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How Is Your Pet Better Than Your Ex?

Today’s Friday Challenge comes from Mr. CL, who is besotted with our Golden Retriever puppy, Monty. I am less enchanted. Especially at 3 a.m. when he climbs in the bed to deposit a slimy chew toy on my head.

Mr. CL wants to know if a pet helped you get through D-Day and beyond. Was it the cuddles? The routine of caregiving? The crying snot absorption of dog fur?

Personally, for me, caring for a child was enough routine and caregiving to distract me. But Mr. CL had his faithful Schnauzer Casper. I salute Casper for being a good friend in a time of need.

I gotta say though, Casper was the grouchiest dog that ever lived.

I just said this to Mr. CL and he replied: “He was honest!”

“If he was having a bad day, he was grouchy! He never deceived me. He was totally himself.”

Okay, I remember a stolen turkey carcass, which I think counts as deception. But I confess I was blind to Casper’s charms. He growled at anyone in the kitchen who got near the treat jar. All hugs had to include him. And he had zero desire to please. Not a single codependent bone in his dog body.

“But he was companionable! He would hang out with you! He didn’t make up reasons to not like you. If you didn’t throw the frisbee, he would poop on the rose bushes. No gaslighting! He didn’t sneak off to a separate family.”

(cough… spackle… cough…)

So, your Friday Challenge: How is/was your pet better than your ex? And how did they help you get through D-day and beyond?

And if you don’t have a pet, I have a spazzy Golden Retriever I can send you.

What I meant to write was, if you don’t have a pet, feel free to substitute anything else and why it’s better than your cheating ex.

P.S. I’ll post poetry winners this weekend. Thanks for your patience!

RIP Casper

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My cat is sweet, affectionate and reliable. She comes to bed each night and follows me during the day. She is always up to play, and she brings a good curious energy to the house. She even catches and kills mice or insects that intrude in the home. She makes adorable chatter at birds in the window. She is also very bonded to me and it takes weeks for her to warm up to strangers. With her I don’t feel alone or tragic, I feel like a solitary witch in the woods with a black cat familiar, independent and taking no shit.

    Unlike my Ex who wandered, needed constant attention from me or elsewhere, who couldn’t stick to a routine or hold up his chores in the household.

    • “…a solitary witch in the woods with a black cat familiar, independent and taking no shit.”
      Yotey, that’s amazingly poetic, powerful, and evocative.
      I feel the same about my solitary life with my two familiars. ❤️

    • My cat is not sweet or affectionate but she’s certainly reliable. She’s a cranky calico with a hair-trigger temper who can hiss at you just for saying her name, or looking at her, or being in the same room as her. Even with her anger management issues, she’s still a million times better to be with than my abusive cheating miserable ex.

  • My beloved Rusty. He was a border terrier and lived for 14 years. He died 6 months after d day. During those 6 months me and my faithful pooch went on numerous holidays together. His fur definitely mopped up my snot. He would listen to me me for hours with his head cocked and put a paw on my leg just to let me know I was loved. He was a loving, faithful soul with not an aggressive bone in his body unless you were a squirrel! The FW must have turned into a squirrel because upon coming over to collect some items Rusty growled and snarled and I just stood by and watched.

    Thank you Rusty for the joy you gave. 🐕🐾❤️

  • My beautiful handsome special 11year old Beagle boy, Hugo, was there for me from the beginning. I was happy just being him and me and no FW in our life. Sadly my baby boy died suddenly 6 weeks ago and I am devastated. He loved me totally, absolutely unconditionally, something a FW is incapable of doing ever. All he wanted was to be with me and I took him everywhere with me. I miss him so much 😭 and he and my friends were all I needed. Don’t let anyone tell you they’re “just a dog.” They are so much more and just his presence helped me through the worst of it.

    • Ozchump: my condolences about your pup. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a furry family member. People who say “it’s just a dog” well, I think “your heart must be small”.

      • Thanks do much TnT for your compassion. I just don’t understand people like that. Perhaps their heart is that small.

    • So sorry for your recent loss Ozchump. They are family members and we miss them forever when they go. They will forever be in our hearts.
      It’s a good way to judge the character of a person, if they don’t like animals or if the animals don’t like them, it’s a red flag to watch out for.

    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your furry companion. It’s the one massive down side of our furry friends, that they just don’t live as long as we do, generally. They’re part of our lives, we are their whole lives. One day, in the future, when the time is right, I hope another furry angel comes into your life x

  • Our minnie foxie barks at everything that comes anywhere near our place. He’s looking out for us, unlike the ex who abandonded us.

  • Finally healed enough to adopt a senior kitty after decades of sharing cat family with ex-FW. My lovely kitty wakes me up with kisses because she wants to share breakfast. FW would sneak to basement for phone call with OW. She brings me kitty toys because I’ve expressed interest. I can’t even remember FW saying “I picked this up for you because I knew you would like it”.

    Having a pet is an emotional risk, as well. I waited until I knew I could handle all the responsibilities.

  • I had a pet, but a coyote killed her shortly after D-Day. While we transported our dead dog in the back of the truck and grieved the loss of our dog, ex (who was at this point living with his AP of almost 3 years), told me to get another dog. I dug in my heels because, as much as I loved my dog, I didn’t want this FW to tell me what to do or have any influence at all on my decisions going forward. He’d lost that right when he cheated.

    Turns out I can’t have a pet in my apartment, so I’m glad I didn’t rush to get one.

    I’m sure a lot of chumps love their animals, and this entire challenge is predicated on the belief that pets don’t gaslight or blame and provide unconditional love…which is all true. Sometimes I wish I could get another dog, but, at other times, I feel relieved that I no longer have the responsibility of an animal.

    X did get a new dog. He seems to really need a pet. He and the dog give the other kibbles–one gets food and the other get ego gratification. That’s my take.

    Maybe I’ll get a dog in the future, but right now I don’t want to be tied down. I have my friends and my plants and 3 grand cats.

    What’s better than a cheating ex? Anything. Anything is better.

    • One day, when YOU want a fur companion and are in a position to have one, that will be when the right one will come into your life, not before. Three cheers for not having your wishes trodden on, and your boundaries stomped!

  • One of our beloved dogs died in the middle of the 2 year 4 times DDs events and multiple counselors sessions while on a supposed family beach weekend. I was already in the throws of confusion and kaos from all the DARVO, gaslighting, I was recovering from cancer surgery and the kids knew about the infidelity and believed their dads stupid lies about remorse and reconciliation and they just wanted some normalcy sooooo I agreed to yet another dog rescue replacement. This new dog was about 2 so no excessive puppy issues but he absolutely hated my ex (who hadn’t completely flown the nest yet for schmoopie) and barked and ran away whenever ex was around. Dogs know! I still have the dog and as annoying as he has become in his old age but I now trust this mutt as he loves my new bf (most say more then me) and has protected me (also recovering after a heart attack), our new home and my dtrs new puppy from harm of other people and dogs. Dogs know!!

  • My dog never cheated on me with other dogs
    My dog never talked about me behind my back
    My dog never gas lit me
    My dog never took money from me
    My dog only ever licked his own balls
    And if I locked her in a trunk with my dog which would be happy to see me when I came back in an hour

  • I had Olive, my “divorce dog”. The was a large black lab. I was separated maybe 3 weeks and my friend at work asked if I was interested in her, she couldn’t keep her anymore because she didn’t have a lot of property. I thought “I don’t have to ask anyone! Yes!” That dog hated my ex. There was an incident in which he was yelling and screaming at me and the dog started barking and growling aggressively at him. If I didn’t have a hand on her collar, she would have attacked him. Anytime he came over since, she would again growl and bark aggressively at him. We had small kids, so he was there for pickup and drop off.

    Olive loved my now husband, even while we were dating. She lived a long life and at the end was total care, couldn’t walk, incontinent, etc. We took her to the beach near the end, one of her favorite places and pulled her in a wagon, rode her around on the golf cart and fed her ice cream every night. My husband did it all without complaining. I miss her every day, but she was the best dog.

    I now have three dogs two cats , all rescues and again, the husband does not complain about them. They bring a lot of joy to our lives, especially since we are empty nesters. ❤️

  • This is timely as I had to send my beloved black lab over the Rainbow Bridge last night. Pinny was actually the EX dog but my daily routine as the ex lived, worked and cheated in another state. So she became my rock and protector. We have been thru hurricanes, a freeze without electricity for a week and a flood together….oh yea and a horrific 3 year divorce after 37 years. I won with Pinny. She made me feel loved, needed and protected….she weeded out unsavory people the minute they walked in my house. My heart is heavy today as pinny was more then a beloved pet she was my companion, my therapist and my best friend💕

    • I am so, so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Pinny was a wonderful friend. I am sending you blessings for comfort and consolation.

