Before you get OVER excited and think I have invented a new sexual position I am talking about who gets to keep the family pet in the case of a divorce. I am of course referring to the very public feud between Ant McPartlin and Lisa Armstrong over the custody of their pet Labrador Harley. Fighting over the dog may seem childish and petty but that’s what it just seems like on the surface. There is a whole lot more going on here. The dog after all just needs a kind and loving home which either of them could provide but it’s become a power struggle between the couple. Both wanting to be Top Dog!
When my ex- husband and I separated (so he could set up home with my friend and neighbour!) we had to deal with the question of who gets the dog on rather a grand scale. We had eight dogs and one cat between us.
Dogs had been a big part of our lives for most of our marriage! We started off with one a majestic Rottweiler, then two.. a Springer Spaniel. The Spaniel inspired my husband to get into working gun dogs and so began our dog breeding business. It was common for us to have a litter of puppies on the go and the kennel of dogs that he worked and trained just kept growing. I was heavily involved from the start dealing with pedigrees and whelping bitches.
So when it came to deciding who got what there was of course a dispute. We had two dogs living in the house and one of them Brook was a dog I had chosen and who during my husbands affair’s had been a great comfort to me. Dogs have the ability to just be in your space and without actually doing much, other than just being there they offer a shoulder to cry on. Brook had his own form of cuddles that he gave on command.
But I knew that he was also one of the best working dogs and he loved and enjoyed his work, it was what he was bred for after all and came from a long line of top gundogs. I would have loved to have kept him but knew it was better for him to go with my ex. I ended up with two of the older springer’s Misty and her son Badger and a Black Lab bitch called Breeze. The rest went off to their new country life in Norfuck! Sadly they have all died since then. time waits for no man or dog!
But when it came to the cat Widget I dug my heels in. I knew that the other women (her next door) was into cats and in fact Widget spent a good deal of her time in their garden and she was fond of her. I heard on the grapevine (as you do) that she was hoping the cat was going with them to the country. As you can imagine when my husband dropped into the conversation that he was hoping to take the cat I knew where this had come from and the battle lines were drawn. He would be taking the cat over my dead body! What a pair of arseholes! Not content with breaking up two homes they wanted to take the family cat never-mind the children and trail of destruction they were living behind!
My answer to his question was “you can fuck right off” The day we moved from the marital home Widget managed to escape from her cat basket and it was two days before we managed to find her. But ten years on she is still with me aged 15 and not too well. But she was a symbol of the proverbial last straw! A battle between me and the other woman that I had to win!
So similarly Harley has become the last straw for Lisa. With Ant moving on and in a new relationship the dog has become symbol of all she has lost. Whilst Ant has not been winning any medals in the Husband of The Year stakes with his problems and addictions she did stand by him for most of it. She may have got tired of his antics at the end but now he is moving on the reality of the situation is hitting home. She wants to hurt him the only way she can and that is by keeping the dog. It’s a very natural reaction.
The poor dog is being pulled from pillar to post but he is a simple creature and has no idea he is a pawn in a power game. My advice to Ant is grow a pair and let Lisa have the dog. He could still have Harley when Lisa is travelling. But more importantly if as rumour suggests his new girlfriend is pregnant he will soon have something much more fulfilling to care about. A new baby in the mix will soon put the dog in perspective and he should do the kind thing and give in.
He and his new squeeze could get a new puppy and let Lisa have her victory albeit a shallow one. There is nothing worse than devoting most of your life to a man who just can’t get his act together ( and I should know) Only to have him move swiftly on as if you were the problem after all. If Ant won’t give in then Lisa should not only get herself a new dog she should find herself a new man to play with.
As the saying goes the only way to get over a man is to get under another! Amen to that…Fetch!
For my story of Divorce and Revenge and Toyboys! read my book available on Amazon!.