15 Ways Breaking Up Is So Much Harder When You’ve Shared A Pet

via Flickr - Helena Price
via Flickr – Helena Price

1. “I feel like getting a pet is something you shouldn’t do until you get married like having a kid or something. Ex and I got a dog about a year after she moved in with me and when we broke up she insisted on keeping the dog even though she’d never walked or fed it. Basically she cried and called me over and over until I relented. Surprise, surprise, she wasn’t responsible enough for a pet even at age 27 and lost the dog within a week of having her by walking her off leash. She literally ran away.”

—Jaques, 28

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2. “Having an ex-dog is the worst. My boyfriend already had a dog when we moved in together and I spent two years with that pooch learning all the spots she loved scratched and washing her and feeding and walking her. When we broke up I felt like I was losing two people I loved instead of just one and only one of those had loved me unconditionally. I still keep a photo of me and Maggie as my phone’s background. Sweetest dog ever.”

—Jaimie, 25

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3. “My ex-girlfriend and I bought a dog when we decided to move in together. Neither of us really knew what we were doing though and six months later we were going our separate ways. We both wanted to keep the dog, a super sweet little Beagle. We ended up flipping a coin (it was the only way we could decide) for who would keep him full time and she won. I really do come over and walk him and take him to the park on weekends though. My friends think I’m weird but it’s like having a kid.”

—Marcus, 24

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4. “I wouldn’t have imagined it when we moved in together but my ex-boyfriend got extremely attached to my cat and he’d never been a cat guy before. I mean, he was a big strong dude and he actually cried when he hugged her goodbye. Seeing how sweet he was, I almost wanted us to get back together.”

—Cindy, 26

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5. “When my ex-boyfriend and I broke up he held my dog hostage for a week saying I could have him back ‘when we talked about the breakup.’ I just wanted to break up and get him out of my life but since he had this bargaining chip I met him, took the dog, and got the hell out of there. The man was a psychopath.”

—Molly, 23

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6. “We didn’t live together but my ex-boyfriend and I picked up the cutest little mutt from the pound after watching one of those rescue videos on YouTube where the dog gets nursed back to health. When we broke up it was amicable and since we live in the same town he still comes over to see her and she remembers him. He also watches her when I’m out of town. It’s pretty great to tell you the truth.”

—Gabrielle, 24

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7. “When my wife and I divorced she told the judge that I used to beat our (my) 14-year-old Golden Lab to try to get sympathy since her cheating on me was why we were divorcing in the first place. She said it caused her ’emotional trauma.’ Luckily, he didn’t believe her and I didn’t get stuck with a bunch of alimony payments to the woman who broke my heart. I can’t imagine what she’d have said if we’d had kids.”

—Greg, 30

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8. “This is a tough story for me. My girlfriend and I broke up two years ago and she gave me what had been her dog before we even started dating since she had to move into a super small apartment. Well, I loved that dog but he just wasn’t crazy about me and got really depressed after just a couple of months being away from her. I wanted to keep him but he just wasn’t happy and I ended up calling my ex and telling her it wasn’t going well. He’s back with her now and is a lot happier even though her place is small. Heartbreaking for me though!”

—Michael, 25

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via Flickr - Soggydan
via Flickr – Soggydan

9. “My ex-boyfriend literally called me at work to tell me he was moving out and taking our Labradoodle with him. I was glad to see him go but I would have wanted to keep Hank. I did try to see him a couple of times but the ex always had some excuse. I’m sure he knew doing that would hurt me. It was like the final insult.”

—Catherine, 29

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10. “I lived with a girl my senior year of college and we had a couple of cats. When we graduated we decided not to stay together and neither of us knew if we’d be able to have cats where we were going. A professor of ours ended up taking them but breaking up and losing your pets and graduating was traumatic. Waaaay too much change. I felt like I was abandoning and being abandoned all at once.”

—Zachary, 22

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11. “My boyfriend from years ago took our dog with him when we broke up. I was mostly fine with it except the dude was pretty flakey and I worried that he’d ignore vet visits and things like that. Well, flash forward five years and I hear that our lovely Springer Spaniel died because he had heart worms which is something dogs only get when they’re being neglected. It’s ridiculously easy to prevent. I’m sure he thought ‘it’ll all turn out fine’ but it made me so mad. It still makes me mad thinking about that idiot.”

—Tiffany, 28

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12. “First of all, I love dogs but I just don’t like the responsibility that comes with owning one so I just date guys with dogs instead. I have to say,  it’s really awesome. All of the fun, and little responsibility. That said, most of the time, I miss the dogs more than I miss the guys. But I suppose it would be weird to have your ex-girlfriend come over and play with your dogs after you break up. Maybe it’s not that weird. Maybe I should ask?”

—Katy, 25

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via Flickr - Niek Braam
via Flickr – Niek Braam

13. “When I was younger and 1000x more of a pushover my boyfriend at the time and I got a dog together. I quickly discovered that he was manipulative and a liar and that I’d been a fool for moving in with him. I moved out without telling him and took our dog with me. I’d been the one to take care of him and I didn’t feel like my ex had any right to him. But that didn’t stop the dude from calling me every few days and threatening to come get him from me because ‘I didn’t deserve him.’ It took months of worrying if he was going to steal my dog to tell him to leave me alone or I’d be calling the police. He got the message then.”

—Mandy, 28

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14. “My cat that I’d had for seventeen years died the same week that my girlfriend and I started talking about breaking up. We’d been dating for three of those years and my ex really did love my cat. It was the weirdest thing but we didn’t break up for another month because we were both sort of grieving together about it and when we did break up it wasn’t as nasty as I think it would have been otherwise. It was sort of like any anger we’d had towards each other just got sucked out of us during that period.”

—Chris, 32

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15. “Pets really do end up being like kids in a lot of ways but if you have two pets it’s a whole other crazy mess. My ex and I had a cat and a dog and when we broke up we decided to split them up and then it was a whole guilty mess trying to decide who would go where and asking yourself insane questions like ‘will this cat think I’m rejecting her if I take the dog and vice versa.’ I do miss the cat but I think my dog misses her more. It’s amazing how much more difficult another living creature can make breaking off a relationship.”

—Arthur, 28 TC mark

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