    • So sorry Susan! They give so much love every day, that it rips our hearts out to let them go! Pinny sounded like an awesome friend and there’s an extra added bond created when you survive trauma with them at your side. They are sent straight from heaven to love us! Deepest sympathies to you for your loss!
      I jokingly tell my 6 y/o doggie that he is not allowed to die before me, but I think I kind of mean it too! He’s my life partner. 💙

    • What a wonderful dog, and no, she was not your ex’s dog, she was ALL YOURS and knew that very well, clearly. Isn’t it the worst that they don’t live as long as, say, cheating liars? That’s literally the only complaint I have about creatures like Pinny, that they don’t live forever. My condolences and admiration for your courage in doing the right thing, rather than the selfish thing, for her when the time came.

      One day she might send you another fur companion to love and be your guardian angel.

  • Darby, my 10 year old Irish water spaniel would see me crying and just come and give me her paw. She’s a goof ball too, sit down on the toilet and she’s got you trapped, her ball must be thrown in the shower at least three times. I had her added to Marriage Settlement Agreement, no negotiation.
    Funny, I had taught her tricks, FW would show the patients acting like he was trainer extraordinaire.

  • My German Shepherd was elderly with spinal arthritis by the last D-Day, but not ready to give up yet. I put him in a rear end wheelchair and installed a ramp on the front steps. Suddenly he wanted to go for walks again. COVID hit and I had 3 months away from work. We walked my eerily quiet neighborhood at midnight in the middle of the streets…went for Jeep rides with the top down, slept outside in the backyard all summer. That time was precious to me. Taking care of him gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning but also reminded me that I was not the monster my ex made me out to be. He stayed long enough to get me through the worst of it. He went to the bridge in September of 2020.

  • I walked the Sh$t out of our dog. Taking a 2 mile walk with her daily watching her sniff the neighborhood helped.
    My dog is a sweet, kind dopey (but smarter than FW) catahoula leopard with a little bit of pit in her. She is so athletic and strong. We rescued her from shelter 2 years before Dday. I never owned a dog and didn’t want one. Having been attacked as a child I had a fear but FW and Son (13 at the time) pleaded. Now I don’t know how I could live without her (the dog 😆). She follows my son with parenting plan which means I get them every other week. Sure it adds to the work but it is worth it.
    In a Andrew Huberman podcast on happiness he spoke about how pet contact increases happiness. He touches on this at the 1:25:00 mark. I included the link.
    Hell just writing this made me happy and I am having a stressful morning.
    Have a great day everyone

    • I love catahoulas. They seem mythic and otherworldly and they’re apparently extremely protective. The fact that she follows your son everywhere reminds me of the animal “soul” familiars in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials books which I read and my daughter devoured.

  • Mr CL is right. The unconditional love of a dog during hard times is the best. The brisk daily walks in any weather helps too.

    Fun fact: it was the family dog who discovered my cheating ex. One evening when he supposedly went to the gym and I took the dog for a walk she insisted on going somewhere I normally wouldn’t go in the dark. I let the dog decide and lo and behold, cheaters car was parked outside OW’s house. No gym anywhere in that neighbourhood. At least not where normal people go for a workout. Anyway, 30 years of cheating unraveled thanks to my dog. Chumpy me had no idea. It turned out that he previously had tied the dog outside her house while he went in to get his workout.
    Wrong in so many ways. The fact that he involved the sweet dog in his illicit affairs really annoys me.

    Unfortunately dog is now dead. Cheater is not.

  • Gent was purchased as MY DOG. I trained, fed, bathed, and him. Gent was also abused under the hand of my ex like I was, mainly because my ex couldn’t stand that he loved me more than him. During the divorce my ex kept him from me as Gent was a shared asset that my ex wanted to claim. My ex would crate my 110lbs rambunctious hunting dog and take him everywhere with him so I couldn’t have my dog. Things got to dangerous at home so I ended up fleeing before our divorce was final. One weekend when I knew that my ex was out of town I went back to our house to get my clothes bc it was going to be about another 2-3 months before everything was finalized and I got the rest of my stuff. I figured he took Gent with him as he always did. Before I left, I heard faint weak consistent barking that sounded like Gent’s coming from the back yard. I figured I was hearing things but something made me go back there and to my and Gent’s delight, there he was. I couldn’t believe it! The poor baby was in a dog pen, in the hot sun, no water, no food, and the pen was completely covered in feces. He HATES poop! So, he was standing in one spot surrounded by fecal matter. His voice so raspy he could barely bark. I opened the pin and he rushed out licking my face and whining. I gave him water and took my dog! I took pics of that disgusting pen, his emaciated condition, no water, covered in feces, in the hot sun and presented it to the court. During mitigation Gent was the longest item we fought over… in hours of back and forth. My ex had 8 other dogs, yet he wanted mine. Finally, I threatened to walk and take him to court on neglect and abuse. I guess his lawyer finally got to him bc he let the issue go. My ex kept trying to get him after that in random weird ways so I neutered him to make him less desirable. It worked!

    It’s been 8.5 years and Gent is still with me through thick and thin. He HATES to be crated, hates when I leave to go on vacation worried I’m leaving him (so my mom or the kids stay with him), hates missing out on anything with his people, protects us from any threats, snuggles and cuddles every opportunity he can. He has gone as far as to jump through a window to find me bc some idiot man locked him up instead of listening to little ol’ me and allowing him to run free at our hunting club like he normally does (that was a hefty vet bill). He is my constant, my shadow, and my protector. He loves me, my kids, and my fiancé as we are his pack. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

    • Your ex should not own animals. People like him make my blood boil. I was involved in a rescue group a few years back (in a rural state) and unfortunately if the dog has a cover and water that is considered ok. Well being tied up all the time and I mean all the time, in all types of weather, is not ok with me. So yes, I “stole” a few dogs from those disgusting living situations.

    • “My ex kept trying to get him after that in random weird ways so I neutered him to make him less desirable. It worked!”
      SouthernChump, it’s clear what you mean here, but I must admit I was tickled by the way this sentence can be read as if your FW got neutered and rendered less desirable. 😉

    • Because your ex didn’t leave the other dogs starving in pens, it sounds like your ex only wanted Gent as a proxy of you he could continue to own, control and abuse. Typical batterer. I hope he ends up in prison.

  • Oh yes. My sweet Ranger. Half dachshund half black lab. Walked through the woods everyday, cuddled every night. Not only did he get ME through the worst period of my life, he also helped my (at the time) 14 yr old and 16 yr old manage their trauma. Our sweet pooch was also abandoned by The Salesman of The Year…..My very smart dog DID NOT Care. We all learned from him. He lived for 16 and a half years. Just went to hang out with the queen and her corgis this past September. I will be grateful to him forever…

  • My family always had a cat and a dog, but when I was cheated on I was not in a position to own a pet but I know it would have made a world of difference. Nothing against cats, they’re great, but there is nothing like a dog. For those chumps still suffering from the betrayal and feeling lonely, adopt a Belgian Malinois from a shelter. There are so many that need good homes. Yes, they are a high energy breed but I can guarantee that they will keep you so busy you won’t have the time or energy to dwell on a cheater or much else for that matter. Great protection and wicked smart.

  • I got a kitten during the divorce. Norman was found outside all alone and we thought he was a six to eight week old kitten. He was tiny. I took him to the vet and found out he was six months old, he had just been starving so he was so small. He helped me so much. He was completely attached to me. He would crawl into bed with me every night and snuggle up against me and attempt to nurse on my arm. I had to share all food with him or he’d scream at me and climb all over me. To this day, when I make a salad, I have to give him a spinach leaf and he eats it. He meets me at the door when I come home from work.

    I already had a cat, Hunter, and he’s a good cat but he used to hide a lot. I thought he was just that sort of cat. When we moved out of the apartment I lived with my ex in, he checked every room of the new apartment and then danced all over the living room floor singing (meowing). I was shocked. He’s been a whole new cat.

  • The Lying Cheating Loser proclaimed himself a dog person. I’m an avowed cat person. (I always say, I like dogs – and they like me – but I LOVE cats.)
    We jointly adopted a shelter cat as a rat deterrent, since there were rats aplenty in our neighborhood.

    The day we went to the shelter to visit the kittens, I had two objectives: not a male, and not a tabby.
    The LCL promptly declared he had a bond with a cute little gray tabby boy, so that’s the cat we came home with. I named him Gus, after Captain Augustus McCrae in the Larry McMurtry novel Lonesome Dove. (Mr. CL, being a Texan, will approve.)

