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Ex wants dog back- whats reasonable?

(102 Posts)
rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 20:45:13

Hello all

relationship ended last week after 9 months, no major issue, just not compatible in the main. she asked me to have her dog in January- I agreed as she was very unhappy with him and he had a pretty poor quality of life- few walks, left alone, not allowed lots of places, and consequently he shit and pissed inside regularly. im part time, have a dog and walk lots so I took him reluctantly and asked around for people to take him on permanently, as did she. anyway, he settled in and my dog and him are very happy, enjoy being together and he's part of the local community . and he's grown on me, I'm very fond of him now, he's part of the family. and he's a happy, proper dog

tonight she rang and demanded him back. I imagined we'd sort some shared care thing. no. she's reinvented history and he had a great life and she loves him. and more importantly he's her dog, she owns him. I'm completely thrown. he would have a shit quality of life with her and as I said he's settled in and is happy here. he stayed with her son when we went away for a week and it was awful- he was unhappy, cried a lot, son didn't enjoy it or walk him, although miraculously now he wants him back (son is adult so should be able to look after him)

I don't want to do the wrong thing. any thoughts please?

ThisFenceIsComfy Mon 28-Sep-15 20:49:50

Hell no I would not be handing that dog back!!

Just remind her of the facts and say that the dog stays with you. Did you live together during the relationship? Did the dog just come and live with you? If so, really she relinquished ownership of him and he is now yours.

ThisFenceIsComfy Mon 28-Sep-15 20:51:26

Is he registered at a vets with you or her?

TrionicLettuce Mon 28-Sep-15 20:52:13

You could try Trevor Cooper at Dog Law, he's a solicitor who specialises in all kinds of cases involving dogs including custody disputes.

SurlyCue Mon 28-Sep-15 20:55:33

She handed over her dog after dating you for a matter of weeks and despite knowing how badly she treated it you stayed with her for 9 months? confused

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:01:06

we didn't live together. she asked me in January and I reluctantly- he's not my kind of dog- took him in. she was horrible about him, saying how dirty he was and that he did it on purpose. which is why I took him. I have all rescue animals here. I'm a sucker for a sad story.

hes not with any vet. nor chipped nor neutered (mine are, I have cats too)

its harder work having 2, and dearer- that's why I didn't want him originally- but like I said hes part of the family and hes happy. and people comment on how much hes changed since he came to me- more sociable outgoing and happy. I realise im making the case for him staying here but it makes me sad to think about him returning to the lonely life he had. she says she would socialise him now that's she's seen him out with me and how happy he is with other dogs. she didn't socialise him before. we stayed by the coast last month- he'd never been to the seaside before. Christ I sound like a right sad case. I just want him to be well cared for and I don't really believe she'll do it. part of why I ended it-nagging feeling she wasn't kind enough generally

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:02:57

surely- she wasn't cruel I don't think, just now particularly good with him. Jesus id have chucked her instantly if she was obviously unkind. people don't showcase their bad sides immediately I find

ThisFenceIsComfy Mon 28-Sep-15 21:03:22

Get him registered at a vets and chipped and neutered.

JeffsanArsehole Mon 28-Sep-15 21:03:42

I'd text (so I'd have a record) "you gave me the dog 9 months ago because you didn't want him. He is now my dog and you can't have him back"

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:03:56

thanks trionic- I'll have a look

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:06:05

so it's reasonable for me to keep him?

she kept saying tonight 'he's my dog' and I was torn, because he is. and perhaps I struggle with conflict...

MuttonCadet Mon 28-Sep-15 21:06:45

Yes, keep him.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 28-Sep-15 21:10:25

Do what Jeff said, and then tomorrow do what Comfy said. She cannot be trusted to look after him and you cannot deliberately send him back to where he might be neglected.

You will not be able to live with yourself if you do. You will spend your time worrying about him. And he probably will be miserable.

laundryeverywhere Mon 28-Sep-15 21:13:55

I don't think you should agree. Just say you feel that he is your dog since you have taken him in and cared for him for months. I think she is trying to engage with you as you recently split up and maybe trying to hurt you too. A dog is not a toy to give away and take back as you please, it has needs too and that should come first.

SurlyCue Mon 28-Sep-15 21:15:24

he had a pretty poor quality of life- few walks, left alone, not allowed lots of places, and consequently he shit and pissed inside regularly.

she was horrible about him, saying how dirty he was and that he did it on purpose

people don't showcase their bad sides immediately I find


You knew all that^ in january.

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:24:10

surly she worked long hours and her ex had moved out a few months before, it wasn't clear what exactly was going on. but actually maybe with hindsight I swallowed down my concerns as it would have meant I couldn't have carried on with her. would explain partly why I was uncomfortable and couldn't put my finger on it. it was honeymoon period January, I probably overlooked a lot

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:26:08

and thanks everyone for your comments. I felt as if I was being a bastard but im not. and I feel guilty for ending it. pff

SWFARMER Mon 28-Sep-15 21:32:27

Keep the dog. She gave him to you and you've been paying for him!

SurlyCue Mon 28-Sep-15 21:33:22

Aye of course. hmm It always amazes me what people will overlook for a regular fuck. It suited you to ignore her shitty care of him before but now youre using it against her.

Anyway, dont give her the dog back. I'd sooner rehome him to someone i knew would treat him like their own child than keep him and risk her getting him back.

CookieDoughKid Mon 28-Sep-15 21:37:21

You have no obligation to give the dog back. It's not a toy that she can have back on a wim.if she wants to piss money fighting you in court for the dog - then let her. It takes a looooooong time for that to happen and a LOT of £££. Call her bluff. Disengage with her. Why you talking to her anyway? And get your dog registered etc at the vet.

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:39:03

I expect you never misjudged another human surly or gave the benefit of the doubt.

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:41:12

cookie I'm a fucking wimp. I don't like upsetting people. I'm working on it. but I appreciate all the comments and the dog stays here

SurlyCue Mon 28-Sep-15 21:42:17

Oh i sure have. However when it comes to the neglect of an animal or child i'm in no doubt about where the line is. There are some things you shouldnt even need to think about!

rumred Mon 28-Sep-15 21:50:06

It is rarely that obvious or black and white. Or the police and social care would have very easy jobs

SunshineAndShadows Mon 28-Sep-15 21:51:34

Hi OP I think you need to text or email back (so it's in writing)

"Sorry but you relinquished the dog to me 9 months ago. Since then I have taken in the responsibilities of his ownership and keeping including covering all costs associated with feeding, plus time spent exercising, training etc."

In the eyes of thaw dogs are 'kept' like cars rather than owned. A microchip will register you as the keeper and she'd have to spend a lot of time and money trying to get back a dog she willingly relinquished

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