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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been battling over our dog, Apollo. We got him from a shelter and he signed the paper to adopt him and his brother (3 month old). They both became really sick a few days after and Apollo's brother passed one week after. Apollo was also almost put down because he didn't eat or drink due to his illness. At that time I slept only 1-2 hours a day to feed him food and water with a syringe. Since then, Apollo has been always sleeping next to me every night. Our bond has become really strong. We have been playing together almost everyday.

On the other hand, my husband was only interested in training the dogs from day 1. He thinks dog is a dog, so does not understand me patting the dog or letting the dog sleep in my bed. He is okay with the dog being alone all day & night because dog is a dog.

Today, he asked me to move out because he thinks I am spoiling his dog. He told me to stay only in my room so Apollo cannot see me. But that is impossible. Even at this moment, Apollo is sitting right in front of my room door, waiting for me to let him in. If I let the dog come in my room, my husband will take him and close my door right away. I tried to follow whatever he said because he had threatened to take Apollo to somewhere else saying Apollo is useless.

I don't mind moving out, but I don't think the dog will be happy with my husband. He gave Apollo and his brother a bath 2 days after they were neutered although the instruction said not to give a bath for 2 weeks. He knew Apollo was sick, coughing, and had a runny nose at that time. But he gave the dogs a bath with cold water outside using a little basket so they had to stand up with two legs for the whole time. He didn't rinse the shampoo off completely so both dogs suffered from dandruff and itchy skin. I was so shocked when I was wetting Apollo for a shower the other day and he still had the shampoo from the last shower that was done 2 weeks ago. Apollo's brother died a couple days after they took the bath. I don't know if that was the direct cause but I was not happy with my husband being too rough to the sick dogs.

He sometimes pulls and drags the dog with a leach. He had been taking Apollo to the dog park but not recently. He rarely plays with the dog at home. For those reasons, Apollo started keeping some distance from my husband and didn't care much about him at all. That's why he got all upset and mad at me for the last couple of weeks.

I know I could talk to a lawyer about this matter but I am just a poor student. I don't think I will win the case either because I don't have physical evidence to support that I was the one who really cares about the dog. I don't know who to ask help at this point. Any good idea?
 

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Often, tales told during relationship discord are one sided. Rarely is one side or the other completely innocent. If I had to guess, I'd guess that your husband did not ask you to move out because you were spoiling the dog, but because of relationship conflicts. There are innumerable old husbands and wives who have been together for decades, where the husband rolls his eyes as the wife feeds the poor dog cookies, but they don't get divorced.
There are low cost lawyers available, and many lawyers will give you a free 30 minute consult these days (check with the office first and make sure the consult is free).
As to what you can do, you can call or write the shelter the dog was obtained from. But it appears that your husband is feeding and sheltering the dog, has taken it to a dog park and on walks, takes the time to bathe it. Maybe his technique is flawed, but he is obviously spending time, money and effort on his dog, so I'm not sure the shelter will help.
In addition, sometime technique improves and affection grows over time.
 

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I'm guessing the two of you were already heading in the direction of a separation/divorce before you adopted the dogs since you talk about "your room" and "his room"? Since you adopted two of them right away, was there any discussion between the two of you that you would each own one dog? And, if so, did your husband say he wanted Apollo for his dog and that you would own the other BEFORE the other dog got ill and died?

Do you think that he's jealous of your relationship with Apollo and that's why he's treating him badly? Do you feel that if you moved out and left Apollo with your husband that they would live happily ever after and he wouldn't neglect or mistreat Apollo?

Since your husband signed the adoption papers, I think that legally he is the owner and the only thing that can be done to change that is to have a judge issue an order saying differently. This could be done either in civil court before your divorce is handled or it could be one of the issues to be decided by the divorce court.

You could try and find an attorney through legal aid. Maybe you could get one either for a reduced fee or even free. Of course small claims court is one option. You would have to pay the filing fee and the service fee but since your husband is the one who adopted the dogs, I think that unless you could convince the judge that your husband is abusing the dog, the judge would rule against you.

I wish you luck. I wish that you hadn't brought the dog into a shaky relationship but these things happen. Please let us know what happens.
 

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That sometimes in common law states depends on the intent when adopting and use after. And in a community property state most property acquired during the marriage is community property.
That's why I asked her the questions about their discussions when they adopted the dogs.
 

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I feel it is in everyone's best interest for you to contact the place you adopted Apollo from and explain the situation. They might be able to help take Apollo away from him, although I am unsure if they would adopt him back out to you. It sounds like you two may have already been going through some hard times and in my opinion the idea of adopting a dog was not responsible. I'm sorry for your current situation. It may be best for you to just move out.

Do you feel your husband is abusive in general? To either human or dog? Or do you think he is just very upset and maybe a bit jealous that you give the dog so much love? Perhaps he feels you don't love him as much as the dog? I know my ex had that problem (because he was batsh-crazy). I left my ex when he said the words, "your dog is a problem in our relationship" -- SEEYA! Couldn't get away fast enough!