    The “bond” between Gus and the LCL quickly withered, notwithstanding the fact that Gus is friendly to all humans. Maybe it was how the LCL would throw shoes at Gus when he meowed at the back door to be let out in the middle of the night. Maybe the LCL was shitty to him when I wasn’t around. Either way, Gus quickly became my cat. And the LCL got himself a German Shepherd puppy, whose care and feeding also quickly fell to me, because fuckwits gonna fuckwit.

    When Gus was about one and a half, I finally dumped the LCL. Gus and I moved to a one-bedroom, 500 sqft cottage that needed a complete interior paint job (I traded the labor for a month’s free rent). I put most of my stuff in storage and moved in with the bare necessities while I cleaned and painted – a small couch, a coffee maker and one mug, a wine glass, and Gus’s food and litter box.
    Gus didn’t leave my side for the first two weeks. He slept with me on that little couch every night.
    His constant affection, his trust in me, and my commitment to his care and well-being are what saved my life.

    Less than a year later, Gus and I moved again, this time to our forever cottage in a new town, 100 miles away.
    At first, I was desperately lonely. Once again, Gus was my saving grace. I talked to him, we shared a bed, he was always waiting to greet me when I walked through the door.
    I adopted another kitten, a companion for Gus so he wouldn’t be lonely during my frequent work trips out of town. Miss Jean Louise Finch – Scout for short – is a longhaired calico and Gus’s polar opposite in every way.
    Gus is six and a half now, and Scout turns four next month. They bring joy and meaning to my life, and I can’t imagine being without them. I painted myself a sign and hung it in my bathroom (right next to the one that reads “your walls will sing”) where I see it at the beginning and end of every day.
    My sign says: The Cat Lady Was Never Crazy.

  • I had a Jack Russell that I got with my ex from the dog shelter. I felt so sorry for him in the shelter as he was in a kennel with lots of big dogs and he looked so depressed. I wanted to take him home immediately.

    That dog really did not like my ex. That dog loved children. His favourite thing was to play with the kids in the playground of the local school. He would run off if we were in the park near the school. I once had to collect him from the Headmaster’s office. He found it funny, luckily.

    When my son was born, he always wanted to sit beside him and look out for him. He also adored my dad.

    Anyway, I digress. He passed away a couple of years after we split. He also disliked my ex’s dad (another serial cheat).

    I got a new dog a year later and she also hates my ex (has met him twice and snarls when he collects the kids at handover). She loves my kids and my dad. She was a huge distraction for me as she had been neglected and I had to work really hard to trust people and she is a massive ball of energy. If dogs could have ADHD, I’m sure she would be diagnosed. She never

  • Unconditional Love ❤️ is what I’ve always gotten from all my past and present pets. I had dogs and cats (have 2 indoors cats and 1 stray I feed in my yard that I got fixed)
    The affection, companionship and
    health benefits are worth everything to me. When going through the abandonment and cruelty of my ex husband my animals where there to console me without having to explain. I never in 35 years married did I receive it from him. It’s so much better living with them than living with a cheating lying narcissist. God Bless them 🙏

  • This is perfect because I am currently having a sick day from work and am holed up in bed resting. My kitty meowed until I responded so he could find me when I wasn’t in the home office where he and I usually work together in the mornings. He’s now curled up next to me in bed. 💕💕

    In contrast, I remember many a time when I was sick and was hauling myself out of bed to care for kids anyway because my ex wouldn’t have thought to help me. I can’t think of a single time my ex brought me soup or tea or asked how I was feeling when I was sick. I have a distinct memory of trying to care for kids while I had pneumonia and ex was hanging with his family. My 🐈‍⬛ is so much better!

    • “I remember many a time when I was sick and was hauling myself out of bed to care for kids anyway because my ex wouldn’t have thought to help me. I can’t think of a single time my ex brought me soup or tea or asked how I was feeling when I was sick. I have a distinct memory of trying to care for kids while I had pneumonia”

      Yikes, I’ve been there. My ex never took care of me when I was sick. Even when what I had was life-threatening. And several bouts with pneumonia. But he’d demand to be waited on hand and foot when HE was sick (which he often was, or pretended to be). I wasn’t sorry to hand over the nursing duties to OW.

  • I lived with my mom during my separation/divorce, and her sweet cat would sleep next to me. She was wonderfully soothing and comforting in a time when I really needed that. I much prefer to share my bed with a warm, purring cat than my snoring, restless ex.

    I haven’t been able to have pets in my apartment, but I’m moving next month into my OWN house, and the first thing I’m going to do is get some cats. And then some chickens. And maybe a dog.

  • My dog was one of many friends who helped me get through, including my daughter. How is she better? Let me count the ways. Well, first, when we sleep together, she doesn’t snore like a freight train or hump me while I’m sleeping. She stayed by my side constantly during my bout with pneumonia. FW told our daughter that “pneumonia is a common illness” and flew off to be with shmoopie. Emma is always happy to see me and greets me when I come through the door. She doesn’t look at her phone during breakfast and get annoyed if I should dare to speak. Although she is friendly to all, she doesn’t cheat on me with other people. She won’t take food from anyone but me and my daughter. Not even actual kibbles. Funny thing – Emma obeyed my FW, but there was always a feeling that she was afraid of him. So she obeyed out of fear, not respect. She knew something I did not.

  • What a Friday challenge this is, love it! The main theme of this week for me has actually been dogs. My 32 y/o son rescued an 18 month old Plott hound just two days ago(never even heard of that, it’s a rare breed we’ve read) from a shelter.
    A foster mom had her the last month, 4 mos previous she was in the pound and unknown history before that. She is thin but exudes happiness and pure joy and I and his siblings, could not be any more thrilled or excited for our Joe and his Lucy. (We were told her name was Loretta Lynn, but she’d be in another state before she’d hear her name called, so he picked Lucy instead, being on a Beatles’ kick with his music this week, I’m sure that had a say in it)
    My daughter, son and I had great fun getting Lucy supplies for her home coming and we FT’ed their brother in Dallas while we took her on her first walk in the neighborhood.
    It’s a funny thing seeing your kids love another being, makes me feel so incredibly happy, like I can believe I actually AM a successful, sane and solo parent. Passing on all the important things to get about this life that I want to and my kids really get it, so awesome a feeling!
    We all feel like Lucy has won the lottery to a good life and so did we getting her!
    After one of the many D-days I had, two years before the finality of my divorce, when the RIC fantasy dust and confusion was still floating in the air, my birthday gift from FW was a 3 mos old Yorkie pup. He pulled the pup out of his jacket and handed him to me.
    WTF?! What a perfect gift, for someone getting ready to sell their primary house, having no idea where they will live from there and not very sure AT ALL the marriage is even worth saving and finding out everyday a little more about the secret sexual basement and disclosure of escapades, it was completely overwhelming and fog inducing. Maybe a pup would be the perfect distraction for me!
    The pup, I came to realize, was his replacement. I couldn’t fully process that at that time, the hopium was still swirling about.
    He knew he was leaving me and thought I should have some large, daily responsibility to care for, as I had my entire life long.
    I remember being pretty annoyed with him because, damn it, I would fall in love with this little fella of course, and I didn’t need another complexity in my life at that moment.
    My daughter teases me 6 years later with her “FNWM” acronym, which is “First Night With Me”, as she had just graduated college and was back home job searching and the pup slept with her every night, when I was trying to protect myself from total love knocking me over and maybe I could get him a good home thoughts rushing in.
    Now, with a great deal more info, I’m jealous of FNWM, and wish it had been me, although it wasn’t but a few days until I fell irredeemably hard in love anyway, haha!
    That little feisty pupinator wedged his squirmy little body deep into our hearts and honestly saved my life, I have no doubt whatsoever about that. He is my world.
    He is on my bed this very minute,fed, walked and in his second mid morning coma, keeping my world safe and right day after day, as I do for him.
    I would never have believed that six years later, I am so madly in love with this dog and the giver is almost completely out of my life and I see that as a very very good trade!! The best swap on the planet!!
    And Mr. CL is so on point saying his grumpy schnauzer was at least honest! 🤣
    So so true, my doggie doesn’t have a family across town and I will never ever have that worry to deal with. He thinks I’m awesome every day and it’s a mutual feeling.
    His love is unconditional, genuine, refreshingly true and he doesn’t want to replace me today or on any day that shows up, he loves spending time together.
    He gives nothing but love every single day of his life, because that’s the diet I put him on and he’s also not a sociopathic narcissist. 🐶🐾💙

  • Well, I just knew I would cry hearing about everyone’s faithful & loving furry family members! I’ve loved/love all mine & they have been/are there in my life as steadfast & true. I LOL’ed & tried to contain my snort recently when I overheard a woman said “no, bloody way I’m getting a husband again, I’m getting poodles instead!” I’m with you on that, sister!

