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And Ferret Makes Three


When it comes down to "One of us has to go, Rover or me," don't hold your breath. When a pet comes between a man and a woman, Rover usually wins.

"Drew's mother said to me when we started dating, 'If he treats you half as well as his dog, you've got it made,'" Joanne recalls. "Unfortunately, I never got much of a chance to compare our treatment. The first night I was in his apartment, I started sneezing. An allergy I didn't know I had apparently was brought on by Drew's sheepdog.

"Things started to go bad after that, then the relationship fizzled out altogether. I believe to this day it was because Drew felt threatened by my allergy. He was afraid that sooner or later he might have to choose between me and Sadie. And Sadie was the dog, not his mother."

In another tale, a German shepherd named Bullitt made Russ finally see what he was avoiding.

"My year-long relationship with Marta had probably been going downhill for a while, but I had been ignoring it because I wanted to things to work out. We went from seeing each other three times a week to maybe once a week. I blamed that on everything except the true cause, which was she was losing interest.

"She started using Bullitt as an excuse. She began saying that she couldn't stay over because she had to be home to take care of him. Before, she'd have her neighbor let the dog out. Still, I realized I couldn't blame the end of the relationship on Bullitt.

He was just a handy excuse.

"One Friday night I had a date with Marta. She called me up around 5 o'clock and said, 'Oh, I'm sorry, Bullitt seems sad. I'm going to stay home and watch TV with him tonight.' That was pretty much the end of our wonderful relationship. Anyway, I didn't send her a birthday card this year, but I did send one to Bullitt. He never did me any harm, and I still have warm feelings for him after spending so much time with him. Also, I didn't want him to feel sad on his birthday."

In Faith's case, man won out over ferret, but it turned out to be the wrong choice after all.

"Two years ago when my then-fiance asked me to move in with him, I excitedly did so, and my pet ferret Barnaby came with me," Faith says. "Kyle and Barnaby weren't exactly on good terms, as animals seem to sense when someone dislikes them. They instantly hit it off poorly.

"To Kyle, if it wasn't a dog, it wasn't a pet. To me, Barnaby was a cuddly, affectionate critter. To Kyle, he was a rabid, toe-nipping vermin, and he made repeated threats to 'accidentally' let him loose outside.

"One month and several toe-sabotages later, Kyle came to me with an ultimatum: 'It's that thing or me.' Well, I sold the ferret, and two years later, one year into a bad marriage, I realized I had gotten rid of the wrong one. In fact, I found that Barnaby was actually more affectionate, more fun to be with and never said, 'That's not how my mother does it."'

Did a pet break up your relationship? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."



1 Comments | Post Comment
Re Joanne: Drew was not threatened by your allergy. He simply knew that a relationship with you couldn't go anywhere if you couldn't be around his dog. Also, you seem to think that he should have chosen you over the dog, which means he could also see that you don't have much respect for the bond he had with Sadie. Find someone who doesn't have pets.
Comment: #1
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:40 AM
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Cheryl Lavin
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