A separation from another person is almost always difficult and emotionally draining, whether it be a divorce or a break-up. Sometimes it involves more than two hearts, those hearts may belong to children, extended family members or even pets. When we hear about these break-ups people typically do not think of the pets that are involved, after all, they are secondary aren't they? Not always. Our family pets are extensions of us, they experience our day to day life alongside us giving us love, smiles and warmth when we need it and even when we don't. Secondary is not a term most pet lovers would agree with.
Many couples choose to get a dog or a cat together, but few think about what could happen if their relationship does not last. So, what do they do when the relationship ends and the pet is left in the middle? Although the couple can go to court in the case of a divorce or legal separation, most judges will not have anything to do with deciding who should get to keep the pet. The judges will not enforce or sometimes even acknowledge a custody agreement or arrangment regarding a pet. The reason is because, under the law, pets are considered property, nothing more than a couch, a television or a dining room table. Those with pets would disagree with that characterization, however, it is what it is.
So, what do you do if you have a break-up and Rex is left standing in the middle? Who should Rex live with? Who should take care of Rex's expenses? A court is not going to answer these questions and you probably would not want it to. In this type of situation I recommend a pet mediator. Yes, I said a pet mediator. With a mediator you can work together with your former better half and reach a solution to the question of what happens to Rex. You may think this sounds ridiculous and I would ask why? Why is this ridiculous? After all, you feed Rex, you take him on walks, take him to the vet, talk to him, share your leftovers with him, why would it be ridiculous to treat him like a family member with a heart and find the best solution for him? Many will cite cost. The belief or fear is that the cost of enlisting a mediator would be too high. Not necessarily. Hiring a pet mediator could be less expensive than a surgery for your loved one who ate the wrong thing.
Just as you have made the decisions for Rex during the relationship you will want to be the one to make the decision of what happens to him now. You do not want to leave that decision up to someone else. With a pet mediator the three of you can discuss the situation and circumstances, brainstorm, and make the decision together. The mediator will try to help the two of you resolve the situation and think of alternatives that you may not have considered before.
The take away? Do not knock it, give a pet mediator a try, you and your Rex will be happy that you did.