  • We left with a 15 yo very round beagle. She appeared at our door one day.Her biggest messiest crime was counter surfing a ham that disagreed with her tummy and my floors. Other than that she never peed or pooped in the house ever even as a tiny puppy. She hated rain and thunder. She was never leashed because she stayed by my side tightly. She looked rough when we moved and lived only 8 more months but she was the happiest most vibrant babe those months. Her patchy hair returned to full glam. She was as happy as we were to escape abuse. Ex didn’t ask about her once.
    He brought a puppy home a year earlier that after I trained it, he took it as his sidekick. It was with him when we left.
    We adopted a one blue eyed hound mix that’ll be 8 this year. She grew bigger than we anticipated. It’s like having a fawn in the house. We always go we should’ve named her xxx with the most recent being miss. chevious and Willa Ferrell. Honestly, she gave us a run for that $90 adoption fee. She was hella ferrell and slowly became the sweetest, loving, caring, most sensitive dog. She hates raised voices. Comforts you if you’re sick or sad. We are so lucky. I went to lots of training classes. Her hound nose takes over common sense at times. We don’t go on strolls like other dogs walking. I accepted them as stop and go sniff adventures. She’s the most faithful and loyal companion that’s ever been in my bed.

    • We found her twin that was adopted from the same litter at the shelter. She was returned twice because of her behavior. The family that has her also have other dogs and say she’s still a challenge.

  • My 15 year old Dogface (aka Monty) was and still is my buddy and confidante. 120 pounds of love and empathy, he’d let me cry on his neck daily until one day I swear he was thinking “we’re well rid of him, you know”. I have a tee shirt that says “Dogmom – best relationship ever”. Goofy (the ex) once said after D-day “it’s the dog or me!” Hmm, let me think about that for a second.

    • GonnaBeOK, everyone at my house knows not to threaten “it’s me or the dogs”. Here’s the door, don’t let it hit you, the dogs are staying here with me. Buh-Bye.

  • After my ex had finally moved out I decontaminated everything he’d ever touched. I chose that word deliberately because the cushion for the desk chair he sat in for gaming (and apparently his “games”) had multiple skid marks on it.


    I love my cats. Yeah, sometimes they’re destructive, but at least they keep their buttholes clean.

  • I didn’t have a pet when I left, but I do have 3 grandcats my daughters ask me to care for when they travel.
    My daughters know without hesitation which parent was the reliable and responsible person they could always depend upon. They both seek my advice/help before it would ever occur to them to reach out to their father, even on matters that he would far more likely be better equipped to handle than I.
    Recognizing my value to them, even when it comes to the smallest things was truly a gift during my healing process.

  • Our animal family members are Kitty Hammer (an Egyptian Mau, she just turned sixteen) and Birdie Hammer (a green cheek conure, whose hatch day is Valentine’s Day 2018).

    What is notable to me is that I could never, and have never, even considered abandoning an animal, let alone a child, or a spouse. Traitor Ex easily abandoned all three. Years ago when I was renting, if I was looking for a new place to rent I kept looking until I found a place where I could have my animals. I would have lived in my car if I had to. I would just never abandon an animal. I can’t even abandon stuffed animals. The loft in the garage is our reading hideout and stuffed animal home. They are on rotation and spend time on beds and couches and chairs around the rest of the house.

    I have always had cats. The remains of my kitties from the last thirty years are in exotic wood boxes which match their fur.
    Those boxes, and the remains of all my dearly beloved animals, will be cremated with me and those ashes will go into a BioUrn and become a tree that Little Hammer can plant where she likes.

    I had a cat when I met Traitor Ex. He died the year before we got married. I think often about how I cried for months, alone in bed, and he’d be sitting in the living room watching TV. He never expressed any concern or noticed if I cried, about anything, ever. Like I wasn’t even there.

    I love dogs but have never had a dog. I have been a.godmother to an Akita. After DDay, a giant breed started showing up in my dreams. So there is a dog in my future, and his name is Hero. I don’t know when or exactly the large breed, but Hero might be a German shepherd or a Bernese mountain dog or a Leonberger or a Tibetan mastiff or a Bouvier. My OG beloved therapist has always had rescue German shepherds. They would sit by my feet I was upset in therapy sessions. My current therapist has always had Dachshunds.

    I will tell you this. There is no such thing as an unwanted animal because I want them all. Sadly I can only be guardian and host to a very limited number.

    I think this also explains why I would not have left Traitor Ex until the frypan-upside-the-head experience of being cheated on.

    I have been examining ways in what I can be loyal to fault since he left.

  • My ex talked about getting a dog incessantly, which I didn’t want to do after my observations of him with his prior dog while we were dating. Plus, he DID actually nothing in terms of looking at the shelter dogs or finding out types of dogs that would be good with kids, etc. When he finally wore me down, I did ALL of the research. After a disaster with a shelter dog, we adopted a puppy, I did 99% of the training while ex watched. I truly think it was another ploy to keep me distracted from what he was up to on the side, just out of my field of view. Anyway, when we divorced, I had to see ex every week to exchange the dog; when dog died, it was like I grieved the marriage all over again. But, I’m glad not to exchange with ex every week! Sweet no contact! Now I have a sweet rescue kitten who cuddles me at night, is never “working late” or “picking tomatoes”! We need to come to an understanding about how long to keep her claws, but otherwise, she is my joyful companion. Scratches from playing heal quickly; betrayal takes a long time.

    • My dad spent his childhood rescuing animals, was a pro at raising cats and had a few tricks to prevent scratching or biting. First, he would constantly handle them as kittens and always used an object or toy for kittens to bat at rather than using “hands as toys” (waving hands in front of kittens for them to box with trains them to scratch and bite). Here’s the part that sounds mean but it’s not injurious and the effect is permanent: If they scratched, he’d lightly pinch their paws right at the central pad until they squawked. If they bit, he would press down on the back of their tongues until they gagged a little. Of course they don’t like it but it’s kinder in the long run because they grow up more docile around people, are safe around babies and small children (even when kids try to pick up cats by tails or haul them around upside down), can be more included in family life and are therefore happier.

  • We had two labs-one old, one young-he took the young one I got Halo-a lovable old big chocolate lab. I was traveling a lot at that time. She spent a lot of time in a kennel but was my buddy. She was lonely too and we kept each other company, walked a lot. She died of old age that first year and I felt like I’d lost my best friend. So after a year I got a retriever puppy. Not sure it was a good decision but she gets me outside several times a day. Not sure I am the best dog Mom, she is the best person dog though and is puts up with me.

  • Long dog walks. I was able to scream and cry in the woods all by myself. In hindsight, it was the best therapy for me. Then I would come home and get all the love and cuddles I could want.

  • After DD but before I let on that I knew, we had to put our (really mine and the kids as he took on zero responsibility) beloved Golden Doodle down. For two years, I had been administering heart meds three times a day to the dog and I now think that FW was jealous of the attention the dog received. As I sat there weeping and crying over Samson’s body moments after the deed was done, FW passive aggressively said “You really loved that dog, didn’t you”. My response was also passive aggressive: “Yes. Dogs are loyal to a fault”. My new puppy (Sheepadoodle Alfie) has saved myself and my two children during the worst of times. Forcing us to feed and walk him forced us to get on with it and reduce stress. There is nothing like having a pet greet you with constant joy. Alfie also seems to know when someone is low and either wants to play or cuddle. A pet just comforts and unconditionally gives so much more than some people.

    • Gross. Only a sick fuck could be jealous at a time like that.

      My FW admitted to being jealous of my love for my dogs. He complained about it while he was cheating and hoping to leave me. Insane.

  • I didn’t get my pup until later (actually my now husband got him for me) – but he is always happy to see me, just wants to spend time with me (x would spend hours in his office “doing work” = porn while I took care of our then 1 and 5 yr olds), I always know what my pup is feeling – he shows it (x – I would have to walk on egg shells around him, try to keep the kids from being loud and making him angry), I can trust my dog waaaaaay more than x – there are so many ways my dog is better than x!

    And my dog is with me during all the times my kids are with X – it’s been so helpful for that pain, which is why my now husband got him for me. ❤️

  • Right at the time FW started prowling around to find a prospective fuckbuddy at work with the aid of his brown-nosing pimp/beard “work wife” and started bullying at home, the kids and I saw some kittens at a vegetable stand, a male tabby and a female tuxedo kitty with long fur. The kids went nuts so that was that. The male tabby quickly grew into a massive monster. I know how to raise cats not to scratch or bite so he wasn’t violent with people but, despite being fixed, he peed all over the apartment to mark territory, constantly bullied the much smaller and meeker female, stole her food and made himself fat. It was clear we had to protect the female when she became malnourished and was spending whole days hiding from the intractable fuckwit. I contacted a re-homing network and found a placement where he could cat around outdoors. Then I did the same with the tabby. 😉

      • Well what are you going to do when they’re running amok, staining the furniture, humping anything that isn’t nailed down, paranoically and hypocritically bristling over any imagined rival and howling all night? Call a lawyer.

