consider my pet to be a part of who I am; I can’t imagine my life without a fur baby. I wouldn’t be me without my pet and my connection to animals, and being asked to give her up would be equivalent to asking me to no longer be me. Not that I’ve ever been given such an ultimatum by a significant other, but I think if I were, the demand alone would likely cause animosity and irreparable damage to our relationship. If you ever find yourself in a situation where rehoming your pet is necessary – whether it be for the sake of your relationship or some other reason – please keep in mind the following:
Your pet accepts you for who you are, expects nothing from you, and relishes the opportunity to be with you. Do your absolute best to return this loyalty by being the best pet parent you can be.
- If you are asked to choose between your pet and your spouse or long-term partner, consider the possibility that the pet is not the problem. You both need to be open and honest about your feelings and frustrations, empathetic to each other’s feelings, and – together – come up with responsible solutions.
- Did your new boyfriend or girlfriend ask you to “get rid of your dog”? Consider how much your pet means to you and ask yourself if you truly want to pursue a relationship with someone who would ask you to abandon your pet. Would you be able to get past it?
- If you truly feel you have no other choice but to rehome your pet, ask your good friends and family members if they would like to welcome a pet into their home. Or work with a reputable local rescue organization who can find your pet a new, forever home. Whatever option you choose, do your best to ensure your pet’s new home will provide him with the love and respect the deserves.
Pets shouldn’t be considered “whenever;” they should be considered “forever.” Before making a decision that will forever alter your life and the life of your pet, make every effort, exhaust every option, and do everything you can to ensure the best for your pet.