*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family friend, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
A family friend was happily married for a decade when the unthinkable happened. Her husband asked for a divorce.
The woman was gobsmacked. She didn't see it coming.
Her husband moved out. He immediately moved in with his girlfriend, a woman his wife never knew existed until the divorce was final.
Once the divorce decree was issued and child custody arrangements were complete, the woman and her now ex-husband shared custody of their ten-year-old daughter. The woman kept her daughter Monday through Friday. The girl went to her father's house on the weekends.
When the little girl begged her mother to get a dog, her mother reluctantly agreed. The woman thought it would be nice to have a dog around the house, especially on the weekends when she was alone. However, she had concerns about taking care of the dog or keeping it in their small apartment where it wouldn't have room to run.
My family friend weighed the pros and cons of getting a dog and decided to go for it. She got the dog.
The problems began right away. Leaving the dog home alone in her apartment while she was working and her daughter was in school proved impossible. The dog barked, howled, and disturbed the other tenants until the landlord told her to keep the dog quiet or get rid of it.
Fortunately, she owned her own small business. She decided to bring the dog to work with her. That solved the first problem.
The second problem didn't begin until several months later. On weekends when her daughter was at her dad's house, the woman decided to blow off steam at the local bar.
She left the dog home alone where it proceeded to whine and bark its head off the same way it had when she left the dog home alone to go to work. Much like her solution last time, she decided she'd simply take the dog to the bar with her.
At first, it worked like a charm. The other barflies were fond of the little fella, but eventually, someone spoiled the fun and told her dogs were allowed in the establishment. Back to the drawing board. She started leaving the dog in the car.
The dog was suddenly Houdini reincarnated. It would escape her car and saunter into the bar as if to say, I think you forgot something.
The woman continued going to the bar and leaving the dog in the car, but the dog refused to stay in the car. The dog wanted to be where the action was.
The woman refused to stay home with the dog on weekends while the siren call of the local bar called out to her. She couldn't leave the dog in the apartment to annoy the neighbors, and she couldn't leave the dog in the car without inciting a Houdini-worthy escape act.
Sadly, the dilemma of the dog could be solved only by giving it away. That's exactly what she did to her daughter's dismay.
What do you think? Should she have chosen the dog over weekends at the bar, or did she make the right choice? Comments are welcome.