  • Thank the Goddess for my fuzzy kitty. And she ALMOST didn’t make it out of village with me the day I left. Mom tells kid ‘We’re leaving in a few hours. DO NOT let the cat out of the house!’. So what did Mom do a 1/2 hour later? Yup. But the kid lured her out from under the shed and got her back just 20 minutes before we had to load up and go.

    That kitty kept some long patient hours at my side when I have been at my very lowest. Worth every wet fur ball I’ve ever stepped on.

  • Mr. CL, “How Is Your Pet Better Than Your Ex?” you ask. I have a 2 1/2 year old Golden Retriever (1/8 standard poodle) who makes it easy to count the ways: she makes me laugh, not cry. She’s always happy to see me, and she doesn’t blame me for anything. She wants to be with me and follows me wherever I go— she’s not off spending her time with another family. She gives the best cuddles, she doesn’t abandon me when I’m feeling sad and lonely. She loves my child and vibrates with joy when she sees her— she didn’t break my daughter’s heart and make her suicidal. I could go on for days!

    I had my then college-aged son’s trouble-maker mini Australian shepherd under my care when XH left and I had to downsize and moved a few blocks away to my rental home. Son’s dog nearly destroyed the home he was so angry— ate the wood window frames, destroyed my office including chewing all my electronic cords, peed on every piece of furniture, ran away to the old home daily… I bawled my eyes out every time I retrieved him…. I wanted to go postal too and I wanted to go home too….. 😭😭😭😭😭. During remote-school of pandemic, son came and took his dog to his apartment at his university in CA. I missed that bugger. Several months into the pandemic, X, who had used the carrot of a puppy to manipulate our teen daughter into “accepting” the homewrecker bought the whore the golden doodle puppy he’d been promising our daughter. All hell broke loose. So he bought our daughter a second golden retriever. Our 16 year old daughter lasted all of a week with that arrangement— AP liked my daughter’s dog “better” than hers, renamed the dog(!?) and threatened my daughter that she would take her puppy “when” she broke up with X! Who does that???!!! XH threatened to “re-home” our daughter’s puppy to force her to eat AP’s shit sandwich. Oh HELL NO!!!! in the middle of the Pandemic shut downs?! When the puppy was all our daughter had to live for?! I went over there and under the ruse of taking puppy to the park with our daughter, we picked puppy up and brought her home where she and I bonded (at 16 she didn’t have the patience to care for pup 24/7 and socialize her). XH never once asked about his $5k puppy. Bizarre!

    I adore the puppy and can’t imagine life without her!

    • “X, who had used the carrot of a puppy to manipulate our teen daughter into “accepting” the homewrecker bought the whore the golden doodle puppy he’d been promising our daughter.”

      This sounds so much like cheaters’ MO. It’s triangulation. Dangling promise of a gift to your daughter and then giving it to the AP? So your daughter can do some pick-me dancing? So gross and manipulative and unsafe for a kid. Eff that.

  • We had German Shorthaired Pointer, Buddy, who was a handful. Super active, playful, great with our kids and bonded, but could destructive when experiencing separation anxiety. When he chewed up a favorite blanket XW insisted he had to go! Our marriage was really rocky at that point and I would do anything to save it. So as much as I loved that dog, I found a breed specific rescue group that would rehome him. When I told her about this she refused to go along because that “would just make me the bad guy!” That was my first inkling that her behavior was not about us.

    During and after divorce that dog was my best friend. He happily filled the empty spot in my bed and got me out and meeting other dog lovers. In fact, he was a big reason I got married again four years post DD. She saw a photo of me with him on a backpacking trip and as a dog lover thought I might be OK. We now have our fifth German Shorthaired Pointer together and have lots of outdoor adventures.
    Buddy and me:

  • I had a rabbit by the name of Chubby, who passed last fall after a wonderful 12 years together. She was with me through almost my entire marriage and separation. She passed right as I was preparing to move. I’m glad she didn’t have to go through the stress of a move, but it was hard to lose her right then after all the cuddles and nose bonks and kisses through the hardest moments of my life. We never got to be free together, but I look forward to giving her my grattitude on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

  • I do not have a pet. I did have a cat while I was married. He was a feral kitten my son and I tempted out from underneath a neighbor’s bushes with a bit of tuna fish, so we named him “Fish.” His first night with us I slept with him on a mattress on the floor in the kitchen, so he wouldn’t have to feel alone. My now-ex forbade him sleeping with us, that night and every other. The affection I got from that cat made up for the lack of it from my spouse; Fish was far less demanding and far more loving. He died a half dozen years before I left my spouse, and I still miss my “little spirit of the house.”

    During the last three years I was married, which were the three years I knew about the affair partner and after my husband dropped his trans bomb, I used to catsit for a colleague when she was travel to London for extended periods of time, and her cat, Odie, was a wonderful companion.

    After I left my now-ex, I moved into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. I thought I’d live there maybe two years, but I have ended up staying five years, because renting an apartment made it easier for me to travel to care for my mom. Mom died last September, I am now settling her estate and will sell her condo this spring, and the first thing I’m doing after I buy my own place is to get a cat. And depending on where I move, maybe a horse (I grew up on the back of a horse in the mountains of Colorado).

  • My lovely Golden Retriever Chester has been my constant companion and best buddy. He’s 9 years now but had cancer surgery at 4. Ex made out he loved him too but turned out he was using Chester as a excuse to meeting OW on dog walks. He left me for her after 26 years, emptied the bank account, bought her jewelry and flowers with MY money. I worked in health for 40 plus years then a operation I had went wrong so I had to give up work. He got angry about that, I’ve needed several surgeries since and have a feeding tube, he said he hated the tube and that OW was healthy and it would have been easier for them if I died. My dear dog Chester has always been there for me, he knows when I’m unwell or having a bad day and he’s loved by everyone. He’s also loyal, unlike my ex. Our pets are family and can be such a comfort, they are amazing. Love to you all x

    • Carol, your X is a pig. No, that’s mean to pigs, he’s an evil spirit. Away with him!
      Enjoy life with lovely Chester!

    • “He got angry about that, I’ve needed several surgeries since and have a feeding tube, he said he hated the tube and that OW was healthy and it would have been easier for them if I died.”

      What?! 🤬 I hate him. These people are inhuman. When he gets old and is sick himself, he’ll be left to the tender mercies of another selfish FW, if she even sticks around. That thought makes me smile.

  • Hah hah, this is funny! 😂
    But, I got my Chiweenie Penny in June, and she just gives the best love! My X always made me beg for attention. Penny gives and gives, it’s endless. When I wake up, she looks at me adoringly, and cuddles and kisses. She wants to be with me every moment of the day, and never complains about the food! She golden brown, 8 months old, and we’re in love. Oh, and she keeps herself so clean (unlike the slovenly X). Very happy together ❤️

  • Think there’s a typo here Chump Lady, isn’t it ‘How ISN’T your pet better than your ex’. A much shorter exercise all round. Two fluffy affectionate cats, never lonely as they are in the house. Just beautiful quiet slightly crazy souls. Peace.

  • A week before I finally decided I had to leave FW, this cat showed up in my back yard. I tried to find his owners, but he seemed to have been abandoned and no one came forward to claim him, so when I moved out, I took Tommy with me. After all, he followed me all around the back yard, rubbed against me when I came outside, meowed for attention, and never left. I called him God’s Cat because I honestly believe he was sent by greater powers to help me through the extremely scary process of leaving not only a cheater, but a highly abusive man.

    Flash forward a little over a year—Tommy has blossomed into this 15 pound Maine Coon cat (not apparent at first until he had proper nutrition and care, but he has long luxurious hair and is quite simply the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen!) who is kind of like a dog, always by my side, happy to snuggle and play. He looks like one of those “before and after” photos of a pet adopted from an abusive situation and a year later, we all marvel at how great the is animal looks. And I feel he’s representative of me and how far I’ve come as well. Plus, every morning he greets me with kisses as soon as I wake up, which is far better than snarls that I woke him up. He is by FAR a better deal!

  • I’m with Mr CL. It’s pretty cut and dry. My dogs were loyal, loved me unconditionally, didn’t lie cheat or steal from me. They didn’t sneak off when I wasn’t looking or have a second life.