...to be honest, if I felt the dog was at all in danger I would act illegally so I cannot offer much advice. I don't want to get you in trouble with the law, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm guessing the two of you were already heading in the direction of a separation/divorce before you adopted the dogs since you talk about "your room" and "his room"?
Before adopting the dogs, I had crazy schedule. My husband is a light sleeper so I had to use our guest room for a while. Then, we got comfortable using separate rooms. But I should admit that my husband was not happy with our relationship for quite a while.

I guess in his mind, he was replacing me with the dog. But I hoped that dogs could bring us back to family since we didn't have kids. Adopting dogs was his call but I picked the dogs. It's all complicated. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In addition, sometime technique improves and affection grows over time.
That is true. As long as Apollo is happy, I don't mind leaving him with my husband. My concern was that my husband is not very thoughtful to others and cannot empathize with people as well as the dogs. But he may change a little bit and Apollo may be okay with him if I leave this house.
 

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Before adopting the dogs, I had crazy schedule. My husband is a light sleeper so I had to use our guest room for a while. Then, we got comfortable using separate rooms. But I should admit that my husband was not happy with our relationship for quite a while.

I guess in his mind, he was replacing me with the dog. But I hoped that dogs could bring us back to family since we didn't have kids. Adopting dogs was his call but I picked the dogs. It's all complicated. :(
Yes, it does sound so. I'm sorry you're going through this. I guess if there was any advice you could give others going through something similar, is that neither puppies nor children can fix a relationship -- only make it more complicated. If it were in my power, I would award you the dog in a heartbeat but clearly I don't have that ability. Maybe you could catch him in a good mood, maybe a giving mood, and convince him to allow you to leave with the dog. It sounds as if he has some resentment or something, so I guess that is a long shot, but all he can do is say no.

:huddle:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you feel your husband is abusive in general? To either human or dog?
I hadn't thought that way until I looked up online about abuse the other day. He has been verbally abusive to me. He is not a happy person and critical about almost everything. He said Apollo was useless because he doesn't get bigger and cannot follow more commands.

"your dog is a problem in our relationship"
In our case, my husband would say I am the problem in his relationship with the dog.
 

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I hadn't thought that way until I looked up online about abuse the other day. He has been verbally abusive to me. He is not a happy person and critical about almost everything. He said Apollo was useless because he doesn't get bigger and cannot follow more commands.

In our case, my husband would say I am the problem in his relationship with the dog.
Difficult when you hear just one side of the story. But if, as you say, he has been verbally abusive to you maybe is is time for the parting of the ways. Maybe you can get your own dog?
 

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Angry people are the worst. I use to be one and have dealt with many of em in the past. Including the ex I mentioned previously who had PTSD. So much rage.

From what little information we have to go on here, I think you should try to get on his good side and if possible have a civil discussion with him. Make sure he isn't in a particularly bad mood. If he is always grumpy, just do your best to have good timing. Maybe start with, "Do you have some time to talk about me moving out?"

The entire time you talk to him, make sure you are not defensive. Do not get emotional. If you do, try to hide it. Stay neutral. Keep your tone level, don't raise your voice. Ask him if the real reason he wants you to leave is the dog, or if he feels there are other issues at hand. LISTEN TO HIM. Let him get out whatever it is he has been holding back. If he yells or throws a hissy fit just stay strong and let him act like a fool. Don't belittle his feelings or he will probably freak out more. That's my experience anyways. He probably feels like you are ignoring him and his feelings, so now is a good time to stay quiet until he has finished. If you see that he has become too emotional/irrational then just say, "I'm sorry you feel that way. I really want to figure this all out so we can both just be happy and have less stress. If that means us being apart, I understand." --- I don't know all of your problems, or whats going on, so it's hard offer suggestions beyond that. Just address the relationship problems without fighting. If you feel a fight coming on, just say "I don't want to fight with you, I just want to actually talk with you so we can understand what has been bothering both of us. Maybe we can try again later." It is so so important for both parties to feel like what they have said is valid and understood. But since he is the one with anger issues, you may have to put your feelings on the back burner and handle his feelings first.

I find that communication is the usually biggest problem in any relationship, so if you can communicate and let each other feel like the other person is listening that is very important. Once you guys communicate about the relationship, you can begin to discuss Apollo but honestly, I would bring it up at a different time. You don't want to flood his brain with too many problems at once. A good way to bring up that conversation is just "So I've been thinking that moving out is probably the best solution since we have problems that we have not been able to overcome. I wanted to talk with you about Apollo and see how you felt about him living with me." -- This will open a whole new can of worms i'm sure, he will probably immediately cut you off....lol. Just stay calm. Stay logical. One of you has to. The way you go about getting him to agree with you is very very dependent on how he responded to the first conversation about the relationship and moving out. And you might not ever get your way, so... you have to come to that realization at some point also. It just might not happen. Apollo might very well have to stay with him --- but you can still try.

Abusive relationships are very complicated and difficult to navigate. My advice is offered out of personal experience, I am not an expert.. I am not a therapist.. just a person who has dealt with it before. If you AT ALL feel your life is in danger then immediately leave. Call someone.
 
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