Former mother-in-law rehomes couple's beloved dog without asking

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

When my husband and I got a dog together, we were both so in love... with the dog. We had only been married for a month, but we thought we might start a family soon. So we got a little rescue dog first, to help us practice taking care of something together. And she was the perfect dog: affectionate, playful, and always happy. We loved her so much.

After nearly five years of marriage, I left my husband. It wasn't an easy decision, but I knew it was the right thing to do. And part of that decision meant leaving the dog behind because I thought she loved my husband more than she loved me, and I wanted her to be happy. Imagine my sadness when I learned that my former mother-in-law had removed the dog from my husband's home and brought her "to the farm." I still miss her so much.

I didn't learn that my mother-in-law had decided to rehome our dog until it was too late for me to do anything about it.

My husband was having trouble taking care of her. The dog had a lot of separation anxiety and barked incessantly when she was left alone all day while he was at work. At first, he solved the problem by taking her to work with him.

When his boss said he couldn't bring the dog inside anymore, he took to leaving her tied to the bumper of his truck in the parking lot. He visited her on his breaks and made sure she had fresh water, but she spent every other minute of the day barking until the boss forbade him from keeping her in the parking lot, too.

He didn't know what to do.

I learned from a family member that he was so distraught over what to do with the dog that his mother showed up one day and took her away without asking, claiming she had found a farm where the dog could run free and bark as much as she wanted. I accepted the information at first, but then I began to have my doubts.

After all, isn't "taking the dog to the farm" a euphemism for taking a dog to the pound, or worse?

I started to worry that my mother-in-law had given our dog away to someone who couldn't or wouldn't take care of her properly. I tried to find out where she had taken the dog, but my mother-in-law was evasive and refused to tell me.

The only thing I could do was hope that she had taken the dog to a good home and that our dog was happy and loved.

It's been years since I left my husband, and I still miss my dog every day. I know I'll ever see her again, but I dream about her all the time.

What would you have done? Comments are welcome.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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