  • When I left Cheater #1, I took Misha, the world’s worst dog, with me. She made Casper sound downright tame. I know from personal experience, not all dogs go to Heaven. In fact, I sometimes wonder why the Devil hasn’t sent her back because she is too bad even for Hell. Did I mention she was an excellent judge of character: she detested Cheater #1 and even barfed on his bare foot in one memorable episode.

    Even then, she was waaaaaaayyyyy better than Cheater #1.

  • “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” ― Mark Twain

  • Came to the comments specifically for the cat stories they did not disappoint. When I left cheater ex, I had my two beloved cats and they were always faithful, albeit moody at times, but always cared for me a billion times more than ex ever did. They never lied to me. Never exposed me to deadly STIs. I lost one of said beloved cats this past December as he was very old and became extremely sick. I will love and cherish my memories of him forever.

  • When Luna (a/k/a Her Royal Highness) puked up her breakfast, her orange minion Abraham (a/k/a CAAAAT!!!!) helpfully cleaned it up for me by eating it.
    When the FW was in his Chasing Youth mode and we went to the club with his other twenty-something year old friends 🙄, he drank an ENTIRE bottle of Bacardi and puked in my car on the way home. The next morning I had to inform him that he had to clean it up himself. Good riddance.

  • In addition to being adorable, loving companions, my dog and cat actually pull their weight around this place! My cat opens my plantation shutters to wake me up and then wakes my daughter for school as well. My dog helps her get ready for bed by keeping monsters at bay. They are a real comedic duo, always keeping us laughing and making the house feel full of energy. I’ve never been without a pet in my life, and can’t imagine living in FW’s lonely, fur-free rental.

  • TW: Unaliving

    I got a puppy a few months after D-day. The cycle of emotional abuse during the “wreckonciliation” was so intense that I just needed someone pure in my life – a beautiful creature to care for and love. A reason to get out and walk, and a reason to keep getting up in the morning. As so many have already said, a loyal and true friend incapable of guile, deceit, or cruelty. Support.

    For almost 2 years, FW insisted upon hiding our troubles from extended family. Because I was desperate to be picked, and still seeking succor from my tormentor, I spackled. My reasoning? Once FW came to his senses, and repented, and did the right thing, and returned to his “old self,” I didn’t want anyone thinking badly of him for what he’d done during this “off season.”

    Other than our adult kids, no one knew that he’d had an affair, or that we were in therapy, or that we eventually separated. When we got to divorce & the news finally had to come out, MIL called. The first thing out of her mouth? Not I’m so sorry for how much you’ve been suffering. Not I’m so disappointed in my son. No recognition of his shameful behavior. Instead she demanded to know: Was this whole divorce my fault because I’d transferred my attention and affection from her son to my dog?

    I wish I could recall what I said to her in that moment. What was going through my head was the memory of how, after FW had invited OW over TO OUR HOME for a meeting with me, and then left with her, I’d found myself standing in the garage, on my car, with FW’s ceiling-mounted exercise bands around my neck. All I needed to do was step off. From the other side of the door my little dog was barking desperately. It sounded faint, and like it was under water. But it brought me back. She saved me that day, and has kept me going through many difficult days since. I owe her my life, and will spent the rest of our time together trying to repay her for her many gifts to me.

    ❤️ 🐶

    • Isn’t it strange how things work? ANV, I hope you are doing well, and realize he was not worth your life. We are so deluded, when we’re in the pick me dance! Putting so much value on a Fuckwit. Bless you and your doggie

    • So thankful for your beautiful pup ActaNonVerba. The pain is indescribable but I totally get where you were at — same here, right down to and including unfortunately the NarcMIL and foggy white noise too. Thank goodness for our wondrous barking dogs and their sixth, nay, seventh sense.
      You deserve all the joy in the world together. ❤️

    • ActaNonVerba, I got my dog in January of 2021, a few months after my mom died, and while I was working at a truly awful job. ( My boss didn’t like me and was making me miserable so I’d leave, which I finally did.) I had some pretty bad days, but I had to care for my dog. He pulled me through it. He saved me.

      He’s from a shelter, so I guess we saved each other. He had heartworms, and I paid for his treatment and kept him inactive for 6 weeks as required. But anything I’ve done for him I’ve been incredibly rewarded for!

  • I got another rescue dog in the wake of Dday. My dogs love me without reservation. The barking sucks, but unlike FW, they don’t bite. They both have heart disease and are not long for this world. ☹ However, whatever time I have left with them is wonderful. I wasted most of my life on a jerk. The rest of it is about caring for more deserving creatures. 🐕 ❤

    • I love this: “I wasted most of my life on a jerk. The rest of it is about caring for more deserving creatures”. Well said!

  • The day I came home to confront the Kunty Kibbler about her midday planned fuckfest with the Carrot Singer, the first thing I noticed was that she’d let Youk, our bluetick beagle/basset mix, out of the basement. As this turned out to be the 3rd time she’d pulled this, it struck me that Youk had already ‘met’ this guy twice, and I like to think he would have warned me if he could.

    During the 10-month forced co-habitation, KK refused to contribute to Youk’s check-ups and expenses because “it’s clear that he’s YOUR dog now,” but kept posting pics of him on social media with captions like “My dog loves me!”

    She put up no fight for him during the settlement process, in which I kept the family home, which meant that I could continue to be the parental presence in the place that my daughters knew as “home” — where their rooms were, where their childhood memories were, and where their beloved “buddy” was. Nothing could have made me happier.

    Youk is now pushing 13, going deaf, some loose teeth, probably a little doggie-dementia. I’m not ashamed to say he’s been the best friend I could have had throughout this ordeal.

    POSTSCRIPT — Last fall, KK and husband Chlorine Special moved 45 miles away (to another state actually) and got a dog almost immediately; from what I understand from my girls, CS has wanted a dog for a long time. Set up an Instagram account for him and everything, announcing him as “the newest member of our family.” 3 weeks later, E the Elder informed me that they ended up giving the dog back to the rescue org from which they got him, because they couldn’t figure out how to train or control him. #disposablefamilymembers

  • Not following the challenge here but I’ve got a weird FW dog story. My daughter and I desperately wanted a dog but FW wasn’t keen at all and he also has loads of allergies. We were so sad about it. I tried everything from looking into hypoallergenic dogs to dog sitting etc. I used to take my girl to the local shelter so we could hang out with dogs. But FW wouldn’t bend. The OW (our co- worker) was a big dog person. So much so that she had an insta just to showcase him. She said he was her only family and her best friend. It was bordering on weird. Fast forward post DDay the very first thing FW told our daughter was that he was getting a dog. And he did. He went from a hard no, never- to owning a dog within a few weeks. I was devastated. My daughter said “Mum he loves that dog more than anything. All his energy goes into that dog and he talks to it like a baby.” The dog rules his life apparently and on the very odd occasion when he flies her down for a visit, they can hardly do anything because the dog rules the schedule. She’s finally said to me she’s so glad we don’t have a dog because we can just do what we want. I really feel for her and it also shows how controlling he is and that he’s also just a fake – he became a dog person for the OW and presumably to lure my daughter to him. It backfired for him and her too. I’m so angry when I think about it! One day I’ll get a dog but on my terms.

    • Dogs, like people, are simply appliances to them. Look at my story just above — I think another reason KK agreed to getting a dog was to ensure regular visits from my daughters, who are now in college and old enough to determine where they want to be and for how long. So much for that tactic.

  • My sweet cat was a lifeline for me after d-day and during the entire process of the separation and divorce. She would sit with me, follow me around, make me smile with her hijinks, cuddle at night… she was always a presence, right next to me when I needed her. She even had her own special chair in my home office and joined my work zoom calls from time to time. LOL!

    I credit her with helping me to get out of bed on the really bad days. She needed me to take care of her, so I got up during those times when all I wanted to do was sleep the days and weeks away. She provided constant support during my darkest days and was also my companion during covid lockdowns. It was the two of us against the world. She crossed the rainbow bridge last year (3 years after my divorce) and I still miss her & think of her every day.

  • So much truth to this post. We had a 4 year old pug that ex-FW put up zero fight to keep (I couldn’t be more grateful it turned out that way, but in retrospect the lack of emotion was incomprehensible to me). Anyway, this dog was/is a beam of sunshine in the purest sense. He kept me grounded and out of my head. He never let me stay still for long; it was time to eat (as much as possible), time to walk outside and say hi to people, time to be a doofus and laugh, time to rest and aggressively snuggle.

    He absolutely gave me a reason to keep going when grief and anguish consumed me. He loved me and he needed me. Now, 6 years later, we are in a much better place and he’s so spoiled (ramp to the couch? custom car seat bed? shrimp from the grill?) that my friends and family tease me about it. I won’t apologize; he’s earned it, as far as I’m concerned.

    Dogs are too good for this world. I owe him so much.

  • My beloved, faithful dog would get up into bed with me night after night at about 2 in the morning for 3 or 4 months and press herself into me and deliberately wake me up to stop me screaming/crying in my sleep. I couldnt work out why she kept waking me up to begin with. I stopped making the terrible noises after about three months. This was quite soon after he left.

  • The kids and I kept chickens for a while, and the last of them (called Ginger because, well, she was ginger) was still alive when now-Ex Mrs LFTT was busted for cheating and then f*cked off into the sunset with her AP. Ginger survived for a couple of years after the kids and I moved into a rental home near my new job, but sadly she was eventually taken by a fox; always a risk when you let your chickens run free in the garden.

    Ginger was better than Ex-Mrs LFTT because she wasn’t a lying, cheating, manipulating, stealing piece of sh*t. And at least she had the decency to only sh*t all over the garden, rather than all over my life and my kids’ lives. She (Ginger, not Ex-Mrs LFFT, as she didn’t garden worth sh*t) also did a really good job of scratching up the moss in the back garden, came when I whistled (she knew that if I whistled it was feeding time) and laid the odd egg from time to time.

    The kids and I miss her; Ex Mrs LFTT not so much. And when I say “not so much” I mean not for a nanosecond.


  • Yeah I spooned my dog for months – in a platonic manner might I add. In that post D Day shock/dissociative state, my spaniel started sleeping in my bed. He preferred to get under the doona and use my pillow to rest his floppy ears. He was living like a king. He had major shedding issues, so my spare time involved vacuuming hair off the bed. We had long moonlit walks along the beach in the freezing cold of winter. One day, I realised it was time to move on, so I had him served and we are now living separately under one roof (he is sleeping on the couch). He is currently researching whether I meet the criteria for narcissistic dog owner (idealise, devalue, discard).

    • might also add FWs will do anything to continue to implant themselves in your life, including using your pets – coverts of course make it look like they are being good blokes rather than outright torturing your pets.
      FW got himself a dog post D Day, and now turns up to my house to collect our son, calls out to our son that he is just taking his dog for a walk, then walks off without our son, or walks off (one time for an hour) without the dog – he just leaves him in my yard – this happens every weekend ( i never communicate with ex directly and only about son by text – we have a financial dispute going through lawyers)
      Last weekend FW called out he was taking his dog to the dog park, the dognapped my dog – literally loaded my dog into his car and drove off – he turned up later with him. I never said anything as he is trying to provoke me.
      I wasn’t concerned as I believe now he is just a serial pest rather than a dangerous violent psychopath.
      Having said that his family are upper class farming types of superior breeding – they hate animals but have pets. His mother is cruel to animals. She shot FWs brother’s childhood dog whilst brother was overseas.My daughter visited the farm last week and the discussion at my son’s birthday was whether they should shoot FWs dog. Lovely people.

  • My two wonderful cats (P. and M.) and beloved beagle S. bring joy to my life and I credit them for getting me through D-Day and giving me the courage to leave fuckwit. They were the ones who stayed by my side the first day and night after I discovered what fuckwit had done; I think they sensed my distress and despair and wanted to comfort me.

    When I left, there was no question about them coming with me. Besides being family members, there was no way in hell that would I have left them with fuckwit when he had neglecting them as well as me and his whack job schmoops had been telling him in texts about how much she’d disliked her children’s pets and had given them away.

    The happiest moments in my life were my walks and cuddles with S. and lap time and birdwatching with P. and M. Losing S. (who was elderly and had health issues) a month after leaving is what devastated me the most. I’ll never forget the bond that I had with her and hope to be with her again, but am grateful to have found another rescue beagle, C., that needed a good home and loves walks and our time together as much as she did. P. and M. are doing well and have happily adopted C as their new sibling.

  • My ex – Whore Fucker and I had two dogs when d-day hit. He easily relinquished them both to me in the divorce because he really didn’t bond to or love anyone or anything. They have both crossed the rainbow bridge now and I have two new dogs. All four of them are Better. Then. Him. In. Every. Way.

  • Somewhat related: My dog has always been a diva about her food, just picking at it throughout the day. Since FW has gone, she eagerly awaits her meals and gobbles them up right away. I haven’t told anyone about this because I sound like a crazy conspiracist, but you guys get it: I really think she was picking up on some negative vibes!

      • Yes, he was the feeder! I really think there’s something to it. Wish dogs could talk – she could’ve peeped his cell phone while she was in his lap and saved me some time.

  • I have two dogs: Piper and Mackenzie Crook. Mack is pretty oblivious, but Piper will notice if I’m having a rough day. Back when I used to just randomly start sobbing, Piper would come up to me and place her paws on my shoulders and breathe her dog breath into my face until I would calm down.
    The combination of this post and Valentine’s week has reminded me of Valentine’s Day 2021…Being the massive chump that I am, I planned an entire day around Valentine’s Day for my family. The holiday was on a Sunday, so I prepared an awesome meal, dessert, and a family movie night. Phil Anderer was a total wet blanket for the whole day, but that was normal for him (narcissist…holidays…I’m sure you know). Later, after I had busted my butt all day making sure the whole family had a great day, I sat down on the sofa with my six-month-old puppy Piper. Something happened, Piper got excited, and she accidentally knocked over Phil Anderer’s drink. Phil got mad and kicked the dog. HE KICKED HER. I was furious. The next day, I made an appointment to talk to a therapist because I was starting to realize what a monster I had married–his mask was slipping off more and more. (The therapist was bad and didn’t help. I have bad luck with therapists.) Seven months later, Phil Anderer had a similar tantrum which led to the final DDay. Six months after that, I filed for divorce and the rest is history. So many things have happened, but his act of kicking the dog was one of the tipping points.

  • My cats have never let me down. They’ve never run up a huge credit card bill watching young female kitties. They’ve never invited me out to a special dinner or a business trip that was supposedly “on expenses,” surprised me with a large bill at the last possible moment, and then told everyone how happy they were to provide me with special experiences.

    My cats are never going to call me from pet jail to ask me to post bail.

    My cats’ friends aren’t going to randomly show up and drink all my good wine, then loll on the couch making insensitive remarks about other animals and bragging about their morally questionable business dealings while I have to pretend it’s not happening.

    My cats sit with me and purr when I’m ill or unhappy. Somehow they know.
    There is some evidence that purring may help with healing and reduce stress.
    Cats may help reduce their humans’ risk of heart disease, not just heartbreak:

    Pets give so much more than they get.

    My cats are still going to sit or sleep wherever they want and leave me little choice of available space. In honesty, one of them is an attention hog and inclined to meow in the hall for no obvious reason and the other is the size of a cheetah, BUT everyone who knows my cats likes them and respects them.

  • My beautiful black cat (who will be 18 in April) has been the most amazing comfort to me as he also was abandoned by my ex! Animals are 100% better than people.

  • I found a tiny, half-starved black kitten outside my house shortly after D-day. She hissed and screamed when I picked her up, but she loved all the food I gave her. Then one night, she climbed into bed next to me, snuggled up to me, and fell asleep. I didn’t intend to keep her, and I started looking for a new home for her. But she would follow me everywhere, and she had these adorable polydactyl feet that looked like she was wearing mittens on all four paws. I kept her. And when I left the FW, I took my kitty with me. She is sitting next to me now–all shiny black fur and mitten toes. When I pet her, she wraps her tail lovingly around my hand. Cats are so much better than cheaters.

    • I also found a cat in my back yard right before I knew I’d have to leave FW…I believe he was sent and I ultimately took him with me when I left FW. He continues to be the best cat ever.

      I think sometimes animals show up when we need them most.

  • Well, my last ex, who I wasn’t married to, started being verbally abusive, which is why I dumped him. I saw the behavior as a red flag. Thank goodness, we didn’t have kids together, or entangled finances, and he took “no” for an answer.

    In contrast, my dog is always affectionate and glad to see me when I come home.

  • I was separated from my cats when I ended it. He refused to let me see them or share custody. he used them to fuck around with me, saying if i was “nice enough” he’d “consider” letting me visit them. I knew he’d always move the goalposts- he’s a true dick.

    I spent months grieving them- my fat gray shadow kitty and my dumb-but-loving orange kitty.
    I had been a volunteer at a shelter and knew how hard it was for older cats to get adopted, so I decided to adopt some senior cats when I thought I might be ready.

    I got a wonderful, talkative, giant, handsome, self-assured older gentleman kitty. He was dying from heart disease so I told him I’d give him the best sunset ever.

    He became my soul mate, my best friend, and my joy. He knew who he was and what he liked and what he wanted, and he was honest about it with me. Our relationship was fresh air after years of smog, a hearty drink of water when I had been thirsty, a warm blanket from the dryer when I’d been so cold.
    He showed me what a good relationship feels like and looks like, and he is always with me, telling me he loves me almost every day.

    I had him here with me on Earth for just under 7 months, loving every second, and now I spend time with him the only way I can til we’re together again.

    Thanks to him I know my next relationship will be great because I know what great is now.

  • About a month after divorce was final a dear friend who was selling her litter of puppies gave my 3 kiddoes her last pupper. For free, because she knew the distress they and I were experiencing. That puppy is my first pet of my life, so it’s been a huge learning curve, we’re all still learning 2.5 years later, but she’s been what I never even knew I wanted or needed. Better than x: She actually wants to sleep in my same bed when I’m sleeping. She’ll snuggle with my daughters while I’m putting them to bed but then come with me to bed at the same time and not stay up to all hours in the den watching porn. She even comfortingly snuggles up to me, no strings attached. Just cause she likes being near me. If she’s in the mood to play, it sometimes draws me out of my stress/anxiety funks, and if it doesn’t and I just need to sit on the couch and do nothing, she doesn’t guilt trip me and resent me for being lazy and not paying attention to her, she’ll just snuggle up and wait (sometimes patiently, lol, sometimes annoyingly not, but there is no disdain or resentment in her nudges)

  • Our two cats have been monumental in helping me and my two kids cope. My kids are 15 and 18 and sometimes the only words we speak to each other are about the cats (they have thriving social lives [the kids, not the cats], but Mom is NOT where it’s at right now lol). I’ve often thought about what life would be like or how we would have survived the last 4 years since Dday without these furrballs. My youngest hugs one of our cats multiple times a day- the cat doesn’t enjoy it, but she tolerates him because- food. They are absolutely excellent therapy and I’m so glad they’ve gotten us through the worst of times (they also made virtual/pandemic school tolerable). Floofballs TO THE RESCUE!!

  • My little rescue mutt Mochi is the gentlest and calmest animal I’ve ever had the pleasure to coexist with. Not sure what breeds she has in her, but I like to call her Perfect.

    She could definitely tell when I was distressed and would put her paws on me and stare deeply into my eyes.

    My cats, Chai, Jam and Biscuit were also extremely affectionate cuddle buddies.

  • Ok, my dog is better than my ex because although I know she notices my faults she doesn’t say anything about them! After dday she moved from sleeping at the foot of the bed to sleeping next to me with her head on the pillow where my ex used to be. After a few months she moved back down to the foot of the bed so I knew she wasn’t as worried about me. Plus, the first time he came back in the house after dday she ignored him. I felt so supported ( she forgave him by the next visit and was friendly after that and I now think that MAYBE she moves up closer to me in cold weather and back to the foot of the bed in warm weather but I choose to believe that after dday her motive was to comfort me, not her own personal comfort)

  • I left my cats with FW – he was a good cat “daddy” and cats are homebodies. There may have been a bit of hopium going on, too. So I went through the pandemic alone absorbing the fact FW had really chosen the OW. But she was already retired and a dog person. I smile to think how he needed to return home every day to care for the cats.

    I do have my own kitty now who is smart, affectionate and brave.

  • My first dog was older and getting sick and my ex-husband would tell me getting another dog would interfere in our plans of going away and retirement. When our dog passed I just couldn’t live without a dog and adopted another one. My ex-husband reluctantly told me to do what I wanted and I promised him it would never be in the way and we could still have freedom to travel. Although he agreed with letting me get another puppy, he was so angry at me and didn’t like the puppy. Fast forward one month later I found out about his girlfriend and his future plans with her. After I asked him to move out and was going through the hardest times of my life, I knew this puppy was a blessing. This wonderful puppy was so sweet and helped my kids and I adjust so much easier to my ex-husband not living with us anymore and made our quiet house so much fun through such a difficult time. I believe this dog saved my kids and me.

  • Well, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, a year after I left pharmacy to maintain my sanity, the FW XW decided to bring into our family two, very cute little furball kittens. This was in the middle of our five year mutually agreed upon moratorium on having pets, as our previous dog and two cats had all died by 2010, and we agreed (I thought) that managing three kids was enough to be getting on w/at that point in our lives.

    I was in the first year of my downward spiral into a deep depression (early to mid 2014) when she got the above-mentioned kittens without consulting me or the kids about them. She got them through somebody at work (the same work where her AP and current partner later became chancellor of our state’s college system, and then was later fired🤣). The kids were worried about me being angry about her getting the kittens (I was usually the enforcer in the family), but how the hell do you get angry about two adorable kittens?

    Fast-forward roughly three years and D-day occurs. She leaves our house in just less than two weeks to move in w/her then boss and AP a half mile down the street from what had been our family home, and which would become MY residence only. And she would waltz in and out of the house as if she hadn’t just dropped a bomb in our marriage and in our family, while I alternated between rage and playing the pick-me-dance for 6-7 months. Then I found CL right before Thanksgiving 2017, and I started to understand that I was not responsible for her poor actions, could not save our marriage, and that I deserved a better life than w/a fuckwit like her. And the cats were there for me through it all.

    Yes, they continued to lavish affection for the FW XW for the months I allowed her unfettered access to what was now effectively my home, not hers, because that had been the norm before she left. Once I left for Thanksgiving w/our son to my brother’s place outside Boston, I’d had deadbolt locks added to the house to keep the FW XW out while we were gone. I’d talked over the addition of deadbolts w/my female attorney, and she understood and thought it would hold up to a judge when I told her that the FW XW was coming into the house while I worked long days (retail sales in mattresses at the time) and removing things without discussing any of it w/me ahead of time.

    So, once I added the deadbolts, the cats became solely my responsibility. Not that they really hadn’t been since D-day. The FW STBXW was too busy building her new life w/her boss and AP to worry about the cats she had brought into our lives (in a completely unilateral move on her part that affected our family. An action that foreshadowed her exit-affairing me).

    So, I’m not the type of person to abandon those I love. And I love these cats. They can be royal pains-in-the-asses (I just had to rescue some high quality beef jerky from them. My fault, I left it out by accident), but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They love me for the food, water and shelter I provide (and treats!), but at least they love me. They blow away the FW XW w/that alone. They are also usually super-cute and affectionate, so there’s that, too!

    Hope everybody in CN is having the best weekend they can. For those that are struggling, reach out. We’re here for you.

    • I forgot to mention, for those that have pets, I hope you cherish the joy they can bring to our lives. The little buggers.😊

  • I had adopted a mixed breed from the humane society 6 months before D-day #1. She was always there for me. I knew if I ended it while she lived that klootzak would try to take her or maybe give her away or something to hurt me. She wasn’t a kissy dog but she would take a belly rub and a snuggle any time. I would often lie on the floor with her for her fur to absorb my tears. As she developed many medical needs, my trips to the pharmacy or vet for medications acted as cover for my lining up my ducks activities. Setting up a post office box. Sending my family’s heirlooms to a friend for safe keeping. All happened while I was out running “dog errands” as it was the only thing I did that he didn’t follow me or track. The vet’s office put in prescriptions and I would ask if I could double up on purchases due to my fear of running out of her meds due to a supply chain issue. Over time, I built up a stash if medications for her so that if klootzak left, I would have enough on hand to keep her alive another year. Her pills and shots cost hundreds of dollars per month toward the end.

    I miss that girl every day. But since she passed I have felt relieved that he can’t take her and now feel completely free to get divorced. I have been very patient getting things lined up for my child and caring for my dog. I felt like her passing was her final gift to me. She was there while I suffered the RIC and when I had D-day 2 while pregnant. She saw mw through it all and just as I was almost finished lining up my ducks, the time came to let her go. Her life spanned some of my most painful years. She was quiet and loyal and I feel like she is still with me as she was the only one I could confide in. I still go on walks and imagine her with me. It’s very hard and I doubt I will ever get another pet. I was her heavy duty caretaker the last few years and I am ready for my freedom from that and from klootzak. I needed her through my darkest days and now that I see a klootzak-free future ahead, I am brave enough to follow that path without a pet. I still love dogs very much but after what I have just been through I fear I could never afford the expenses on my own. My financial situation will probably be precarious for quite some time.

  • Actually, my new puppy and my ex have a lot in common:
    The both like to run off the neighbor’s when I’m not looking.

  • Something in the universe must have told me to adopt my rescue shepherd mix just 4 months before my ex disclosed he had been cheating on me and lying to me for 3 years prior and then abandoned me. We were married for over 20 years. That dog has saved my life, been my companion, my friend, my comfort, my protector ever since. I would not have made it without him. Dogs rule, guys drool.

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